iPhone Smuggling

iPhones bring many people joy. Their prices vary in different regions. They happen to be cheaper in Hong Kong than mainland China, due to taxes and levies, so people try to get them there. A woman was recently caught by customs trying to smuggle in 102 iPhones strapped to her body. She was also smuggling 15 luxury watches. The added weight came to about 44 pounds.

Unsure of what types she was carrying, if they all were the iPhone 7 Plus, she would have had over $78,438 in USD at the very least. For the full capacity iPhone 7 Plus, it would have come to $98,838 at $969 each.

It seems this is an ongoing thing in China. In January 2015, a man was arrested at customs for smuggling 94 iPhones. Just two months later in March 2015, another man was caught trying to smuggle 146 iPhones. Most people are caught with up to a dozen or so. Sometimes they are caught with more, but this number made international news. It’s easier to smuggle in colder weather because they can wear heavier jackets.

Sources:
Chinese smuggler caught with 102 iPhones strapped to her body, doesn’t beat the record …
Chinese iPhone smuggler caught with 94 iPhones strapped to his body
http://kotaku.com/smuggling-146-iphones-looks-difficult-1690990925

So you want a new iPad, iPhone, or iPod

You’ve had your device for a while and it has all your favorite apps, your information, etc. What do you do? Well, if you haven’t already, you back it up to either iCloud or through iTunes.

To back up to iCloud, go into Settings then click on Backup and turn on iCloud Backup. Tap Back Up Now. You can see the information (how big your back up space is) if you look at Storage. You are only allowed 5GB of free space so if you need more, you will have to purchase it from Apple for about $0.99/month for 50GB.

The other alternative is to back up through iTunes. You will need to have a Mac or PC with iTunes running on it. Connect your device to your computer. You can still back it up this way to your iCloud or to your computer. Most likely you are doing it this way because of lack of iCloud space. Find out more here.

To restore a device from a backup, you must have all content erased from a device. Follow the onscreen setup until you reach Apps & Data screen and tap Restore from iCloud Backup or Restore from iTunes Backup. Sign in with your Apple ID if you are restoring from iCloud. Find out more here.

The Victor Crew

iPhone makes it easy to switch from Android

iPhone has some information that makes it easier to switch from Android to iOS. Jody Victor‘s crew found that the Apple site has this guide you can follow.

Although if you are used to Google and Gmail and have used an Android phone, then you know that all you really need to do is log in and all your stuff is there: mail, calendar, contacts. Nothing can be easier. But if you decide to switch to iPhone, they want to make it easier for you.

Apple has apps you put on your Android phone and your new iPhone and it will move your contacts, message history, camera photos and videos, web bookmarks, mail accounts, calendars, and free apps*. Your content transfers over Wi-Fi through a private network created when it finds your Android device. You will need a security code to begin tranferring.

Of course you can do it the sissy way and have the Apple Store do it for you, but don’t you want to get your “geek” on?

*With valid iTunes account.

What do you do when you think you lost your phone?

There is nothing more discouraging than to think you’ve lost your smart phone. All your personal information could be out there! So what to do?

Safeguarding yourself:

Android:
Make sure you have installed the Device Manager app from the Play Store. It’s not enough to just download it. You need to make sure it is connected to your Google account and that your phone is verified through it. If you stil have trouble, you may need to check your location settings. They must be turned on. You must also go into your Google settings app and turn on the settings there to find your device. When I tested mine it found it and said “Right here in your hand,” so we know this will work.
Make sure you have some sort of security in place for the lock screen. Yes it’s a hassle but it’s worth it. You may have capabilities for fingerprint reading as well.
Don’t keep files with lists of passwords in your cloud drives.

iPhone:
Download and install the Find iPhone app from the App store. Make sure you do everything to set it up. Also you will need your location services on. You should be able to find your devices from your other Apple devices or from icloud.com.
Use whatever lock methods are available to lock your iPhone.
Don’t keep lists of sensitive data available.

In the case of loss or theft:

See if your carrier allows you to suspend service (with or without billing) temporarily so you can try to locate your phone.
Log into Google or iCloud.com and you should be able to either ring your device or erase the data.
Remember, even if you suspend the data plan, it can still be used through wi-fi to wipe it to factory condition and a new number installed.

Hopefully this won’t happen to you.

Jody Victor

Romo the robot

Have you heard of Romo the robot yet? It’s a robot toy that uses your iPhone or iPod (4-5). So what does it do? It will respond to faces, play chase, roam around the house, connect with family and friends. There are guided missions, upgrades to unlock, and unlimited free play where there is a lab to try out activities. Its telepresence let’s you connect with an online Romo anywhere in the world.

It comes in 2 versions – the older pin cable for iPhone/iPod Touch 4 and lightning connector for iPhone/iPod Touch 5. The device costs $129 with free shipping. You will also need the apps available for your iPhone or iPod Touch. Learn more here.

Jody Victor

Siri vs Google Now

Jody’s crew has Android phone and iPod Touch so we thought we’d test Siri vs Google Now.

When setting an alarm by saying “Set 6 am alarm” both did as they were told. We thought we’d try a few other fun tests.

“Beam me up Scotty”:
Google Now: “I canna do it cap’n. I do not hae the power.” (same answer every time with a Google search for the phrase)
Siri: “Sorry, Scotty has left the building.”
“WiFi or 3G?” “Ok Stand still.”
“Can you move a bit your left? Ok, stand by.”

“Give me directions to New York city”: (both cases you need to have location services turned on)
Google Now: “Getting directions to New York” – gives choice of using VZnavigator, Google Maps or Chrome browser
Siri: “Getting directions to New York” goes right to map with directions.

“How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood”:
Google Now: “A woodchuck would chuck as much wood as a woodchuck could chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood.” (Google search pages)
Siri: “None. A “woodchuck” is actually a groundhog, so it would probably just predict two more weeks of winter.”
“42? That can’t be right.”
“A so-called ‘woodchuck’ (correctly speaking, a groundhog) would chuck – that is throw – as much as the woodchuck in question was physically able to chuck (ibid.) if woodchucks in general had the capability (and, presumably, the motivation) to chuck wood.”

“Tell me a joke”:
Google Now: “Here you go. Some matching pictures.” shows some joke images and does a Google search for jokes.
Siri: “I can’t. I always forget the punch line.”
“Let me think… Nope, can’t think of one.”
“What did one iPhone say to the other iPhone? …hmm, I used to know this one.”

“Open Candy Crush”:
Google Now: “Opening App” – opens Candy Crush
Siri: Opens Candy Crush.

“What’s on my calendar for today”:
Google Now:”Here are the items on your calendar for today. First up at 6pm xxxx.” (brings up agenda)
Siri: “You have a couple of appointments for today.” (brings up agenda)

Conclusion: Both are adequate. Seems that when repeated, you could get different answers to some questions from Siri, sometimes long and complicated (like the woodchuck question).

Jody Victor

Apple has just announced the release of iOS 8 for this fall

So let’s look at what’s new with iOS 8:

Every photo you take can be seen, edited and organized on every device (through your iCloud library).
You can add your voice to a text message.
There will be shortcuts to the people you talk to most.
Mail time-saving features.
Contextual words will pop up to help complete your sentences.
Up to six people in your family can share iTunes, iBooks, and App Store purchases (parents can approve or deny children’s purchases.)
You will be able to find other family member’s devices.
Find all your files on all devices through iCloud.
Health and fitness apps can communicate with each other, your trainer, your doctor.
Developers will have deeper access and more tools.
There will be new keyboard options.
New uses for iCloud and Touch ID.

Jody Victor

Jelly

JellyThere’s a fairly new app just found by Jody’s crew this past week. It’s called Jelly. It’s available for iPhone or Android. The byline is “Let’s help each other.” And that it does. If you have a question, you can ask it on Jelly and get all of the Jelly users to look at the question and if they have an answer, they can answer it. You can forward questions to people not using Jelly as well. You can tell it when you have enough answers.

If you want to help others answer questions just flip through them and answer them as they come up. The questions range from “Does anyone use Ally Bank?” to “What brand are these boots and where can I get them?” You may even find some technical coding questions along the way. You can choose a picture from the ones that pop up as you ask a question or include your own or search through Google Images to find one for your question.

Check it out!

~ Jody Victor

p.s. Don’t forget tomorrow is when support for Windows XP ends!

Need a new phone?

Can’t decide what you want? Well, Jody‘s crew found that there’s a phone coming out that will run both Windows and Android. Karbonn Mobile is looking to develop a dual boot Android-Windows phone! It is set to release in June.

Apple is working on a new integrated iPhone voice-control system. It will allow drivers to control their iPhones via touch and voice. It will allow a driver to access their contacts, phone calls, listen to voicemails all with both hands on the wheel. CarPlay will debut in Farrari, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo vehicles at the Geneva Motor Show this week. CarPlay will also be available in cars from BMW, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, PSA Peugeot Citroën, Subaru, Suzuki, and Toyota Motor Corp. Maybe a reason to choose iPhone?

~ Jody Victor

Is your device safe?

Jody‘s crew found a couple of interesting stories this week:

1. iPhone fingerprint reader is claimed to have been hacked. The Touch ID is supposed to be more secure than a password. They encrypt your scan and place it in an isolated spot on their A7 chip. You can use this to make purchases as well. But a group from Germany has claimed to be able to hack the fingerprint ID. What does this mean? Maybe not that much. DigitalTrends.com points out the lengths that have to be gone through to make a fingerprint readable in order to break in.

2. Android Device Manager is a way to lock your device and erase all your data should your Android phone become lost or stolen. You can check to see if your device is registered on Google (go to your account then your dashboard. It will show your devices. Then if one of your devices is lost or stolen, go to https://www.google.com/android/devicemanager and you will have the option to make your device ring, erase all the data, or lock the device.

News about Apple products

Tomorrow, September 10, Apple will reveal its new iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C. Along the heels of this reveal is iOS 7. It promises to make everything look different. Here is an early preview look.

There has been much speculation as to what the new iPhone will feature. The 5S model is the more expensive one that is rumored to have a fingerprint sensor, dual-LED flashlight and upgraded hardware. It also is rumored to come in a variety of colors including gold.

The 5C model will be a low-cost model possibly made of plastic and in a variety of bright colors.

iOS 7 may also be released tomorrow.

You may be able to find iTunes Radio app in the Apple store tomorrow as well. It has integrated some features from iTunes Genius. There will be a free version with ads as well as a paid version.