ios 6

Access Your iTunes Collection Anywhere

If you have a large music collection in iTunes, iTunes Match is awesome! You get high quality copies of all songs it can match from the iTunes Store, your entire collection is avaliable, all the time, from any device, and iTunes Radio is ad-free. The annual cost is $24.99, or less than $0.10/day. This tip will focus on the "match" feature and ability to access your entire library from any internet connection.

You already have access to all iTunes music you've ever purchased, but what about those songs that you aquired from "other" places? Have any ripped CDs, MP3s from old-school Napster, or imported a hard drive with a friend's shared collection? iTunes Match wants to help.

For every song that you didn't download from the iTunes Music Store, iTunes Match will attempt to find a matched copy from the iTunes Music Store. If you have the old Matchbox 20 song "Push" as an MP3, you'll get access to a brand new high quality copy. What about songs that iTunes Match can't match? It will upload up to 25,000 songs to the iTunes servers from your library, and you'll still have access via the iTunes Match service, including from your iOS device. For more info on how to complete this process in iTunes, see the iTunes Match site at Apple.

Once your collection is fully analyzed, matched, and uploaded, you will want to toggle iTunes Match on for each of your iOS devices by going to Settings -> iTunes & App Store. Here you can also select whether to "Show All" music. This will show you all music in your library inside the Music app, even if it's not on your device. At the very bottom you can enable access to Cellular Data to download music.

Inside the Music app, with "Show All" enabled for Music, you'll see your entire collection. Songs that are not stored locally, but still in your library will have the cloud/down arrow icon to the right. Tap this icon to download, or just tap on the song to start it playing immediately.

In the screenshot tracks 1-4 are on the device, denoted by the absence of the cloud/down arrow icon. Track 5 is in the process of being downloaded, and the progress is tracked by the compleiution of the thick inside line of the circle. Tracks 6-8 are avaliable for download from iTunes Match.

This tip works with all iOS devices running iOS 6 or later.

Scanning From iOS

With the great camera that comes built into iOS devices these days, it's really quick and easy to get a great quality "scan" of a document right from your device without a physical scanner or computer. There are many apps in the app store that will help with this, but I've found Readdle's Scanner Pro to be the best.

Documents can be scanned using the camera and taking new pictures from the app, or using images from your camera roll. All documents are output in PDF, and the app will natively upload to WebDav, Dropbox, Evernote, and Google Drive. It will also open the document into any app that accepts PDF files. There is a sync with iCloud to keep all of your iOS devices in sync. It will email or AirPrint a scanned document, and will even fax your document around the world for a small fee, which is paid via In-App Purchase using your iTunes account.

The app does a great job of walking the user through scanning a document, but here's a quick rundown of the process to scan a document using the camera from the app:

  1. Place your document on a mostly solid-color surface. I would recommend not putting it under direct light, and using a darker surface for documents on white paper.
  2. Inside Scanner Pro tap the Camera+ image in the bottom middle of the screen. Use the blue shutter button with the white camera to snap a photo. Try to keep the device as parallel to the document as possible. Don't try to align the document with the edges of the camera, this will be compensated for on the next screen. You can also use the flash if necessary; toggle for the flash is in the top left corner.
  3. Once you've snapped your picture, the next screen will allow you to adjust the edges of the document using the blue dots at each of the four corners. I found that the app does a pretty good job of finding the document edges on it's own if you follow my recommendations from step 1.
  4. The next screen allows the adjustment of brightness, paper size selection, rotation of images, and color type selection (color, black & white, or grayscale).
  5. Tap Save and you now have a scanned document. You can change the name of the document using the Edit button in the top right corner of the screen. If you need to add additional pages, use the camera+ and image+ buttons at the bottom center.
  6. Use the two outter buttons on the bottom of the screen to share/save your document.

This app works with iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch running iOS 6.0 or later.

Scanner Pro in the App Store

What excited me the most about WWDC? Phone Number and Apple ID Integration!

There was a big announcement that got little attention during Scott Forstall’s demo of iOS 6… the merging of your phone number and Apple ID for iMessage and FaceTime!

Currently if someone sends you a message via iMessage or calls you via FaceTime and uses your phone number, that call/message will only go to your iPhone. As somebody who uses Messages on both of my Macs, on my iPad, and iPhone, along with FaceTime on all the same devices, its hard to get all of your friends/family/business contacts to use your email address (Apple ID) as your single point of contact for email and calls. For the people out there that are not nerds, it can be very confusing!

Coming in iOS 6 it won’t matter whether the person attempts to call/message your email address or phone number, Apple is connecting the two together! Initiate a FaceTime call to someone’s phone number and their Mac(s), iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch will all ring; send someone a message via iMessage to their phone number and it will be pushed to all the same devices.

“If someone calls you on your phone number with a FaceTime call, you can answer the call on your iPad or even your Mac. And we're doing the exact same thing with iMessage.” —Scott Forstall, SVP iOS Software at Apple, WWDC 2012

I’ve found many blog posts of people wanting this feature, and now it’s coming!! iOS 6 will be avaliable this fall. To check out the other features of iOS 6 check out Apple’s website.