While playing music, is your iPhone suddenly switching to a new track in mid song? Your iPhone isn’t broken, nor is there something wrong with your song. The skipping is mostly likely due to an annoying feature of the iPhone called Shake to Shuffle that is bafflingly turned on by default. To turn it off, go to Settings > Music and move the Shake to Shuffle tab to Off (see visual instructions below).
Shake to Shuffle does exactly what its name implies, randomly shuffles to a new track when the iPhone is given a good shake. The problem is, if you run with your iPhone or make any sudden movement while holding it, it’s easy to activate Shake to Shuffle accidentally.
1. Open Settings:
2. Scroll down and tap Music:
3. Slide the Shake to Shuffle tab to Off:
And that’s it, your music will no longer skip when the iPhone is shaken.
There may be times when you want the iPhone/iPad’s screen to remain on until you physically turn it off. To prevent the screen from auto shutting off, you must turn off the iPhone/iPad’s Auto-Lock feature (just remember to eventually turn it back on for your battery’s sake). To turn off Auto-Lock, go to Settings > General > Auto-Lock and select Never (see visual instructions below).
1. Open Settings:
2. Tap General:
3. Tap Auto-Lock:
4. Tap Never:
And that’s it, your screen will no longer automatically shut off. Note that you can still manually shut off the screen and lock the iPhone/iPad by pressing the sleep button on top of the device. Again, remember that leaving the screen on depletes the battery very quickly, so make sure to eventually turn Auto-Lock back on!
Every once in a while, I turn off the iPad’s Auto-Lock when I’m using the iPad to display reference material while I’m working on something else, for example, when I’m writing on my desktop or doing my taxes. I also turn off Auto-Lock on an old iPhone I use as a desk clock.
Want to manage your fantasy football team on the go? Thankfully, all the major fantasy football services offer an iPhone app with basic management tools (add/drop players, trades, etc). However, when it comes to drafting your teams, only one lets you draft via app (the MyFantasyLeague.com app). Without further ado, below are 6 apps for the major online fantasy football services.
Yahoo Fantasy Football
Yahoo Fantasy Football (free) has slowly improved the interface of their app over the years, and it now runs smoother and is much easier on the eyes. They’ve also added iPad support, so it’s a universal app. Yahoo just updated the app with new features, including improved waiver-wire management. With app you can now:
Claim players off the waiver wire
Make trades, including proposing, rejecting, vetoing, and allowing trades
View league activity (waiver-wire adds, drops, trades).
View pending adds and trades.
Manage your player watchlist.
Read Roto Arcade articles.
There are some downsides. The app is useless until after you draft your team, and you can’t draft using the app. And if you’re a commish, there are no commish tools in the app. Essentially, it’s still a limited app, but useful enough that it can save your butt more than once during a season.
ESPN Fantasy Football
ESPN Fantasy Football (free, iPhone, iPad) has all the basics to let you manage your ESPN teams, and yes, you can manage multiple teams across multiple leagues. It even has a few nice tricks like push notifications for injuries. Some of the app’s features are:
View FantasyCast real-time scoring
Manage your line-up (start and substitute players)
Add and drop players from waiver wire
Propose, access, or reject trades
Read fantasy news, watch videos, and read tweets from ESPN fantasy columnists
View and post to league message boards
Some of the app’s downsides are no iPad version (of course, you can run the iPhone version in 2x mode), no drafting of teams via the app, and no league management tools for commissioners.
NFL.com Fantasy Football
NFL.com Fantasy Football (free) is another app that lets you take care of the basic management duties of your team. Developers are promising that the app will see significant updates before the season starts. One of app’s strengths is access to official news and injury updates, which NFL.com excels at. Overall, the app lets you:
Manage your lineup (sit, bench players)
Add and drop players to the waive wire
Access player rankings
Make and accept trades
Manage multiple teams across multiple leagues
Some of the limitations of the NFL.com Fantasy Football app are that it can’t be used for your draft, there is no iPad-optimized version, and the are no commish tools available.
CBS Sports Pro Football for iPad
CBS Sports Pro Football for iPad (free:, iPhone, iPad) is more of a NFL news app with CBS fantasy football manager built into it. That doesn’t mean you can’t get the job done with it, though. And, there is a separate iPad version, too. Some of the app’s features are:
Fantasy Football ’12 for Yahoo/ESPN/NFL.com ($2.99) is not an official app from any of the online fantasy football services. But the app does allow you to manage multiple teams across all the multiple services (Yahoo, ESPN, and NFL.com). Some advice though: if you’re willing to shell out the $2.99 for this version, you may want to consider Fantasy Monster Pro ($4.99) from the same developer, as it also lets you access fantasy baseball, basketball, and hockey teams as well. I’ve used that app for years, and while it’s not perfect, it removes a lot of hassle of switching between apps. Features for this Football-specific app are:
Drag and drop to quickly edit your lineups
Use Auto-complete to limit typing when finding players
Add, drop, and trade players
Check scores of weekly matchups and NFL game scores
Read and post to the message board
View latest transactions
View standings and rosters
Check player news and injury reports
MyFantasyLeague.com ($2.99) is a paid fantasy sports service and is used primarily by serious fantasy gamers. Basic leagues cost $85 and deluxe leagues $185. It’s a highly customizable service and worth checking out if you want to take your fantasy game up a notch. The app, which is iPhone & iPad compatible, indeed takes things up a notch by being the only fantasy app that has draft support, and also the only one with commissioner support. Features include:
Full draft support with integrated ADP rankings and quick filtering
Add, drop, and trade players
Edit starting lineup (iPad version has projected scores and ‘Who Should I Start?’ recommendations)
UI customization lets you reorder features throughout the season
Live scoring for both teams and players, now with bench and optimal views due to high demand!
Player injury news
Message board reading and smack-talk posting with HTML content display
Full weekly results including bench and optimal reports
Manage multiple leagues
Positional Point Differential (PPD) shows you what positions are helping and hurting every single team in your league
Top adds, drops, owns and starts across MyFantasyLeague.com
When it comes to catching a plane, FlightTrack Pro ($9.99) is one of the best apps out there for keeping you updated on departure/arrival times. But since its $10 price tag is a barrier of entry to some, the developers have released a free version, FlightTrack Free (link), that offers some of the basic functionality of the Pro version.
FlightTrack Free’s simple interface makes it quick and easy to find updated takeoff and arrival times for airline flights. It’s neatest trick is that it can also show an animation of exactly where a specific plane is on a map during its current flight. You can enter in a specific flight number, or browse all flights leaving from a specific airport to a specific destination. There is even a random flight button if you think departures and arrivals are super fantastic fun.
The free version is, of course, missing some of advanced features of the Pro version, like push alerts, but if you’re a casual flyer, the free version could still come in handy. And, it’s interface is simple and good-looking.
FlightTrack Free is available as a free download from the App Store.
App tip: Swipe down in the flight view to zoom out and get a animated view of the plane’s progress and flight path.
Jacqui Cheng at Ars Technica compared 5 iPad cooking apps and picks both Basil ($1.99) and Paprika ($4.99) as her top picks. She liked Basil’s focus on collecting and storing recipes from multiple sources, then allowing you to make your own tweaks to those recipes (where most apps just show you their recipe and that’s it). Jacqui says Paprika is similar to Basil, except it’s “on steroids,” meaning it offers tons more sites to search, which can be frustrating when there are too many recipes for a single dish. Both of these apps look slick, but you gotta love Paprika’s icon.
There’s growing evidence that sales reps at Verizon and AT&T stores are trying to talk customers out of buying iPhones, all for the sake of a few bucks in commission on Android phones. Sebastien Page at the iDownloadBlog recounts a story where a Verizon sales rep was rude to his mother when she expressed interest in an iPhone 4S, saying it was a “boring” phone, acting annoyed when she insisted on buying it, and dropping his pen every few seconds on the counter during checkout. I guess Verizon doesn’t want her $100 a month.
Chris D’Lando of TekServe has a short ‘n sweet list of things the 3-button control dongle of iPhone headphones can do, like snap photos, prompt Siri to listen, or to fast-forward several seconds during a song (I admit, I didn’t know it could do that.) Very handy.
“Where are you?” That’s a common text message I get. Well, Allyson Kazmucha of iMore shows how easy it is to share your precise location using the Maps app on the iPhone. Just a few taps and you’ve shared.
Bryan Wolfe at AppAdvice points out that the Bank of America app now has the ability to deposit checks using the iPhone. Simply snap a photo using the app, and it will upload it to Bank of America and deposit it. I think all the major US banks now offer this feature in their iPhone apps. Imagine, if the iPhone becomes a credit card, and we can deposit money using the iPhone, what do we need banks for?
Nick Guy at iLounge takes an in-depth look at Verizon and AT&T’s new shared data plans. The shared plans let you share a pool of data each month between up to 10 iPhone/iPad devices. Guy says that Verizon has more options when it comes to data pools, but AT&T may be a better value if you (or someone you love) likes to gab on the phone a lot.
Going hiking in the middle of nowhere without a cell phone signal? Mel Martin of TUAW says to take along the SPOT Connect, which lets you connect your iPhone to satellites to either send an SOS to Emergency Response teams or, yes, even update Facebook, Twitter, and send text messages or short email messages–essentially, it’s not for browsing the web or making phone calls, but for short and small data communications in the middle of nowhere. Your iPhone connects to the Spot Connect via bluetooth, and an app lets you do all of the data communication stuff. The SPOT Connect hardware costs $100 (with a $50 rebate) and then another $100 for 1 year of limited satellite time.
If classic games are more your thing, Dan Moren at TechHive does a great job convincing me that Crosswords for iPhone and iPad ($9.99) is worth the premium price. Some of Crossword’s nice subtle premium features are a specialized crossword-puzzle keyboard, printing of puzzles via AirPrint, and synching between iPhone and iPad. Definitely an app for a serious crossword puzzle addict.
Here’s a powerful privacy app that is unfairly being associated with nefarious purposes only—it could be quite useful in everyday life, too. Burner ($1.99) is an app that lets you create, or more accurately “rent”, short-term, disposable phone numbers. Calls to your burner number can be forwarded to your main iPhone number or sent directly to voicemail. You can also send/receive text messages with the temporary number.
The initial $1.99 cost of the app supplies enough credits for a burner number good for 7 days, 20 talk minutes, or 60 texts. After that, you can buy more credits to extend the current number or buy new, separate lines. For example, $3.99 gets you a 30-day, 100-minute burner.
While “burners” are usually associated with drug dealers trying to evade police wiretaps (have you seen The Wire?), there are many legitimate uses for temporary phone numbers. You could use it for selling stuff online (Craigslist, eBay, etc), dating sites (“call me maybe”), small public projects, etc.
The app itself is well designed (see screenshots below), especially when it comes to managing multiple burners at the same time. You can label each number with its purpose (for example, “Match.com”), view missed calls, send/receive text messages, and manage call & text forwarding within the app.
Another cool feature is that you can choose the area code of your new burner number. For example, if you’re in Hawaii, you could choose an “808” number. Burner provides only US phone numbers, and you must have a valid US phone number if you want calls to be forwarded to you.
When you are finished with the number, you can “burn” it to remove all evidence. Check out the video below to see the app in action.
Here’s a tip that comes in handy when you need to clear up storage space on your iPhone. You can view a list of all your apps on your iPhone sorted by size in order to delete the largest ones you no longer use. The tip, in a nutshell, is to go into Settings > General > Usage. There, you’ll see a list of apps sorted by their size (note: it may take several seconds for the list to load). Find and note the largest apps you no longer use.
To delete the apps and gain more storage space, you’ll need to press the home button to go back to the home screen. Find the icon of the app you want to delete, hold your finger on it until an X appears, tap the X, then tap Delete. You’ll now have more memory on the iPhone to use.
1. Open Settings:
2. Tap General:
3. Tap Usage:
4. You’ll see a list of apps sorted by size appear (it may take several seconds):
Note that you can tap on any app in the list to see further information about app storage usage. This is most useful for the iPhone/iPad’s Music and Video apps, as it will show the size of individual songs, movies, tv shows, podcasts.
Weekly iPad magazine Huffington (link) is shedding its paid subscription model and is now offering free subscriptions inside Newstand. You can download all issues one-by-one or subscribe to receive automatic downloads once a week. Each issue is around 200 MB per issue.
Huffington has original content as well as some of HuffingtonPost.com’s better content from the previous week. Previously, Huffington cost $1.99 a month or $19.99 a year, but reading through a few issues, I can say the magazine seems a bit too small to justify charging that much. But hey, now it’s free.
A warning: if a partisan political viewpoint bothers you, Huffington is somewhat of the liberal persuasion. It’s even a little more heavyhanded then the conservative views of The Daily. It’s a partisan world, my friends.
If you read this site, then you’ll know I’m a huge fan of the Klipsch Image S4i earphones. I consider them to be the best value in iPhone earphones out there. The only major downside of the S4i’s is lack of durability. Klipsch is looking to address that issue that with the new Klipsch Image S4i Rugged.
This new rugged version adds water and weather resistance, and “tough rubber moldings” to increase durability. I have to say though, looking at the photos, the flimsy, thin-spaghetti cords of the previous version look exactly the same. The major difference seems to come with the rugged-looking rubber material covering the three-button dongle and the earbuds (which used to be a slick glossy white).
The best news about the S4i Rugged is that they keep the same award-winning 8.5-mm dual-magnet micro speakers inside, so even if this “Rugged” thing is just a marketing gimmick, you’re still getting an awesome-sounding pair of earphones at a good price. The Klipsch Image S4i are $99 and come with a nice carrying case and 4 different sized pairs of ear tips.
There’s a stage at which iPhone rumors pass from unconfirmed to very likely true, and in the past few days, the date for the announcement of the next iPhone has reached that stage. The rumored date for an Apple media event to announce the next iPhone, as “verified” by several news outlets, is Wednesday, September 12, 2012.
Of those news outlets, only iMore is supplying a ship date for the hardware: Friday, September 21, which is 9 days after the announcement. Last year, the iPhone 4S shipped on Friday, October 14, 2011, 10 days after its own media-event announcement on October 4.