How To

iOS 11.2.5 Beta 1 Released for Testing

iOS 11.2.5 Beta 1 Released for Testing

iOS 11.2.5 beta 1

Apple has released the first beta version of iOS 11.2.5 to users participating in the developer beta testing program.

The fresh beta build of system software appears to focus on bug fixes and improvements to the mobile operating system for iPhone and iPad devices running prior builds of iOS 11, and is unlikely to include any significant changes or new features.

If you’re a little perplexed by the new beta versioning being labeled as iOS 11.2.5 beta, you aren’t alone. Apple is apparently skipping betas versioned as iOS 11.2.2, iOS 11.2.3, and iOS 11.2.4, and not yet committing to beta test iOS 11.3, and instead jumping ahead to label the beta as iOS 11.2.5 for whatever reason. A likely explanation for the unusual versioning schema is that Apple is planning on releasing several smaller software updates with either bug fixes or security patches on the in-between version numbers, or perhaps has pending updates available, or even that the company wants to leave room for interim software updates by reserving the other 11.2.x version numbers, though this is entirely speculation.

The beta release comes freshly after Apple has released an updated final build of iOS to the general public, with the iOS 11.2.1 update which includes a security fix for HomeKit users. About a week prior Apple also released the final build of macOS 10.13.2 for Mac users.

Users who are participating in the beta testing program can find iOS 11.2.5 beta 1 available to download now from the Software Update section of the Settings app in iOS.

iOS 11.2.5 beta 1 download

The first build is available for developer beta testers, but public beta versions usually come out soon after.

Separately, Apple also has released the first beta build of watchOS 4.2.2 for Apple Watch users and tvOS 11.2.5 for Apple TV users. Earlier in the week Apple released macOS High Sierra 10.13.3 beta 1 for Mac testers as well.

Published at Thu, 14 Dec 2017 01:18:01 +0000

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3 New iPhone X Commercials Show Off Face ID and Portrait Lighting

3 New iPhone X Commercials Show Off Face ID and Portrait Lighting

iPhone X Face ID as magical password commercials

Apple has released a series of new iPhone X commercials, demonstrating various features available on the device. Two of the TV advertisements focus on Face ID unlocking the iPhone X and how your face is a magical password, and the other commercial focuses on studio lighting effects available on iPhone X camera.

The latest Apple iPhone X commercials are airing on TV and online now, and have been embedded below for easy viewing.

iPhone X — Opens with a Glance

The first commercial emphasizes how your face is the “most unforgettable magical password” to demonstrate Face ID and iPhone X, as multiple faces flash on the screen before the iPhone X is unlocked. The song “Ready” by Hael is the soundtrack to this iPhone X commercial.

iPhone X your face is a magical unforgettable password for Face ID commercial

iPhone X – Adapts to Your Face

The second commercial emphasizes how Face ID adapts to your face, even as your face or personal style changes. In this commercial a person is shown with a beard in various stages of growth, yet the iPhone X apparently still uses Face ID to recognize the changing physical appearance of the beard or lack thereof. The song “Nana” by Polo & Pan is playing as the soundtrack to the iPhone X beard commercial.

iPhone X beard unlocking Face ID magical password commercial

iPhone X — Introducing Portrait Lighting

The other new iPhone X commercial focuses on the Portrait Lighting effects available on iPhone X Camera app, which it claims results in “studio quality” portrait photos. The song “Messy Love” by Mura Masa is playing as the soundtrack to the iPhone X portrait lighting commercial.

iPhone X portrait lighting commercial

The new commercials are airing in addition to many other Apple commercials, including the 2018 Holiday Apple commercial featuring a dancing couple of strangers and the Animoji singing karaoke iPhone X commercial.

(And yes, though it’s not related to the commercials but because this question surfaces often, you can use iPhone X without Face ID if you want to, the device will instead unlock with a regular passcode if you choose to do so).

Published at Tue, 12 Dec 2017 01:44:42 +0000

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How to Play All Videos in a Folder on Mac OS with a Playlist and VLC

How to Play All Videos in a Folder on Mac OS with a Playlist and VLC

Play multiple videos in a playlist on the Mac with VLC

If you’re a Mac user with a lot of video files and movies, you may wonder how you can play multiple video files one after another in a playlist. While the native Quicktime app is a great media player, it doesn’t offer a playlist capability, so if you want to play all videos from a folder on the Mac you will need to rely on a different app.

There are a few options for playing multiple video files from a folder or some other movie collection, including even using iTunes, but perhaps the best option for most Mac users is VLC, a free third party app that is also a bit of a swiss army knife of media playing, not to mention cross platform compatible, and arguably one of the best video players on a Mac.

How to Play Videos in a Playlist in Mac OS

  1. Download from here (it’s free) and install VLC on the Mac if you have not done so already
  2. Launch VLC
  3. Play multiple videos in a playlist on the Mac with VLC

  4. From the Finder, locate and select the multiple video files you want to play sequentially in a playlist on the Mac
  5. Drag and drop those selected video files into the VLC icon, or the VLC application interface that is open in Mac OS
  6. Drag and drop videos into VLC

  7. The videos will begin playing automatically, in sequential order
  8. Access the playlist by going to the VLC “Window” menu and choosing “Playlist”
  9. Playlist under the Window VLC menu

  10. Modify the play order by dragging and dropping the video files shown in the playlist as necessary

You can drag an entire folder of videos or movies into VLC to create a playlist, otherwise choose a collection of movies to play by selecting multiple files on the Mac and dragging those into the media player app.

VLC can make video playlists easily

While this applies to the Mac, you can accomplish the same sequential video playlist on iPhone and iPad by using VLC for iOS, which also plays a wide variety of video formats and types. And since VLC is cross platform compatible, you can also setup the same playlists the same way on a Windows PC, Android, or linux machine too.

As mentioned before, you can also create a new playlist in iTunes and play multiple video files that way, but VLC is a better choice for many users because VLC has a very broad range of media file compatibility and is able to play MOV, MKV, AVI, WMV, amongst many other video file formats.

If you know of another (or better) approach to playing multiple video files in a playlist on the Mac, let us know in the comments below!

Published at Tue, 05 Dec 2017 20:15:07 +0000

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Ford Robutt Mimics Motions of Human Bottom

Ford Robutt Mimics Motions of Human Bottom

As much as humankind collectively frets about robots taking our jobs, it’s hard to imagine anyone wanting to swap places with Ford’s Robutt. The Robutt (nicknamed by Ford engineers) is hardly a new concept; robotic butts are innovative ways for testing chairs and car seats, and they save human beings a lot of time and a lot of sitting. If you’ve ever been to an Ikea, you’ve probably seen their version of a chair testing machine.

Of course, the Ford Robutt version is quite different from Ikea’s, and the duties the Robutt performs at the carmaker’s European headquarters in Germany are specific to the Ford Fiesta, and based on the dimensions of “an average large man.” But it’s able to enter and exit the car just like a person would, and sit and rise from the car’s seat 25,000 times, simulating a decade of use in just three weeks.

According to Sam Schembari, a spokesperson for Ford, the company is well-acquainted with the Robutt, even though it arrived in Europe only recently.

“Ford already uses the ‘Robutt’ in America,” Schembari says via email. “It is used to test seats in all of our vehicles. We have been using them in the U.S. since roughly 2006.”

This type of robotic product testing is known as “bench testing,” and it is a common stage in the development process for all kinds of consumer products. Robots are useful because they can be programmed to exact specifications, they can collect data, and they can precisely repeat the same motions, which is necessary to ensure that the products being tested are held to high standards. Then, when testing is complete, the robot can be reprogrammed to start on the next product, instead of developing a new test process from scratch for each new product. That saves companies time and money.

Ford’s Robutt, for instance, was designed by durability engineers at Ford headquarters, and consists of a stuffed torso (sort of like a crash test dummy) that moves on a mechanical arm. Before the Robutt, Ford used pneumatic cylinders for testing. The cylinders moved up and down for a certain period of time testing the durability of the seats’ fabric and interior. However, pneumatic cylinders can’t accurately replicate the way a person moves in a car seat, like the way they slide into the seat or put pressure on the side bolsters while they drive.

Ford engineers call this a “perch pattern.” They determined perch patterns from pressure-sensitive seat covers that illustrated how much weight drivers applied to different parts of the seat. Then the Robutt could be programmed to “behave” the way most drivers do.

Ford estimates that, over the course of owning a vehicle for 10 years, drivers sit behind the wheel about 25,000 times, which is how the Robutt’s test cycle was decided. The results help engineers decide where and how to make changes to the seat’s design.

Automakers aren’t the only companies to use robotic testing to mimic human butts, either. In 2014, The Verge reported that Samsung and Apple used robots to simulate humans sitting on their smartphones.

And as we’ve already mentioned, Swedish furniture retailer Ikea uses robots to test its chair designs. The huge retailer even installed the robots in its stores to demonstrate how they work, which is by applying pressure to the seat to test for durability over time, though Lars Almblad, test laboratory manager at Ikea of Sweden, tells us via email that the stores will be removing them next year because they’re outdated. “The robots on display were initially the same as what was used in test environment,” Almblad says. “However, today they don’t have all the features that the ‘real’ test machines have. What is good to know is that what you see in display is just one test of many performed on a chair during the product development.”

As for the Robutt, it has accomplished its goals with the European Ford Fiesta and is now being tasked with testing Ford’s entire European lineup, in addition to its ongoing duties in the United States.

Published at Mon, 04 Dec 2017 21:47:48 +0000

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MacOS High Sierra 17B1003 Fixes File Sharing Bug from Security Update 2017-001

MacOS High Sierra 17B1003 Fixes File Sharing Bug from Security Update 2017-001

MacOS High Sierra 10.13.1 Supplemental security update 2017-001

A second small supplemental software update has been released for MacOS High Sierra users who installed the prior release of Security Update 2017-001 for High Sierra, which fixed the root login bug but then caused a problem with file sharing.

The new small software update, which apparently resolves the file sharing issue along with the root login bug, changes the build of macOS High Sierra to 17B1003. The new update should download and arrive automatically to impacted Macs running macOS High Sierra 10.13.1.

If the update doesn’t install manually, then you get the update yourself as well by using the command line softwareupdate utility, or by visiting the Mac App Store “Updates” tab where you might see another version of “Security Update 2017-001” available to download.

You can also check the build number of Mac OS by using the “About This Mac” screen and clicking on the “Version” text, or by turning to the command line and issuing the following syntax:

sw_vers -buildVersion

If the build reported is “17B1002” then you have not yet installed the new updated version of the Security Update, which should fix the file sharing bug.

If the build reported is “17B1003” then the new fixed version has been installed already.

Assuming the version you see is 17B1002, then you can manually initiate the software update through the command line, either by choosing it specifically, or by installing all available software updates for that Mac.

You can then blanket install all available software updates with the -ia flag, or you can specify the specific Security Update update only.

softwarewareupdate -ia

softwareupdate -i "Security Update 2017-001"

A special thanks to @gregneagle on Twitter for pointing this out and confirming that 17B1003 patches the file sharing issue with macOS High Sierra.

Direct Download Links for macOS High Sierra Supplemental Security Update 2017-001

Though not necessary for most people, MacOS High Sierra users can also choose to download the patches directly from Apple and install them from DMG files, for either 10.13 or 10.13.1:

MacOS 10.13.1 supplemental update

As always, it’s a good idea to backup a Mac before installing any software update.

Published at Thu, 30 Nov 2017 20:58:17 +0000

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How Fix File Sharing in macOS High Sierra After Installing the Root Bug Security Update

How Fix File Sharing in macOS High Sierra After Installing the Root Bug Security Update

Fix broken file sharing in macOS High Sierra after installing the root bug patch

Some Mac users have discovered that file sharing capabilities, connections, and file sharing authentications are no longer working after installing the root bug Security Update for macOS High Sierra.

While the Security Update 2017-001 patch is a critical update to install to prevent unauthorized access to any Mac running macOS High Sierra, breaking file sharing on Macs is not particularly desirable either.

The good news is that Apple has provided a workaround to fix the broken file sharing problem that might occur after patching the root bug problem, so you can still install the critically important security patch without giving up file sharing capabilities on the impacted MacOS High Sierra computer.

Note this workaround only applies to macOS High Sierra 10.13.1 because that is the only version of macOS High Sierra which received the root bug patch.

How to Fix File Sharing in macOS High Sierra After Installing Security Update 2017-001

  1. Open the Terminal application, it is located within the /Applications/Utilities/ folder on the Mac
  2. Enter the following command syntax exactly:
  3. sudo /usr/libexec/configureLocalKDC

  4. Hit the Return key, then enter your administrator password to authenticate with sudo
  5. Quit out of the Terminal application

Go ahead and try an AFP or SMB file sharing connection after issuing the Terminal command on the impacted machine

These instructions come directly from Apple and are aimed to address the file sharing issue.

Presumably a future version of macOS High Sierra will fix both the root bug and the file sharing bug together, perhaps even macOS High Sierra 10.13.2 final (though the current beta version of macOS High Sierra 10.13.2 does not).

Published at Thu, 30 Nov 2017 02:58:58 +0000

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Beta 5 of iOS 11.2 & macOS High Sierra 10.13.2 Released for Testing

Beta 5 of iOS 11.2 & macOS High Sierra 10.13.2 Released for Testing

iOS 11.2 and macOS High Sierra 10.13.2 beta

Apple has released the fifth beta version of iOS 11.2, macOS High Sierra 10.13.2, and tvOS 11.2 to users enrolled in the beta testing program.

The initial beta 5 build is available for developers, and the public beta release typically follows soon after.

Mac beta testers can find macOS High Sierra 10.13.2 beta 5 available from the Updates tab of the Mac App Store.

iPhone and iPad users enrolled to participate in the iOS beta testing program can find iOS 11.2 beta 5 available now via the Software Update mechanism of the Settings app.

iOS 11.2 beta 5

Apple TV users who are running tvOS 11.2 beta can find the latest beta software update via the Settings app on device as well.

iOS 11.2 beta seems to focus primarily on bug fixes and enhancements, though it does include a prominent new feature called Apple Pay Cash, which allows users to send cash payments between one another through the Messages app. Most of the initial problems with iOS 11 have been resolved in subsequent software updates, though a handful of bugs may remain and could be resolved in the final build of iOS 11.2.

macOS High Sierra 10.13.2 also seems primarily focused on bug fixes, perhaps addressing some of the lingering issues encountered by some macOS High Sierra users.

Though no public timeline is known for releasing the final versions of iOS 11.2 and macOS High Sierra 10.13.2, Apple will typically issue several beta releases before the final version. Thus we can use the beta 5 milestone as a suggestion that the final release may arrive over the coming weeks, before the end of the year.

Published at Tue, 28 Nov 2017 18:20:05 +0000

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4 New iPhone X Commercials Airing, Featuring Animoji and Face ID Capabilities

4 New iPhone X Commercials Airing, Featuring Animoji and Face ID Capabilities

Animoji Apple commercial for iPhone X

Apple has started to run four new iPhone X commercials. Three of the advertisements focus primarily on Face ID, and the fourth commercial demonstrates the Animoji, the animated emoji icon feature available in the Messages app for iPhone X. Each commercial is soundtracked to a pop song and prominently features a persons face to demo the iPhone X capabilities.

The videos are airing now on television and have also been embedded below for easy viewing.

iPhone X – Animoji Yourself

The “Animoji Yourself” commercial focuses on iPhone X Animoji capability, which lets you use the front-facing iPhone X camera to create an emoji icon that mimics your facial expressions and head movements, which can then be sent to someone via Messages. The song being lip-synced by the woman in the video is titled “All Night” by ‘Big Boi’.

Animoji Apple commercial for iPhone X

iPhone X – Knows You When You Change

“Knows You When You Change” shows a person going through some dramatically different personal styling decisions, with the implication being that iPhone X will recognize you even if you change your appearance. The soundtrack is a song called “Attitude” by ‘Leikeli47’.

iPhone X face ID change your look

iPhone X – Introducing Face ID

“Introducing Face ID” demonstrates Face ID being used to unlock an iPhone, logging into apps, and authenticating payments with ApplePay. The song soundtrack is “Turning Heads” by ‘NVDES’.

iPhone X – Opens in the Dark

“Opens in the Dark” highlights the capability of iPhone X to recognize a face even in the dark, and still unlock an iPhone X and use Face ID. The song being played is is “Off The Radar” by ‘Noga Erez’.

iPhone X face id commercial

These new iPhone X TV commercials are separate from the Holiday 2017 Apple commercial featuring the fantasy dancing sequence that shows off iPhone X and AirPods.

It’s worth pointing out that while Face ID is a prominent new feature on iPhone X, the iPhone X can be used without Face ID if desired, and you can also reset Face ID if need be to use a different face for unlocking a device if necessary, or even temporarily disable Face ID if need be.

If you like watching Apple commercials or perhaps you want to know the songs from one, you can checkout other Apple commercials too.

Published at Tue, 28 Nov 2017 03:04:33 +0000

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How to Convert a Photo to PDF from iPhone and iPad

How to Convert a Photo to PDF from iPhone and iPad

How to convert photo to PDF on iOS

You can convert any photo on your iPhone or iPad into a PDF file if need be. Typically this would be necessary for compatibility purposes only, since the default file type of a photo in iOS is a JPEG and already widely compatible. Nonetheless if you need to convert a photo into a PDF in iOS, this tutorial will show you exactly how to do it.

We’ll demonstrate how to convert a photo into a PDF file on an iPhone or iPad.

This method will convert a photo into a PDF file for sharing over email, messages, or uploading to iCloud, this uses a variation of the hidden Save As PDF trick in iOS.

How to Convert a Photo to PDF to Share from iPhone or iPad

You can convert a photo to a PDF to share it from iOS, or save it to iCloud Drive. This uses the trick for saving as a PDF using a secret iOS gesture or you can use the 3D Touch method instead, either way you will convert a photo to a PDF file:

  1. Open the Photos app and choose the picture you want to convert to a PDF
  2. Tap on the Sharing button and then choose “Print” from the sharing option action menu
  3. Converting a photo to PDF on iOS

  4. At the Printer Options screen, use a spreading gesture on the photo preview to access the secret Save PDF option
  5. Converting a photo to PDF on iOS

  6. Choose to share the converted photo as PDF via Message, Mail, placing it into Notes or another app, or choose “Add To iCloud Drive” to save the converted photo as PDF to iCloud
  7. Converting a photo to PDF on iOS

This will save a photo or picture as a PDF file, which can then be saved locally, shared, uploaded to iCloud Drive, or used for whatever other purposes.

Remember that the default file type of iOS photos is a JPEG which is widely compatible with virtually any scenario, so if you’re just looking to exchange and share pictures there’s no reason to convert a photo to PDF first. However, sometimes some web forms, printers, digitization handlers, or documentation requests require a PDF file, and there are obviously myriad circumstances where a PDF is necessary as well.

So, now you know how to convert photos to PDF directly on the iPhone or iPad. Easy, right? Happy Converting!

Published at Sat, 25 Nov 2017 22:22:56 +0000

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Shop Amazon Deals for Black Friday!

Shop Amazon Deals for Black Friday!

Black Friday Amazon deals for 2017

The holidays are here, which means it’s time for overeating, visits with friends and family, gift giving, and of course, shopping. If you’re one of the brave souls who doesn’t mind battling the lines and crowds over this weekend than I salute you, but if you’d rather do some shopping from the comfort of your own home then Amazon has a wide variety of sales and great deals for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and best of all everything gets delivered right to your doorstep.

Head on over to to checkout the sales and deals, or check out the list below to get a few ideas for the techy and geekier folks in your life. From discounted App Store and iTunes gift cards, to TV deals, gaming consoles, drones, gadgets, LEGOs, and more!

Amazon is brimming with sales and deals, so head on over there to check out the tons of other sale items and get some shopping done.

By the way, shopping at Amazon through these links can help to support this very website! This is because we use affiliate links to Amazon, meaning we get a small commission with each sale, so not only can you do some holiday shopping, but you can help to support when you make a purchase through one of the links. Win / win, right?

Happy Thanksgiving, Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah, and Happy Shopping!

Published at Thu, 23 Nov 2017 19:32:08 +0000

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