5 Hidden Features in iOS6

Now, you may not have been in line at midnight, but it has officially been enough time for you to get your eager hands on the iPhone 5 and upgrade to the iOS6 software. Everyone had their Immediate Reactions, but I’m here to dive a little deeper than initial likes and dislikes. The standout features were maps, siri enhancements, and passbook, but even after all these improvements, some people were not impressed.While these are all features you should have heard of, every upgrade always contains some hidden features, that make your iphone or iPod Touch just a little bit cooler.

Wake Up With A Song

A features that I was pretty excited about when I found it, is the ability to set any song in your music library as an alarm. Before this you had to go through a whole process of creating ringtones on garageband, transferring them into your iTunes, and dragging them onto your phone. Some people even went to the length of shelling out money to buy ringtones. I find this new trick super useful as it gets repetitive to wake up to the same alarm each day, or even worse, to use the presets that are included in the phone. You can now wake up to any song of your choice.If this isn’t creative enough for you, you can make a original recording and wake up to that each day.

Spam Defeated

Now, I know in #electionclass we have been having problems with spambots, and it seems that this problem has transferred over to the phones of many iphone users as well. I don’t yet have a solution for the members of #electionclass, but the iOS6 software defeats this problem. With the new update you have the option to deny notifications when receiving messages from an unknown source, so the spambots won’t get to bother you anymore.

Youtube’s Back?

I know everyone had a minor freakout when they updated to the new software and the Youtube app was nowhere to be found. Yes, you can download a different, free Youtube app from the app store, but it’s just not the same.While the native app was removed, there is one way that it can still be found. When you pick a video from your camera roll the option will appear, along with the old and loved logo, to upload the video directly from Youtube.Complete the Album

Hidden somewhere deep inside you digital music collection is now the ability to “complete your album” right from your music library.

If you only have one song in an album, but are interested in buying more songs, you can do this without even having to go into the itunes music store app. You can hit the show complete album, and all the songs pop up with direct links to purchase them.

It seems like this makes it easier to get caught up in buying songs, so remember that even though it is so quick and easy, the cost can add up rather fast too.

Sing Me to Sleep

Late night listening is now available to those who have the latest and greatest technology. Technically, this option lowers bass levels and attempts to make your music less-intrusive in the evening so you can listen and fall asleep easily without being distracted. This new features allows your favorite artists to sing you to sleep.

Now that I have shared how I uncovered five of the hidden features in iOS6, tell me if you found any more. Leave them in the comments below!


My Top 5 Apps for Back to School

As the end of August is near it is now the time to pack up everything from home, jam way too many suitcases in a small car, and move back to school! Some younger teens might not want to think ahead to the daunting reality that school is right around the corner, but for most college students it is actually the opposite. Excitement is in the air because within the next few weeks college students will either be stepping onto campus for the first time as freshmen, or returning and cheerfully reuniting with friends.

Now, along with the usual back to school necessities such as jeans and a backpack, many college students will not leave home without their favorite accessory, a smartphone. When you look at the popular selection of apps on a smartphone they will normally include cult favorites such as FacebookAngrybirds, and Pandora. While all those apps are nice to pass the time on the drive to school, college students should stock their phones with apps that will help them succeed during the year. I thought I would share my favorite back to school apps that make your backpack a little bit lighter, and allow your smartphone to make you a little bit smarter.

  • Flashcards– This app is one of the best study tools because it allows you to learn loads of information through the use of digital flashcards. One of the world’s most efficient study tools is now more environmentally friendly because you can make hundreds of flashcards without using any paper.This app also allows you to simply create a new set of cards right from the app and immediately start studying. Another option is you can download flashcards from Quizlet, the leading online study site, and add them to your library for offline studying.
  • The Wolfram series of apps are great for any math course you may encounter. The list of available apps match popular math courses, and although they are not free, these apps are a great tool to help with homework and go over concepts learned in class. Instead of just having generic examples for you to do, each of these apps can solve specific problems, that you enter, while providing step by step solutions. They can integrate, differentiate, and really serve as a “mini tutor” to help work out any equation.
  • A modern idea that smartphones explore is cloud storage with the two most popular apps being Dropbox and GoogleDrive. Through this service students can have access to documents, photos, and videos, no matter the location. Both apps basically serve the same purpose, so a lot of people find themselves asking Is Google Drive that Different from the competition?
    I personally use Dropbox because I find the design to be very clean and easy to use, but any cloud storage app will provide a similar result. No matter the service, it will allow the everyday student to overcome the problem of procrastination by granting quick access to his or her files online so he or she can print a research paper in the library the morning it is due.
  • I have always liked to use my phone instead of a standard, written agenda to keep track of all my “to do’s.” Keeping with the synced devices theme, the app Wunderlist helps me stay on top of homework and any outside tasks I need to get done.This specific app also allows you to sort your list by order of importance, set reminder notifications, and share your lists with friends. You can collaborate through social networks and email, or you always have the option to print your list out.
  • My last app is not specifically school related, but the app GroupMe allows you to create chats with friends no matter what type of phone or provider they have. This app is a great, free way to collaborate on group projects, to be in constant contact with your roommates, or just to keep in touch with friends from home.

Now that I have listed my top 5 apps for back to school, let me know what your favorites are! Do you agree, or are you outraged that I left your favorite off the list? Let me know in the comments below.

Who Are the Contenders to Be the Next Instagram?

Since its launch in 2010, Instagram has gone viral. They have over 30 millions users and their acquisition by Facebook made front page news. Now, their worldwide success is what many startups aspire to obtain. I thought I would take a look at companies that have the potential to achieve the same level of success, and came up with a list of 3 companies that I think are the contenders to be the next truly massive success story.


An app called Viddy takes on a very simular concept to Instagram. It has the same idea framework, but instead of sharing photos, Viddy allows users to captures 15 second video clips. The next steps remain the same as Instagram as you take the captured media, add a filter, and share with friends. Some might find the 15 second mark “insanely short,” but it forces you to cut out any unnecessary footage and get right to the point.

Why do I think this copycat app won’t just be thrown aside?

Because it already hasn’t been. Celebrities have already taken an interest in Viddy as a way to let fans into their lives through little video snippets.

With music icons and even Facebook’s own Mark Zuckerburg using the app, it sets off an influx of new users.

This kind of free advertising creates a buzz large enough to give Viddy the possibility to become the next Instagram.


I found out about this app from an article on mashable, and I think it has real potential. Pair is an app that makes it easier to stay in touch with that one person who you send 90% of your text messages to. Instead of sending messages to a single person using tools that were designed to send messages to everyone you know, Pair allows you to send photos, video, your location, and even things like sketches to one person in a single message.

(picture from here)

Beyond the basics, they have some cheesy features for couples to enjoy.  ThumbKiss is a feature that lets you see where your partner’s finger is on the screen, and when your thumb meets theirs, both of your iPhones will vibrate.  If that’s a little too much tech love for your liking, you can relax when you’re miles apart by sharing a live white board. Some possibilities to use this are to play games, share drawings, or create a mutual shopping list.

Why I think this App will gain momentum

I know so many people in my life that have the need for this app. I could see people in middle school all the way through married couples finding use for this app and loving the features it provides.


This app takes on photo sharing from a fashion perspective. Pose enables you to snap a photo of an item of clothing, tag it with the item’s price, brand, and store, and post it to Pose.  Your followers can “heart” an item (a la Instagram) or discuss their opinions in the comments.

Now, the practicality of this app is that brands can use it to drive business. The most common way to use the app is when you’re in a store and you come across and item of clothing you may want to buy, Pose invites you to take a snapshot. You can then tag it with your current location and the item’s price, and share it with friends. While a lot of popular brands have their own accounts where they can post professionally styled outfits, anyone can take a shot at styling the pieces and then share the same way.

Why I think Pose is a strong contender

The idea is really attractive to anyone interested in fashion. You get to share your style and the looks you create with fashionistas all over the world. People you don’t even know can approve of your style. There are also brand names already on the site such as LevisCoco Rocha, and Jewelmint. Getting the experts in on this app has driven all their fans to start posing themselves!

Free is the Key

Something all these apps have in common with each other and Instagram is the price, as they are all available for free in the Apple App Store.   When the app is free there is no reason not to try it out, so see what you think.

Who do you think is the strongest contender? Is there an underdog that I didn’t mention? Let me know in the comments!

How Instagram’s Coming Alive

my post on infospace.ischool.syr.edu

What was once the quirky iPhone app is now being developed into real life technology. I’m talking about Instagram. The app that is makes it easy for you to take professional (and a little hipster) looking photos for free at the touch of your iPhone button.

Now if you are saying “wait… What’s Instagram?”

  1. You must be living under a rock
  2. But I’ll forgive if you READ UP. and then continue here.

Since the launch of Instagram, it has skyrocketed in popularity. It [has gone] from zero to forty million users, in a mere 1,5 years time, and only continues to reach a larger audience. The growth has been so explosive that developers have decided to take it off the little screen and into real life.

Now I’m not joking, but this video is

While we can all sit and snicker at the idea of Instagram Snap, an Italian designer Antonio De Rosa thinks this is no laughing matter. He sees real potential in this technology and is in the process of creating a “real life Instagram” called Socialmatic.

(Picture from here)

(and also here)

Socialmatic ? Explain More…

It may look a little strange, but see it in all its glory for yourself: 

The large version of the app allows you to take filtered photos, share them immediately with friends, and then hit the print button for a physical version of the image. Your image prints out with a QR code, so anyone who receives it can scan and follow you on Instagram. Some say it is an all-too-obvious cross between a Polaroid and an iPhone 4, but is that combination ridiculous or genius?

De Rosa, What Were You Thinking?

Well, I can tell you exactly what he was thinking

Socialmatic, make your photo cool as you want and share it directly on Facebook trough the powerful InstaOs. If you want, you can print it directly on Instagram Paper Sheets, thanks to the internal printer. Every Instagram printed photo reports on front side your Instagram nickname and a QR code, to be followed by another Instagrammer, simply pointing his/her Socialmatic on your printed QR Code

He’s Got the Idea, But Needs a Little Help Along the Way

De Rosa has started a campaign on Indiegogo to raise $50,000 for the Socialmatic. If he reaches his goal, his idea will be put into action. The campaign runs until Sunday, June 1st. You can contribute on Indiegogo if you have faith in his creation. If the goal is reached, De Rosa is promising a “massive discount” for whoever previously contributed. If the funds are not sufficient to bring Instagram to life, everyone who donated will be fully refunded.

What’s The Vote?

Some people say

But other’s think it’s completely unnecessary.

Jury’s Out

Do you think Instagram should make the jump from the small screen to the real world?

iPhone Accessories Galore

So an observation I recently made is that Apple ( and specifically the iPhones) are taking over the world. When I was at school it was uncanny how many kids had iPhones. Now to separate yourself from the standard iPhone owner, I thought I would share some suggestions on some cool things I found online that would swag-out your iPhone. Now ironically I only have a simple pink case on my phone, but if I had discovered this hobby of mine about 6 months ago (and didn’t already blow 25$ on said case) this situation would be different.

Now this year I can actually say that me and my roommates spent a way too many hours on this site. (Even more time than watching one direction videos and having sporadic dance parties)

Now the top site that has been a time sucker is called society6. This morning my sister thought she was so cool for finding this site and sent it to me… little does she know that’s where half my year went.

So now I present some of favorites: (yes they are clickable)

you so tribal

this reminds me of the movie UP

daydream iPhone Case by Sylvia Cook Photography | Society6

this is so peaceful

But now if you want something to brighten your day and give you a little chuckle every once in a while…

Mustache Mania iPhone Case

I mustache you a question?

I mean come on thats pretty creative.. If I was a math major/ little monster I would be on that.

But wait… I can actually give you a helpful suggestion. I think these type of phone case wallets are genius. They put everything you need into one tiny compact case that you can grab on the way out the door. I am highly considering going to the mall tomorrow and getting my sister that for graduation. ( #spoiler )


And this little nifty gadget is called a Square. If you have one of these, your friends will never have an excuse not to pay you back if they don’t have cash on them. You can swipe their credit card instantly from your iPhone. Now some people don’t feel comfortable with this technique, but for some reason I feel it’s secure enough and I don’t have a problem with using it.

So what do you think about this Apple iPhone swag? Do you have any different potential swag of your own?

Does Your Life Follow a Path?

What Is It?

Now in its second version, Path embodies the ultimate social media tool that combines your Twitter updates, Facebook photostream, Foursquare checkins, and Spotify playlists. Path, originating in November of 2010, serves a canvas for the modern “smart journal.” It allows you to share photos and videos, where you are, whom you’re with, what you’re listening to, when you go to sleep and wake up, and any other thoughts you may have with an intimate network.

Take A Quick Tour of Path 2.0 !

How Is It Social?

Like other social networks, friends can interact with content by responding with comments. This will start conversations on any post. Users can also pick from a list of five emoticons to quickly express how they feel about what has been posted.

Privacy You Can Believe

A big concern many users have with networks such as Myspace, Twitter, and Facebook is how unreliable the privacy settings are. If you sign up for an account with these platforms, and relied on the manufacturer settings, most of your content would be available for the world to see. On the other hand, Path’s default setting is private, so the only people who see your posts are those who you personally accept. Path has the ability to differentiate itself from other social networks, but the user has to be a part of this process.

The app is made with a 150-friend limit, so that your “friending” does not get out of hand. Path embodies quality of friends over quantity. This forces the user to meticulously narrow down who has access to your personal information. You have total control over who can see your Path, so choose wisely.

If you choose not to keep it as a private journal, you can connect it with other social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Foursquare.

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