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Manage blocked iMessage, FaceTime contacts using a Mac

iOS users have been able to block phone numbers and e-mail addresses since the release of iOS 7. When a number or address is blocked, Messages, FaceTime calls, and even regular cellular calls won't ever show up on your iOS device.

When Apple released OS X 10.9.2 earlier this week, it not only patched a security issue, but it also added the ability to block contacts on a Mac for the first time.

Managing blocked contacts on OS X Mavericks is somewhat hidden.

To manage the contacts you currently have blocked, launch the Messages app and go … Read more

Set up Google Now contact relationships

Having to refer to a loved one by name when using voice commands isn't the worst thing in the world, but it can be annoying. Up until recently, saying "OK Google, call my brother" wasn't possible. But as of last week, Google has updated Google Search (and thus Google Now), adding the ability to recognize commands based on the relation the contact is to you.

But in order to use it, Google Now will need to learn a bit more about your contacts.

I'm using the relationship of brother for the purpose of this post, … Read more

How to delete multiple contacts in iCloud

Over time, the average address book gets cluttered with contacts you no longer need or want. Granted, it's not like they're taking up much space in your phone, but every so often you might want to do a little house-cleaning. If nothing else, a streamlined address book will make it easier to find the contacts you do want.

For iOS users, this poses a slight challenge. You can't just swipe to delete a contact they way you do an e-mail. Rather, you have to open the contact, tap Edit, then scroll all the way down and tap … Read more

Choose when to block your phone number

Your cell phone number is one of the many items of personal information that are bought and sold via the Internet.

The Privacy Rights Clearinghouse fact sheet on protecting your telephone records describes businesses that sell information related to any cell phone number you provide them, including the name and address associated with the number.

Plenty of businesses you call collect your phone number and any other caller-ID information that you provide. You have to imagine that some (most?) of those businesses are selling, trading, or otherwise using the information they collect about their customers.

That's why it makes … Read more

Google's smart contact lenses: Could have been Microsoft

Google is the only big tech company that's visionary and disruptive enough to back an idea like the smart contact lenses to help diabetics monitor blood-sugar levels, right?

Wrong. Microsoft, that dowdy old has-been (at least in Silicon Valley conventional wisdom), was involved in the very same project in 2011. Project co-founder Babak Parviz, who today also leads Google Glass, previously worked on the contact-lens idea while at the University of Washington, cooperating with Microsoft.

The project, at that time clearly at an earlier stage of maturity, is the centerpiece of a Microsoft video spotlighting the idea of a … Read more

Google embarks on smart contact lenses for diabetics

Google has been working on smart contact lenses embedded with sensors "so small they look like bits of glitter" and an antenna "thinner than a human hair."

But these lenses aren't being developed to give people super-human sight or cast the Internet over their field of view -- rather, they could potentially help diabetics monitor their glucose levels.

Google announced Thursday that it's been working on this secret project at its Google[x] research lab. Not only has it developed prototypes of these smart contact lenses, but it's also done multiple clinical research studies, met with the US Food and Drug Administration, and is looking for potential partners to bring the product to market.… Read more

Augmented-reality contact lenses to be human-ready at CES

Anyone who has ever dreamed up a sci-fi future in which neon interfaces float in front of us and information exists not on screens, but projected onto our eyes, is likely watching the blossoming wearable technology market with great anticipation. With its iOptik system, wearables startup Innovega has sighted in on that futuristic vision, designing special contact lenses that will read the light from projectors fitted to glasses. In doing so, it's inching closer to a product that may rival even Google in its wearable ambition.

Read more

Review: 4Media iPhone Contacts Transfer for Mac moves contacts seamlessly

4Media iPhone Contacts Transfer for Mac allows you to move contacts between iOS and Mac seamlessly through a tether or iTunes Wi-Fi connection. This allows you to back up your contacts, organize and manage them on your Mac, or move new contacts to your iPhone from your Mac more easily than you could through the native contact management tools.

After installing and opening 4Media iPhone Contacts Transfer, you will be prompted to connect an iPhone to your computer, either by plugging it in or opening iTunes and using a Wi-Fi connection. After doing so, you'll be able to see … Read more

Easily hide e-mail contacts from your iPhone contacts list

I want my iPhone contacts list to contain only phone contacts. I need neither Facebook friends nor e-mail contacts included. And with iOS 7, there is an easy way to hide e-mail contacts from your contacts list.

I previously covered how to remove Facebook friends from your contacts list, and that process remains the same for iOS 7. For e-mail contacts, however, there is a faster and easier way than going into Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars and then toggling off Contacts for each e-mail account.

With iOS 7, it creates a group for each e-mail account. This means that … Read more

Four iOS 7 privacy tips

If you haven't upgraded your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch to iOS 7 yet, I have only one question: What are you waiting for?

That's not to say the new version of Apple's mobile OS is perfect. Here are four iOS 7 privacy settings you may want to review.

1. Clear and disable Frequent Locations Some people don't mind Apple tracking their location and retaining a history of the places where they use their iOS 7 devices. The rest of us have to disable the mobile OS's Frequent Locations feature, which is enabled by default.… Read more