How to create a shared photo stream album on iOS 6

As if there aren't enough ways to share your photos with friends and family members, Apple has introduced yet another sharing method in iOS 6: Shared Photo Streams.

Shared Photo Streams allow you to post and share photos to a Photo Stream album hosted by iCloud. The photos stored there don't count against your iCloud storage allotment, and will work over Wi-Fi and cellular data. You're able to share photos with fellow iOS users as well as by creating an iCloud.com Shared Photo Stream album for non-iOS users.

To create a Shared Photo Stream, launch the … Read more

Users apparently aren't getting the iMessage

Apple is apparently having trouble getting its iMessage across.

IMessage is Apple's proprietary instant messaging services for iOS and Mac OS. Users have outlined their issues in several Apple support forum discussions (here and here), where they complain about being unable to send or receive messages. The problems appear to affect users across the globe, suggesting that the problem is on Apple's end as opposed to that of a service provider.

Apple introduced iMessage as part of iOS 5 last October, offering users on the iPhone, iPod, and iPad a way to communicate with one another for free … Read more

Apple fixes iCloud outage, but problems linger

Apple's iCloud services are now fully operational again according to the iCloud status page, but some problems may linger for users.

For the past few days, a large number of iCloud users had been hit with an outage that prevented them from using their e-mail accounts. In some cases the problem resulted in delayed e-mail messages that would arrive hours after being sent, but in other cases no mail would get through at all.

When the problem happened Apple did not offer much information on what was causing the outage, and only mentioned in a terse status update on … Read more

Apple's iCloud.com exits beta

Apple today launched its cloud services portal iCloud.com to the public.

Previously available only in beta form to developers, the updated site is now available to all iCloud users, allowing them to share content across multiple devices. The site features icons for the Notes and Reminder apps that sync with their iOS and Mac counterparts, as well as Find My Phone and iWork on a Mountain Lion-like background.

The site includes a revamped Find My Phone app that features a "lost mode" that allows a user to lock a device if it's lost or stolen and … Read more

How to set up iCloud services in Snow Leopard

iCloud is the latest iteration of Apple's cloud-based services, and while it can be accessed from any Web browser, it requires at least OS X 10.7 to integrate into the Mac OS. Unfortunately this means that if you are on an older Mac system running Snow Leopard that you either don't want to or can't upgrade, then Apple no longer supports accessing its iCloud services.

Recently MacFixIt reader Brandon wrote in wondering about the options for people with these setups:

I just purchased an iPhone and am trying to sync my Mac devices, but have run … Read more

iCloud outage affecting users for two days running

Yesterday a number of users of Apple's iCloud service found they could not access their e-mail. While Apple claimed to be working on the problem to have it fixed "ASAP," for affected users the problems are persisting for a second day.

On the iCloud System Status page, Apple notes the problem, claiming that for 1.1 percent of users the Mail service "may be slow or unavailable," and that if users are able to access their e-mail, it may be slow and show delays with incoming messages.

Being a problem with the central iCloud service, … Read more

How to change your iCloud Mail full name

In Apple's Mail program, when you add an e-mail account you can specify a full name to associate with it, which will be used instead of the account's log-in name or address when sending or receiving messages, and which can make various To and From fields a bit easier to make sense of. While this option is convenient, with Apple's new iCloud service you may find your display name has been changed to your account name or another alias with no apparent way to change it.

If you go to the Accounts section of your Mail preferences, … Read more

What I'd like to see in the iPhone 5

I've owned an iPhone every year since its 2007 debut. Every one. The reward for such reckless upgrading has been a sense of the iPhone's evolution over those years. What started as a device that had not many apps to speak of, but dripped futurism, has become an always-on, location-aware, frighteningly integral part of my nervous system.

While I've listed what we expect out of the next iPhone, I haven't told you what I want. So, here's my own personal list of what matters most...to me.… Read more

Five apps for scanning documents on your iPhone

School is back in session, meaning students have folders full of syllabi, schedules, and other paperwork you're likely to reference as the semester goes on. Wouldn't it be nice to be able to carry all of it around with you all the time, without overloading your backpack?

Thanks to a handful of iOS apps, you can scan whatever paper documents you might need easy access to and store them on your iPhone, in the cloud, or on your computer with just a few taps.

I've found five apps that will help you quickly scan and organize documents. … Read more

Access iCloud files using the Finder in OS X

Apple's iCloud is built to be application-centric, which means that unlike other cloud-based file management services for OS X that are essentially add-ons to the Finder, iCloud only allows you to interact with documents through the programs that created them. If a program is built for iCloud, then its Open dialog box will show an iCloud document list that you can select from, but you by default cannot access these documents in the Finder.

While this approach is convenient in some respects, it is limiting if you wish to open an iCloud document in another program, access the files … Read more