How can I see what is trending in the iPhone Twitter App?

It’s often useful to keep an eye on what’s trending on Twitter but in the latest versions of the iPhone Twitter App it’s not immediately obvious where to find what’s trending.

It’s actually really simple when you know.

How to see whats trending in the Twitter App.

At the top of your timeline screen just under where is says Home you’ll see 3 little dots. This is an iPhone App standard way to say that there’s more to see if you swipe left. The trick is to swipe left as shown by the arrow on one of the tweets not on the header itself.

Once you’ve swiped left you’ll see the ‘What’s Trending’ screen:

iPhone Twitter App - What's Trending Screen

You can then click on one of the hashtags to see what people are saying or return to your hime page by swiping right or just press the timelines button.

What PC should I buy for my parents 2014?

This is a question I get asked by someone every few months so I thought I’d write a quick blog post about it.

When you buy or recommend a PC/Laptop/Tablet etc to someone you should know that you are going to become their personal IT Helpdesk 24 x 7. If you’ve ever tried talking someone who is only familiar with the basics through Anti Virus updates, Windows updates or Windows pop-up messages which are terrifying to normal people you’ll know what I mean. I once had a late night call from a relative who was really worried about having done something ‘illegal’ after reading some unhelpful message that popped up from Windows.

What do they really want to do with a PC/Laptop?

These days I would completely avoid buying a laptop/PC or Mac if all people want to do is surf the web, do emails and occasional word processing. Instead they are better off using a simple tablet device (see below). These are a perfect all in one solution and are not subject to complicated software updates, installs, anti-virus etc. They can be set-up with external keyboards and easily pair with the current crop of printers from the likes of Epson and HP over WiFi.

I’d only recommend looking at a Mac or PC if they have a lot of video, photo’s, accounting, word processing, presentations or special software requirements.  Even then most of these can be done surprisingly well these days on iPads.

For example if you want to write a novel then I wouldn’t recommend trying to do it on your iPad but if you just want to maintain a CV and write a few letters if would be fine.  Also if you want to use Accounting software like Sage to be compatible with an Account you may be better off using a Mac running VMWare or a PC – although again Cloud based solutions like Xero work very well.

Mac or PC?

I work with both Mac’s and PC’s (and numerous other systems) but these days I always recommend people buy a Mac rather than a PC unless there is a good technical reason for wanting a PC.

Why Mac rather than PC? Well it goes back to my opening comments about you becoming your friends personal IT helpdesk 24 x 7. These days Apple do such a great job of providing technical support and after sales service it’s a joy in comparison to trying to sort most PC hardware problem out.

Generally I recommend people treat themselves a Mac Book Pro or Mac Book Air. If anything goes wrong with it they can make an appointment and drop in with it to their local Apple Store – job done!  I also recommend that people get an Apple Time Capsule. These are simple WiFi based backup drives. They make sure all the content on you laptop are safely backed up – automatically. If the worst happens and your laptop fails completely you can just take the Time Capsule and you Mac Book into the Apple Store and they’ll fix the laptop and then restore it from the latest backup on the Time Capsule.

There is simply no where now that I would trust on the high street to provide this integrated high quality level of customer care for a PC based product. That’s not to say that there aren’t some good computer stores out there but the service and experience will be much more variable.

Apple iPad or Android Tablet for Parents?

If it’s for the children to play with then either an old second user iPad or a cheap Android base tablet. If it’s for your parents then go for the iPad.  I’m not knocking Android, technically some of it’s latest versions have features you won’t see on the iPad for a few year if ever.  The iPad is however a much more refined and curated experience more suited to busy people who just want to get on with emails, surfing, editing documents etc rather than learning how to tweak hundreds of settings and install lots of software from all over the Internet.  To date the iPad has proven to be much more secure than Android. There is Anti-Virus software for the iPad but I don’t know anyone who has ever used it, on the other hand it’s recommended on Android because of it’s open nature.

Apple iPhone or Android or Windows Phone for Parents?

You’ve probably guessed by now that I’m going to say iPhone.  If any of the other kit you have is Apple and you’re happy with it then it makes sense to go with the iPhone rather than another brand. The level of easy, quick and seamless integration you get between Apple devices is second to non.

To be honest there are some very good deals on Android and Windows phone. If the budget you are working with is limited then it may be a hard choice between a high spec Android or Windows phone and may be last years or the year before iPhone model.  In my experience most people are perfectly happy with the iPhone 4S, especially if it’s their first mobile like this.

Let me know how you get on. If you have any questions leave it in a comment below and I’ll try and reply as soon as possible.

Apple iCloud KeyChain Web Developers Best Practice Guide

Apple’s password manager (iCloud KeyChain for Safari) may not be the best password manager but that’s completely irrelevant because by now it’s already the most popular, most widely adopted password manager in the World. It’s therefore important that you make sure your website is compatible with this piece of Apple technology. As a user of Apple’s Safari I’m increasingly shocked at the number of major websites that are not compatible with the Apple password manager.

Testing that your site works with Apples iCloud password manager will improve your User Experience (UX) and also improves your sites security.  In my experience people are much more likely to use a strong password if Safari picks the password for them.  In addition to this Safari generates a random strong password for each site, so the chances of a hack on one site being used to gain access to another are greatly reduced.

The key points to making your site compatible are:

  1. Make sure that testing your site against the Safari password manager is incorporated into your user acceptance test plans from now on.
  2. Make sure that testing includes your password change page and password recovery pages. Specifically make sure that when your user picks a new password that this gets saved away properly by Safari and is used next time they need to logon.
  3. Make sure that your site can accept the long complex passwords generated by Safari – currently 15 long containing upper and lower case and dashes.  For example:

    Apple Safari Web designers and developers password manager guidelines.
    The most frequent issue we encounter is that sites don’t allow the hyphen in passwords.

  4. Make sure that your website does not undermine this great security by then emailing out this strong password to the user/customer as part of their registration confirmation.
  5. Make sure that your website does not store passwords as clear text in its database. It should be using a one way hashing algorithm so that the password itself can never be retrieved.

If you discover any hints or tips for making your website work really well with Apple’s Safari / iCloud KeyChain password manager do please get in touch and leave a comment below.  We’ll be sure to update this blog post as we discover more about it.

How to add your business to Apples ios6 / iPhone maps.

If you are like me when you got Apples new iOS6 maps on your phone the first thing you check is have they got your own business or the place you work listed in their database.  As reported in the press several locations are missing and Apple are expecting to crowdsource corrections and additions.  That means they actively want us to report suggested changes.

I’d read that Apple want us to report problems with maps but it wasn’t exactly obvious how you go about it.  I’ve now worked it out and thought I’d share it with you in this blog.

All you need to do to add your business or a missing location to Apple Maps is:

1. Find the location on the map.

2. Tap the page corner in the bottom right of the map display.

3. The map page will then flip back as shown below to reveal the options screen.

How to add your business to Apples ios6/iPhone maps.

 

4. Now look really carefully.  Just above the print button in grey text on a grey background there’s a well hidden link for “Report a Problem”.  It’s so well hidden that until you know it’s there I bet you couldn’t even see it.

5. Press this link and you’ll then see a list of the various types of problems you can report.  Half way down the list you’ll find “Location is missing”.  Select this option and then click Next.

6. They then display the map and ask you to position a pin where your business is located.  Do that and then click Next.

7. You then get a screen which lets you enter the name of the business, address, phone number, opening hours, URL website address and the category of business.

8. When you have done all of that press Send and the details will be sent through to Apple.

 

I’ve now reported a couple of missing local businesses and will be tracking how long it takes Apple to approve the changes and commit them to their database.  As soon as I see them I’ll update this blog with how long it takes.

Unable to sync iPhone Unknown error E8000065….

For some reason after upgrading my iPhone to iOS 5.1 I was unable to wirelessly sync with my Mac which is running the latest version of Lion.  I tried Googling the error code and could not find and real solution anywhere.  In the end with a little trial and error I found that enabling home sharing on the iPhone so that it matched the settings on the Mac fixed the problem and allowed the wireless sync to work.  I thought I’d make a quick note of the problem and the solution here incase anyone else is having the same problem.

Looking forwards to Apples WWDC 2011

On June 6th we’ll finally get to hear Apple’s next batch of announcements.  This time it has been a little different.  Normally Apple are very secretive and there is no official word in advance about what is going to be announced but this time we’ve seen several press releases about iCloud and other product updates ahead of WWDC.  But even at this stage we know little more than the product name and several of the new features that we’ll see is Lion.  This is an important event for the whole IT, technology and Electronic industry these days as Apple set the standard and in many cases make the market for so many innovations these days.   In the time honoured tradition I thought I’d better go on record and say what I would like to see Apple announce at WWDC:

  1. iCloud for streaming and storing any content you have in iTunes.  I worry that my iTunes isn’t backed up properly because its so large and I don’t currently buy a lot of video based content that I would like because it will consume too much disk space on my Mac.  If you add to this the problem that the content you want tends not to be on the Apple device you have with you when you are traveling unless you are very organised and sync what you want in advance then iCloud can’t come soon enough.
  2. iCloud for backup and storage of iPhoto and other content.
  3. MobileMe either replaced or upgraded so that I can access all of my iCloud content on the go.
  4. The Post PC Era.  When Steve Jobs said we’re now in the Post PC Era I couldn’t help feeling he was slightly ahead of the technology.  As of iOS4 you still need to plug your Apple device into a Mac or PC to register it, upgrade it and sync content onto it.  For many people with old printers you still need a PC to print!  iOS5 needs to truly remove the need for a PC or Mac base station.
  5. Facetime, I would like to see an upgrade so that you can conference in two or more people on the same video call.  Now that Microsoft own Skype I wouldn’t be surprised to see a Apple counter this by brining out a Facetime client for Windows.
  6. iBooks, we need a reader application on the Mac.
  7. Time Capsule.  There have been a lot of rumours that Apple will be upgrading their router / Time Capsule and this makes a lot of sense.  A device which can sit in the home and cache or backup your content from your Apple devices acting as a buffer between your home and the iCloud would be a great solution.  I would not put it past Apple to take this one stage further.  They could allow these devices to talk to each other across the Internet to form a grid, where all the communication are coordinated via their new data centre.
  8. Lion – Security.  I’ve always recommended Mac’s over PC’s to non-technical friends and family because of their ease of use and better security.  I would like to see this taken a stage further in Lion so that by default Applications can only be installed from the Mac App Store.  Of course there would need to be a way to switch this off for more advanced users but for most of my non-technical friends this would be a welcome security improvement.  As we have seen with the recent Mac Defender Malware it’s currently too easy to trick non-technical users into install software.
  9. Voice Recognition.  I want to see this done really well on every Apple platform.  I want to be able to be able to select tracks, listen to e-mails etc while driving or laying in the bath.  I don’t want to have to press a button to initial the voice command, it needs to be triggered by a phrase.  I want this to work like the LCARS Computer on the Enterprise, “Computer: Lights Off.”

Anyway not long to wait now, I’ll be back later in the week to review my wish list and review by 2011 Wish list from back on New Years Day.