Source: This article was published windowscentral.com By DAN THORP-LANCASTER - Contributed by Member: Olivia Russell

Microsoft's visual search is graduating from beta, now rolling out for everyone on iOS.

following a short period of beta testingMicrosoft Edge is now rolling out an intelligent visual search for everyone. The addition brings the iOS version of the app up to par with its Android counterpart, which picked up a visual search in June. But beyond that, there are a few other neat features tagging along in this update as well, including paste-and-search and the option to choose from more default search engines.

As for the highlight feature of this update, visual search lets you quickly snap a photo or choose one from your camera roll, then search the internet for information based on whatever you snapped. Microsoft is talking up the feature's usefulness for shopping, helping to track down items of clothing, for example, that you like. That's also bolstered by a built-in barcode scanner, which can be used to find deals on items. Visual search can be used to find more information on landmarks around you as well.

Here's a full look at all of what's new in this update:

  • Intelligent visual search gives you a cool new way to find contact info, identify landmarks, or find similar images based on a photo
  • Support paste and go/search in address bar
  • Choose from more default search engine options
  • Performance improvements

And if you're signed in with a work or school account, there are a few other goodies to check out:

  • See your organization's home page
  • Securely access intranet sites from home
  • See mobile browser activity on your PC's timeline

If you're giving Microsoft Edge a shot on your iPhone or iPad, you can check out all of these new features by grabbing the latest update from the App Store now.

Categorized in Search Engine

Unless you’re a serious photographer, you probably don’t carry a digital camera anymore. There’s no need: A typical smartphone comes with at least one camera, and lenses are sharper and more dynamic than ever. Even pro photojournalists often turn to their Samsung Galaxy, and entire feature films have been shot with iPhones.

It’s hard to believe but many people, including myself, hardly use a smartphone to make phone calls anymore. By the way, in case you still do and need to find someone’s cell phone number, click here for 5 ways to find a cell phone number online.

Smartphones also have an advantage that regular cameras don’t, that is, apps.

Your phone’s camera is a powerful tool, capable of far more than regular picture-taking. With the right apps, your phone can absorb visual information and use it for everyday tasks. You can conduct searches, tackle a shopping list, read a foreign language, or solve math problems, all with a lens the size of a marker tip.

What is your camera actually capable of? Here are five unexpected ways to use your smartphone camera.

Use a visual search engine

CamFind is a bit like a regular Internet search site, except it uses images instead of words. The app is available for both Android and iOS phones. Open the app, snap a photo, and watch as it runs through keywords that identify what’s in the picture. It will then generate a list of similar images and related search results.

CamFind doesn’t always get everything exactly right, but it does take darn good guesses, and sometimes it’s dead-on accurate. It will change the way you think about doing Internet searches.

Be a power shopper

If you don’t have the Amazon mobile shopping app, then you’re missing out on some cool camera tricks that can make purchasing easier. Click on the camera icon in the app’s search box to pull up your camera’s view. From here, choose which feature you want to access. You can search for products by snapping a photo, scan a barcode, or check and redeem gift cards.

This is cool. You can also use your camera to scan the shipping label on an Amazon box and find out what’s inside without opening it.

The app’s augmented-reality stickers feel downright futuristic, enabling you to place digital objects into your surroundings. For example, you can see how that turntable-shaped cat scratcher would look in your living room. Naturally, you can order those items if you wish. If you’re a visual person, this is a fun feature to play with.

Find what you’re looking for with ease

You own an object, but you’re not quite sure what it’s called. All you know is that it looks kind of like an artist’s palette and you use it to slice the leaves of kale. But how do you search for that, especially on a sprawling site like eBay?

Don’t worry. The eBay app is here to help. Just open it up and look at the end of the search box for a camera icon. Touch that and choose “image search.” This will open up your smartphone camera. Point it at the item you're looking for, take a photo, and crop it. The app will then search for auction listings that match the look of the item in your photo.

How accurate is eBay’s image search? It does an admirable job. We tested it out by snapping a picture of a plastic fox figurine, and it returned a list of similar animal figurines. A photo of a metal storage cabinet generated a group of similar filing cabinets.

It’s a great way to search eBay when you’re having trouble coming up with the right keywords to describe what you’re shopping for. Click here for the links to both the iOS and Android version of the eBay app.

Do math by taking a picture

Math might not be your strong suit, but you don’t have to reach for a calculator every time you need to put some numbers together. The Photomath app lets you point your camera at an equation and get an answer. It can even show you the steps it took to find that answer. That’s a handy feature for students and people looking to improve their mathematical skills.

You can use Photomath for simple subtraction, multiplication, addition, and division problems, but it can also tackle more complex equations. It can even read your handwriting so you can scribble down your math problem and let the app hand you the solution.

Translate languages in real-time

You’re traveling in a foreign country. Maybe you speak a smattering of the local language, or maybe you only know how to say “hello” and “where’s the restroom?” With the Google Translate app, you can quickly get your bearings even if you don’t speak the language.

The app’s extremely nifty instant camera translation feature works in 38 different languages. Start up the app, tap on the camera icon, and point the lens at what you’re trying to translate. It will magically change the text right on the screen.

This is especially handy for street and store signs or menus in restaurants. The app isn’t just for Android; you can also get an iOS version. This can help turn you into a much more confident traveler.

What questions do you have? Call my national radio show and click here to find it on your local radio station. You can listen to the Kim Komando Show on your phone, tablet or computer. From buying advice to digital life issues, click here for my free podcasts.

Source: This article was published usatoday.com

Categorized in Search Engine

Your iPhone may be an Apple product, but it can still run your favorite Google and Microsoft apps.

Just because you prefer the curved aesthetics of the iPhone doesn't mean you want to buy entirely into the Apple software ecosystem. After all, Google and Microsoft make iOS apps that are just as good as Apple's defaults. Although some apps require a few extra steps to replace the built-in versions, you can make the switch relatively easily, especially if you already use Google or Microsoft for your email and other cloud services.

Here, we'll guide you through the apps you need for the swap and how to download them. While you can always switch back to the Apple versions, you may find that you don't want to.

Switch to Microsoft

If your computer runs Windows, you own a Surface laptop or tablet, or you simply like Microsoft products, you'll probably enjoy the company's iOS apps. Instead of using the default versions of iPhone's email, cloud storage, and other services, here's how to replace them with Microsoft apps.

Email, calendar, and contacts

Start with your email client: You'll need to download Outlook for iOS. On top of email, it handles your calendars and contacts, and it can work with both Microsoft and non-Microsoft (like, say, Apple) user accounts. To import any emails, calendars, or contacts into the app, tap the menu button on the top left, then the settings button (the cog icon), and choose Add account.

Calls and messaging

Skype for iOS can take care of all your video calling, voice calling, and messaging needs. However, Apple's mobile platform won't allow any app to take over SMS duties, so you're stuck with its Messages app. Still, the newly-revamped Skype app has a clean look and a comprehensive set of features that includes group chats and group video calls. Your only problem might be getting your friends to use it.

Cloud storage

You can also replace Apple's cloud-storage program iCloud with Microsoft's OneDrive. When you install the app for iOS, it will sync files between your phone and any computer, Windows or macOS, that has the OneDrive desktop client installed. OneDrive also backs up all the photos and videos on your phone, although you do have to pay for storage space if you've got a lot of files. Prices start at $2 a month.

AI assistant

As with Messages, you can't completely replace the iPhone's default digital assistant: When you press and hold the Home button, Siri is the AI that will launch. However, you can install Cortana for iOS and launch it manually, then direct all your queries to Microsoft's app instead of Apple's. You can also sync any reminders and notes you've made in Cortana for Windows or Android over to your iPhone.

Office suite

For your work needs, you'll need to create documents, spreadsheets, and presentations. Swap Apple's free Pages, Numbers, and KeyNote apps for, respectively, Microsoft's free WordExcel, and PowerPoint apps.

If you've already created documents in the Apple apps, you'll need to convert them to a format that Microsoft's versions can understand. To do so, open a file, then tap the menu button (three dots on the top right), choose Export, and pick the Microsoft format. You can also choose how to export the file, either sending it via email or saving it to the iPhone's local storage.

Web browser

If you install the Microsoft Edge web browser on your iPhone, you'll be able to sync bookmarks, passwords, browsing history, and more with an Edge browser you use on a Windows PC. Unfortunately, Apple doesn't let any browser oust Safari as the default one on iOS. So when you tap on links in other apps, such as Facebook, they'll automatically open in Safari instead of Edge.

Your iPhone should be fairly well Microsoft-ized by now, but for the finishing touch, install Bing Search and Feed, which acts as a stripped-down web browser. Now that Microsoft Edge is available for iOS, Bing isn't quite as useful (we prefer Edge). But you can still use Microsoft's search engine to look for websites, images, news, and more. The app also includes a basic map-search feature, though Microsoft doesn't offer a dedicated mapping app for iOS.

Switch to Google

If you've decided to take the Google route rather than the Microsoft one, start with its signature feature: the Google search app. In addition to searching the internet and Google Maps, it provides a feed of news and other information that Google curates based on your previous activity, such as your Chrome browsing history. For a more natural, conversational approach to Google search, install the Google Assistant as well.

Email, calendar, and contacts

Next, install Gmail for iOS or Google's other email app, Inbox, which provides more automation and smart features. You can pick up your Gmail activity right where you left off on any of your other devices. Alternatively, connect Gmail to your Apple email address: Tap the menu button (the three lines on the top left), then your username, then Manage accounts, then Add account, and finally choose iCloudfrom the list.

You can also use your Gmail account to log into Google Calendar for iOS. The slick and easy-to-use calendar app is just as good on iPhones as it is on the web and everywhere else. It will, of course, sync all your Google events and appointments, and you can add your Apple calendars as well. To do so, tap the menu button (the three lines on the top left), pick Settings, tap Manage accounts, and turn the iCloudtoggle switch to on.

Calls and messaging

Again, Apple won't let you replace Messages as the default SMS app. But you can still manually use Google apps for the same purposes. Try Allo for text-based messaging, Duo for video calling, and Hangouts for messaging, phone calls, and video chats. While Hangouts remains the most comprehensive option, Google continues to add new features to Allo and Duo, so keep an eye on those apps as well.

Cloud storage

To back up your data, look no further than Google Drive, which will sync all your files with computers, other mobile devices, and your Google cloud locker. Drive also lets you save your Apple contacts to your Google account, even though Google doesn't offer a dedicated app for contacts: Open the menu (three lines on the top left), tap the cog icon, and hit Backup.

For larger files, specifically your iPhone photos and videos, Google Photos makes backing up a breeze. When you first install the app, it'll ask if you want to back up photos and videos. Say yes, and as long as you don't mind that it resizes your files (down to 16 megapixels for images and 1080p for videos), you can store an unlimited number of pictures and clips for free. If you want to keep your files at their original resolution, you can pay Google for extra space in the cloud, which starts at prices of $2 a month.

Office suite

Google has its own office apps for iOS, in the form of DocsSheets, and Slides. They interface seamlessly with the web versions, so you can keep creating and editing from anywhere.

If you've already created documents in the equivalent iOS apps, you may need to reformat them in order to open them with Google's apps. Launch the appropriate Apple app—Pages, Sheets, or Keynote—and then open the file you want to transfer. Next, tap the menu button (three dots on the top right), choose Export, and select the Google format option. Once you've exported the file, the appropriate Google app will be able to open it up.

Web browser

As mentioned previously, you can't completely replace Safari as the default browser on iOS. But you can still download Google Chrome for iOS and launch it manually when you want to explore the internet. Sign into the web browser with your Google account (it should prompt you to do so when you first open the app), and Chrome will carry over all of your bookmarks, passwords, browsing history, and other data from your computer. Even if most links will open in Safari by default, you can at least make sure Gmail links open in Chrome: Open Gmail, choosing Settings from the left-hand menu, then selecting Google apps, followed by Chrome.

Maps

Google offers some types of iOS apps that Microsoft doesn't. For example, you can rely on Google Maps to get from A to B quickly and safely and find places of note nearby. If you use the app online or on an Android device, you know you'll also get features such as live traffic updates and a list of favorite "starred" locations. If you need live directions, try it in full-screen turn-by-turn navigation mode.

Music and video players

Finally, there's Google Play Music and Google Play Movies & TV, which can effectively replace everything that iTunes and Apple Music usually do on an iPhone. They let you stream music, films, and television shows and even download content for offline access. What you can't do is purchase new content right from iOS, so if you're buying or renting something new, you need to pay up on a computer or other device before the content shows up on your iPhone.

Source: This article was published popsci.com By David Nield

Categorized in How to

If your iPhone has been stolen or lost, Apple offers a free tool to help you get it back. And, even if you can't get it back, you can prevent a thief from getting at your personal data.

To do this, you need Find My iPhone, a free service that's part of iCloud, that uses your phone's GPS and Internet connection to help you locate it on a map and take certain actions. No one wants to need this article, but if you do, these instructions will help you use Find My iPhone to locate a lost or stolen iPhone.

What You'll Need

How to Use Find My iPhone to Find or Erase Your Phone

As already mentioned, you MUST have the Find My iPhone service set up on your device before it was stolen. If you did, go to https://www.icloud.com/ in a web browser. 

There's also a Find My iPhone app (link opens iTunes) that you can install on another iOS device to track yours. This article covers using the web-based tool, though using the app is pretty similar. If your iPhone or iPod touch (or iPad or Mac) is missing, follow these steps to try to recover it:

  1. Log in to iCloud using the account you used when setting up Find My iPhone. This is probably your Apple ID/iTunes account.

  1. Click on Find iPhone under the web-based tools offered by iCloud. Find My iPhone immediately begins trying to locate all the devices you have it enabled on. You'll see onscreen messages as it works.

  2. If you have more than one device set up for Find My iPhone, click All Devices at the top of the screen and select the device you're looking for.

  1. If it locates your device, Find My iPhone zooms in on the map and shows the location of the device using a green dot. When this happens, you can zoom in or out of the map, and view it in standard, satellite, and hybrid modes, like in Google Maps. When your device is found, a window appears in the right corner of your web browser. It lets you know how much battery your phone has and offers a few options.

  2. Click Play Sound. This is the first option because sending a sound to the device is best when you think you've lost your device nearby and want help finding it. It can also be helpful if you think someone has your device but is denying it.  

  3. You can also click Lost Mode. This allows you to remotely lock the device's screen and set a passcode (even if you hadn't previously set up a passcode). This prevents a thief from using your device or accessing your personal data.

    Once you click the Lost Mode button, enter the passcode you want to use. If you already have a passcode on the device, that code will be used. You can also enter a phone number where the person who has the device can reach you (this is optional; you may not want to share this information if it's been stolen). You also have the option to write a message that is displayed on the device's screen. 

  1. If you don't think you'll get the phone back, you can delete all data from the device. To do this, click the Erase button. You'll see a warning (basically, don't do this unless you're absolutely sure you want to). Click the box that says you understand what you're doing and click Erase. This will delete all the data on your phone, preventing the thief from accessing it.

    If you get the device back later, you can restore your data from backup.

  2. If you think your device is on the move, click the green dot representing your phone and then click the rounded arrow in the pop-up window. This updates the device's location using the latest GPS data.

    What To Do If Your iPhone Is Offline

    Even if you have set up Find My iPhone, your device may not show up on the map. Reasons for why this may happen include that the device:

    • is turned off or out of battery
    • isn't connected to the Internet
    • has had its Location Services disabled.

    For more on that situation, read Why Is Find My iPhone Not Working?

    If Find My iPhone isn't working for whatever reason, you have a handful of options:

    • ​Check the Notify Me When Found box. Find My iPhone will let you know when your device next connects to the Internet so you can find it
    • The three options – Play Sound, Lost Mode, and Erase – are available. Use whichever you want and the next time the device is connected to the Internet, the option you picked will happen 
    • Choose Remove from Account if you've sold or given away the device and don't want it to show up in Find My iPhone anymore.

    Source: This article was published lifewire.com By Sam Costello

    Categorized in How to
    • Halide is a new camera app developed by former Twitter and Apple employees.
    • It's super easy to use but adds advanced camera functions.
    • It costs $2.99 and is available for the iPhone now.

    Earlier this week, a former Twitter employee and former Apple designer joined forces to release a new camera app called Halide. It's loaded with functions that both advanced and casual photographers will love.

    The gist of Halide is simple. It's not about applying filters or anything like that to your photos. Instead, it just provides really easy gesture-based functions that can help you take better pictures.

    Halide is $2.99 and is available from iTunes now. Here's a look at what it can do, in case you're a little wary of spending that much on a new app.

    This is the main Halide screen you see when you open the app.

    CNBC Tech: Halide

    Todd Haselton | CNBC


    Slide your finger along the focus dial to bring near or far objects out of focus manually.

    CNBC Tech: Halide 2

    Todd Haselton | CNBC


    Tap this small button in the corner to apply a red hue to objects when they're in focus. This is on more advanced cameras, and it works really well here!

    CNBC Tech: Halide 3

    Todd Haselton | CNBC


    Slide your thumb up and down on the screen to adjust the exposure. Slide up to increase it (brighten), or down to decrease the exposure (darken.)

    Handout: halide

    Halide


    There are plenty of other options, too, like the ability to snap raw photos, add your GPS location, overlay the app with a grid for better positioning and more.I don't typically use advanced camera apps because they tend to have too many unnecessary features, but Halide is really easy to use.

    Source: This article was published on cnbc.com by Todd Haselton

    Categorized in Others

    If you have lots of pages of apps on your iPhone, it can be a pain to move them around. But we have an easy solution.

    Rearranging apps on your iPhone and iPad is pretty easy, but moving them across screens can be a little more frustrating. There's an easy trick that solves this: use the dock.

    Categorized in Others

    Apple’s iOS platform has a wonderfully simple and intuitive UX, but the platform continues to grow more and more complex with each passing year. The iPhone is the kind of device that just about anyone can pick up and figure out how to use quickly, and yet it also hides all sorts of nifty features and functions that even the most savvy users probably don’t know about.

    Learning about cool secret features that are hiding in your iPhone is always fun because it makes your phone feel fresh and new, if even for a moment. We’re going to run through 10 little-known iPhone tricks in this post. Even if you already know about some of them, we guarantee you’ll learn something new.

    Delete text faster: When you tap and hold the backspace key on the iPhone’s keyboard, the delete rate speeds up after a while. But here’s a trick we bet you didn’t know — if you press harder on the backspace key on any iPhone with 3D Touch, it’ll speed up instantly. Deleting will also slow back down if you release some of the pressure.

    Quickly and easily turn off the flashlight: Being able to turn on the iPhone’s flashlight from Control Center while the phone is locked is super convenient. But having to swipe back in and tap the button again to turn it off can be annoying, especially when your hands are full. Instead, simply start to swipe our lock screen to the left like you’re opening the camera, but only swipe a tiny bit and then let go. Your phone will think you’re opening the camera app and the flash will turn off.

    As someone who walks a dog late at night every day, I can confirm that this trick definitely comes in handy when you’ve got an iPhone 7 Plus in one hand and a bag full of in the other.

    See all open Safari tabs: Isn’t that cascading list of Safari tabs annoying? Instead of scrolling around looking for something, turn your phone to landscape while on any tab. Then pinch the screen like you’re zooming out on a photo, and you’ll see all of your open tabs like this:

    Open Spotlight in any app: Sometimes you want to search your phone without opening the Notification Center. You can — with any app open, just pull down from the top of the screen like you’re opening Notification Center, but stop when just the search field is visible and you feel a little haptic vibration.

    Easy package tracking: Did someone send you a package and then text you the tracking number? Tap and hold on the tracking number in the Messages app and an option will pop up right there to track it.

    Prioritize app downloads: Via Reddit, did you know you could prioritize your app downloads? If you’re in the middle of downloading and/or updating a whole bunch of apps but there’s one in particular you need, just 3D Touch the icon and you’ll get this menu:

    Infinite zoom on any photo: It’s kind of annoying that you can only zoom in to a certain point on photos you capture on your iPhone. Check this out — tap the edit button, crop the photo just a tiny little bit, and save it. Now you can zoom in infinitely! Things start to get a little weird after you zoom in too far, so try not to get lost.

    Search for words on a webpage: Okay, this one is HUGE. Most people have no idea that you can actually search for words on a webpage in mobile Safari just like you can in a desktop browser. One any webpage, type the word you’re looking for in the URL bar but don’t tap “Go.” Instead, scroll down and you’ll see an option to search for the word, and you can then tap through each instance. Here, you can see that I searched for the word “echo”:

    Close all Safari tabs at once: This is a big one for people who leave tons of tabs open and decide they need to start fresh. Just tap and hold on the tab switcher button in the bottom-right corner in Safari, no 3D Touch needed. A little menu will then pop up and give you the option to close all tabs.

    Drag share sheet options to rearrange them: Here’s another trick that comes courtesy of Reddit. If you want to quickly reorder your options on the iOS share sheet, simply tap on one and drag it around. Here’s a screenshot that shows how it works:

     

    Source: This article was published on bgr.com by Zach Epstein


     

    Categorized in Others

    It’s no secret that Apple has been collecting location data from users for years. But who knew it was so insanely detailed, or how easily it could ruin your life? The fear is real, people, because there’s a terrifying, possibly sentient map hidden deep inside your Settings menu that plots every location you’ve visited, when, and how often. 

    What's that mean for you? Well, basically: anyone with access to your phone -- think a suspicious girlfriend/suspicious parent/suspicious Bill Fichtner -- can look it up if they know what to do. Here’s how to find it, and immediately shut it off.

    SCREENSHOT VIA IOS 9/SHUTTERSTOCK

    One of the craziest things about this sucker is just how deeply Apple has buried it.

    Step 1: From the mainSettings menu, select Privacy
    Step 2: Select Location Services
    Step 3: Scroll aaaall the way down to the bottom to System Services
    Step 4: Scroll about three-quarters of the way down to Frequent Locations. Note: this is where you turn this feature off. Which, just wait for it, you'll definitely want to do.

    SCREENSHOT VIA IOS 9/SHUTTERSTOCK

    The next menu reveals the major cities or towns where you've most recently been. They're arranged in descending order of time spent in each, and summarize how many locations you were recorded at within a particular time frame. 

    Click on one...

     SCREENSHOT VIA IOS 9/SHUTTERSTOCK

    ... and it pulls up a detailed view of exactly where you've been in the area, complete with plot points and how many visits are recorded in each place. Creeped out yet?

     SCREENSHOT VIA IOS 9/SHUTTERSTOCK

    Clicking through even further, you get a specific location display with dates and approximate timestamps of when you've been there. A co-worker's map of the Thrillist office, above, even shows when he takes his lunch breaks. Uh.

    Apple says there's no reason to fear your data being tracked since it's "kept solely on your device and won't be sent to Apple without your consent" and is generally only there to "provide you with personalized services, such as predictive traffic routing."

    Sure, OK. But the fact that some simple snooping would reveal to your better half that you definitely weren't "working late" the other night should freak you out just the same.

    We'll wait right here while you turn off Frequent Locations completely.

    Source: This article was published thrillist.com By JOE MCGAULEY

    Categorized in Science & Tech

    A new website and series of videos highlight several reasons to give up your Android phone and switch to iPhone.

    Apple and Android may forever be locked in a fight for mobile domination, but they take very different approaches to their quest for market share. On the one hand, there are more than 2 billion active Android devices in use around the world. On the other, Apple makes gobs of money from selling just a handful of handsets.

    But like the PC wars of the 90s, Apple isn’t content with such a slim slice of the market. While it has had a Move to iOS app in the Play Store for a while now, Apple is now taking the fight directly to Android users with a new campaign devoted to switching.

    Head over to the iPhone tab on Apple.com and you’ll see a new box in the middle of the page. Called “Why Switch,” it declares that “Life is easier on the iPhone,” and offers 10 questions potential switchers might be asking:

    1. Will it be easy to switch?
    2. Is the camera as good as they say?
    3. Why is the iPhone so fast?
    4. Will iPhone be easy to use?
    5. How does iPhone help protect my personal information?
    6. What makes Messages so great?
    7. Can I get help from a real person?
    8. Can I switch at an Apple Store?
    9. What about the environment?
    10. Will I love my iPhone?

    And finally, it asks, “Are you ready to switch?” while offering links to purchase all five of the phone models. The site also promotes Apple’s trade-in policy, boasting up to $260 in credits.

    There is also a series of videos on Apple’s YouTube channel to highlight many of the points, including speed, ease of switching, and privacy. It’s unclear whether Apple plans on taking the campaign beyond the web, but it’s not too hard to see a TV or print campaign accompanying the site.

    Earlier this year, Google unveiled its own switching site, coinciding with a new transfer tool that synced your contacts, calendar entries, and photos through Google Drive. It’s similar in practice to Apple’s Move to iOS app, but doesn’t require the installation of app you won’t need after the transfer is finished.

    Apple ran a highly successful switcher campaign in the early 2000s, which used real people to tell stories about why they moved to a Mac. While Tim Cook has said upwards of 30 percent of new iPhone buyers are making the switch from an Android phone, Apple hasn’t previously launched an ad campaign targeted at Android.

    Flip the switch: It’s no secret that Apple is looking for signs of growth. While the upcoming iPhone 8 will surely boost sales in the holiday quarter, Apple still needs to generate excitement during the rest of the year, which has proven difficult due to a steady stream of rumors and flagship competitors from the likes of LG and Samsung. But a new switcher campaign could be just what the doctor ordered.

    Source: This article was published macworld.com By Michael Simon

    Categorized in Others

    While Apple has a relatively small number of iPhone variants to choose from compared to many smartphone manufacturers, the amount of ways to buy an iPhone can be overwhelming. With most carriers in the U.S. moving away from two-year contracts and subsidized devices, full-price or installment plans are the primary ways to purchase an iPhone.

    Since all installment plans or iPhone upgrade programs from the major U.S. carriers and Apple offer 0% interest, these options can be a good fit for a lot of consumers. While many of these plans are relatively similar, they all have their differences. Follow along for a detailed breakdown to find out which iPhone upgrade program is best for you.

    Whether you need to buy an iPhone immediately or are planning on waiting until the fall for Apple’s 10th anniversary release, it’s useful to have a good handle on purchasing options.

    If you know you’d like to stick with your current carrier no matter what, you have the option of using the carrier’s iPhone upgrade program/installment plan or using one of Apple’s options.

    If you’re open to switching carriers, you’ll of course have the most choices. Overall, the Apple options provide the most flexibility and potentially the best overall value. AT&T and Verizon’s options offer convenience and no extra fees for upgrading yearly, while Sprint and T-Mobile both charge extra for yearly upgrades.

    Here’s a detailed comparison of the different upgrade plans from Apple and the major U.S. carriers:

    Apple

    Apple definitely influenced the industry when it first made its iPhone Upgrade Program available starting with the iPhone 6s/6s Plus. With Apple’s plan having a 12-month upgrade option at no cost, AT&T and Verizon shortly followed suit. Now all the major carriers offer a yearly upgrade option (although some charge an extra fee).

    Other benefits of Apple’s options are getting an unlocked device (easily using with another carrier), and having the option for AppleCare+ bundled in for about $5/month. Another use case that can be a good fit for Apple’s options are users who have a family plan with extended family, but don’t want to put hardware costs on the monthly bill.

    Also, when the iPhone 7/7 Plus launched, iPhone Upgrade Program customers received a better chance at getting a device. Keep in mind Apple’s programs require a credit card (no debit cards), although this could change in the future. One other limitation is that Apple only offers its installment plans for its newest iPhones.

    AT&T and Verizon

    Both AT&T and Verizon offer 0% interest, a yearly upgrade option and most of the same fine details. At first glance AT&T’s prices may seem cheaper, but that’s because they market their prices starting with a 30-month installment plan, while all the other carriers price based on 24-month payoffs.

    Some benefits of choosing to go with AT&T or Verizon’s installment/upgrade plans include the convenience of the cost being added to your bill and some customers may be pre-approved.

    Sprint and T-Mobile

    While you may be saving some money on your service with Sprint or T-Mobile, both of these carriers charge extra fees for yearly smartphone upgrades. Sprint charges $5/month for 12-months to opt-in for yearly upgrades. T-Mobile charges between $9-$15/month for its JUMP program that provides yearly upgrade options and an extended warranty.

    Conclusion

    With the detailed comparison charts above and your personal preferences in mind you should be able to figure out which upgrade program is best for you without breaking a sweat.

    For more details on how the math all works out for installment plans vs. the mostly retired subsidized device plans,

    Source: This article was published 9to5mac.com By Michael Potuck

    Categorized in Others
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