How to View Live Photos from older iPhones

With Apple’s latest iPhones, the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus, one of the key new features is 3D Touch. This enables a bunch of new shortcuts and things for your phone to do. They’ve also paired this technology with the new Live Photos for viewing. Only the new phones are capable of taking Live Photos, though what many don’t recognize is that you don’t need the new phones to view them.

With an iPhone 6S, you simply enable the Live Photos feature from the camera screen. It turns yellow when it’s on. Consider that whatever image your camera is looking st, it is temporarily recording it all and saving a rolling buffer of what it sees. When you snap a photo, it saves the previous 1.5 seconds from its buffer and also adds the 1.5 seconds after you took the picture, giving you a 3 second window surrounding the instant of your shot.

To view the Live Photos, on a 6S or 6S Plus, you can find it in your Photos because it has the same Live Photos icon that you tapped to turn in the feature in the camera window. With your photo selected, simply apply force to the 3D Touch-enabled screen, and it will briefly blur and then start playing for you.

On an older iPhone or iPad, you will not have the pressure-sensitive 3D Touch display, so applying more pressure will not work! However, you can still play it back simply by touching and holding on the photo. The only catch is that your device just be updated to at least iOS 9.0 or greater.

Live Photos are one of the great new features of Apple’s new iPhones. What makes the feature even better is that you don’t need to have the latest hardware to participate in viewing then! Moms and dads and grandparents who are running older devices don’t have to miss out on the great Live Photos of the kids at all!

How to Fix a Laggy iPhone After Updating to iOS 9

Earlier this week, Apple released their much anticipated operating system update in iOS 9. It is compatible with all devices that were already capable of running iOS 8, and promises to bring a much more refined and secure experience to the Apple mobile system. However, many people are complaining that it’s not doing what it’s supposed to do – namely, instead of making the phone snappier and easier to do things, it is running more slowly and showing lag in many places. If you are one of the people who are suffering from this, here are a couple of things that you can try to remedy this.

The first thing you can try is a hidden shortcut that flushes the memory of your device (if I understand correctly). It DOESN’T delete any files or make any visible changes to any of your stuff, so you can try this risk-free. Here’s how you do it. Open one of the default Apple apps (I usually use the Stocks or Weather app), then hold down the power button until you see the “slide to power off” prompt. At this point, release the power button, but now hold the home button. Continue doing this until the screen flashes black, and the phone exits the shutdown screen and returns to the home screen. I used this method when my iPhone 5S was experiencing a lot of lag after the update, and remarkably, this seemed to speed it right up again. Note, I am not sure if you NEED to be in an app to do this successfully. When I learned of this technique a few versions ago, I was told to be in the Weather, Stocks, or iTunes app. However, it does seem like you can do this from anywhere. Maybe it’s just easer to do it from within an app, because then you can see for sure than you return to the home screen.

The second method you can try is to reset your settings. This will erase things like wifi passwords, bluetooth profiles, notification settings, wallpaper, and privacy controls, but will not erase your apps, messages, or data. You do this from within the Settings app. then General, and then at the bottom, Reset. On the next screen, simply tap “Reset All Settings” to revert all of your settings back to defaults. Some people have noted that this method works, especially if your iPhone has evolved through multiple upgrade versions and has had time to accumulate a lot of “junk”. Resetting all settings is a quick and easy way to clear out the cruft without actually going through the hassle of doing a full erase.

In any case, if your iPhone is running slowly after updating to iOS 9, then hopefully one of these two quick tricks will work for you to get your device back up and running quickly again. The first method worked for me, and is risk-free, and the second method only requires some basic resetting of your customized settings, which may be a fair trade for a speedy, responsive iPhone again!

The Best Safari Content Blockers in iOS 9

With the recent release of iOS 9, one of the most anticipated features for the iPhone operating system is finally available to the public – Safari Content Blockers! Much to the despair of content providers who rely on advertising to fund their sites, these blockers promise to benefit the user by trimming out all of the excess material served up by websites (including ads, trackers, social buttons, etc). While many of these things had their origins with honest intentions, the abundant overuse of them across the web has led us to where we are today: consumers just want the content from these sites, and are now empowered to use content blockers to hide all of the rest. This promises to speed up webpage downloads, thereby giving a much more enjoyable experience, and by selectively avoiding the download of these elements, you actually consume less data and conserve battery life. So, from the point of view of the consumer, there are a great thing to use! On the other hand, developers stand to lose a lot of income if these blockers catch on! So, it is everyone’s individual choice whether or not to use these blockers, to either simplify and enhance their web experience, or continue without them and help fund the content providers, thereby allowing these providers to keep publishing what was ultimately wanted in the first place.

So, with that intro out of the way, you probably have arrived here trying to find what the best Safari content blockers are, and which ones you should use. Here is a list of some of the top, currently available blockers, with a brief explanation accompanying their current rating in the App Store to help guide you to your decision. It’s important to note that you can actually download more than one at a time, and you can selectively enable and disable them as you see fit. So if you try one and don’t like it, feel free to add another one to see if it’s better for you.

Crystal

  • blocks ads, trackers
  • does not block social widgets
  • no configuration or whitelist, though you can report sites to be included on their server-maintained blacklist
  • currently rated 5 stars, with 365 ratings
  • $0.99 (US)

Peace

  • blocks ads, trackers, comments/comment forms, external web fonts, social widgets
  • powered by Ghostery blocklist database
  • custom whitelists
  • system extensions to view URL in Peace, view URL without restrictions, or change Peace settings and add site to whitelist
  • currently rated 4.5 stars, with 423 ratings
  • $2.99 (US)

1Blocker

  • 7000 preinstalled blockers for ads, trackers, social widgets, share buttons, custom fonts, adult sites
  • blockers automatically updated from their servers
  • can add custom blocker packages
  • many customization options
  • currently rated 4 stars, with 33 ratings
  • Free, with in-app purchase ($2.99 US) for unlimited blockers

Blockr

  • blocks ads, trackers, media, social buttons, cookies
  • customizable whitelists for each site you want to block, to selectively block only certain components
  • automatic blocker rule updates
  • currently rated 4.5 stars, with 30 ratings
  • $0.99 (US)

Purify

  • blocks ads, trackers, scripts, custom fonts, images
  • regularly updated “hand-crafted” blocker rules
  • custom whitelists, add sites with one tap from share sheet
  • high quality support
  • currently rated 5 stars, with 71 ratings
  • $3.99 (US)

There are many more content blockers in the App Store now, and undoubtedly many, many more to come, since it reportedly is not difficult to create these types of apps. It remains to be seen what will be the biggest differentiator, as these will all likely evolve to have many overlapping features. For now, try some of these apps, and leave a comment to let others know what you think is the best Safari content blockers in iOS 9.