iMyfone Umate - Free Up Space on Your iPhone

By: Marawan Alwaraki, October 23, 2016
There's a myth that once every 3 seconds, the Storage Almost Full pop-up appears somewhere on someone's iPhone.

It's an annoying error and common amongst many iPhone users. This lead to some companies using it for funny adverts and others using it to solve the problem. iMyfone Umate is an app that attempts to give users more storage on their iOS devices.

It's incredibly easy to use and may be just the app you're looking for. Read on for a full review of my experience with iMyfone Umate.
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Stories: Instagram vs Snapchat

By: Marawan Alwaraki, August 7, 2016

Instagram recently released an update to its mobile apps. The update features a new way to share content. You post a picture or video, draw or add text on it, and it expires in 24 hours. Oh, and it's called Stories.

Yes, the Facebook-owned app literally cloned Snapchat. Facebook really wants to be our go-to for everything social. They want our albums on Facebook, perfectly crafted photos on Instagram, and now even random ugly selfies on Instagram stories.

This whole thing actually started a few years ago. In 2013 , Facebook tried to buy Snapchat for $3 billion. Facebook warned Snapchat that they're releasing a similar app soon that'll crush Snapchat. However, Snapchat turned down the offer (something that seemed crazy at the time). Facebook then released the Snapchat-crushing app, called Poke. Poke let you send pictures to your friends that lasted up to 10 seconds. The app failed to gather a user base and shut down shortly. #FAIL

But now Facebook just copied Snapchat in an app that has 500 million active users. I think this is likely to take off well. Third time lucky?

At first, I hated the fact that Instagram, owned by tech giant Facebook, would blatantly rip off another app. However, after using stories on Instagram, I started opening up to the idea and accepting it.

Where Snapchat beats Instagram

  • Snapchat is the OG, not a stolen product
  • You can send snaps to your friends as well as posting it as a story 
  • Fun little additions such as streaks and best friends 
  • Snapchat also has some channels that could be fun and interesting at times 
  • Fun filters to truly express yourself 

Where Instagram beats Snapchat

  • Instagram is an all-in-one app with both posts, Stories and an Explore feed 
  • You probably have more followers on Instagram than on Snapchat so expect more views for your Stories 
  • You can swipe back and forth between Stories when viewing them 
  • Uploading a story from your camera roll is a lot easier (swipe down on the camera screen)
  • Why use Snapchat and Instagram when you can stick to only Instagram? 

After giving Instagram Stories a shot, I realized that the app I use almost every day (Instagram) now has almost everything I needed from Snapchat. I won't be deleting Snapchat anytime soon, but I can already see myself shifting to Instagram a bit more.

Will you stick to Snapchat and completely avoid Instagram Stories, or will you shift more towards Instagram, or are you not sure yet? I do dislike using Instagram Stories, though, because of the lack of originality.

Side note: I wonder if this would've happened if Instagram was not owned by Facebook. Thoughts?
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iPhone 7: Leaks, Rumours and Expectations

By: Marawan Alwaraki, July 28, 2016
We're less than two months away from the release of Apple's next iPhone. The internet is full of leaks and rumours for the upcoming hotshot. In this post, I've categorized every important leak into three different categories based on how likely it is to happen.

Very Likely

Similar Design

In previous years, Apple followed a tick-tock cycle where the iPhone gets a huge external redesign in one year then a massive internal upgrade in the following year. Apple is breaking out of this cycle with the iPhone 7. The device will only be slightly redesigned with more focus on the internals.

All three pictures below are leaked by a French site. The site has been accurate in the past and their leaks match leaks posted on other websites too.

iPhone 7
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Apple is taking Google down, one iOS at a time

By: Marawan Alwaraki, June 29, 2016
According to The New York Times, it is estimated that 75% of the $11.8 billion Google made from mobile search ads came from iOS users. That's a huge chunk of Google's revenue coming directly from phones with an Apple logo at the back.

Since iOS and Android are two direct competitors that never got along too well, Apple won't just let Google make that much money from its own devices. You may recall Steve Jobs saying:
"I will spend my last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every penny of Apple's $40 billion in the bank, to right this wrong. I'm going to destroy Android, because it's a stolen product. I'm willing to go thermonuclear war on this."
Let's take a look at how Apple is trying to eliminate Google search from iOS.
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Adjust focus after taking the picture with Live Focus

By: Marawan Alwaraki, June 13, 2016
The iPhone 7 Plus is rumoured to feature a dual-lens camera. While we don't exactly know the reason for it, some people speculate that it may be used to take a photo at different focus levels, then allow the user to edit the focus of the photo after taking it.

If you can't wait till the release of the iPhone 7 Plus in September for this functionality then you may want to check out Live Focus. Live Focus is an app that allows you to take a picture then adjust the focus later on.

It works by taking the picture at a variety of focal points, then allowing you to use a slider to adjust focus level.

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The App Store will soon start displaying ads

By: Marawan Alwaraki, June 9, 2016
Don't freak out. Ok, maybe freak out a little bit. The App Store is about to get ads in the search results. It sounds worse than it is though.

Phil Schiller, Apple’s Worldwide Marketing SVP, was given the responsibility of overlooking all App Store leadership 6 months ago. He announced a few changes recently, including Search Ads. Search Ads, as the name suggests, will allow developers to advertise their apps at the top of the App Store's search results.

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Google's Project Ara may truly change smartphones

By: Marawan Alwaraki, May 25, 2016
Remember when you used to only use your phone to call people and maybe send a few texts? Back in the day when a phone was just a phone, when you spent a few minutes changing your ringtone or playing Bounce. Then Steve Jobs announced the iPhone and changed the way we see phones.

Since then, phones have been incrementally improving. When you compare the iPhone 6S to the original iPhone you'll notice a lot of changes in performance, camera and display as well as new additions like Touch ID and 3D Touch. However, our perception of a phone is still very similar. It's a device you buy once every couple of years or so, and use it to scroll through Instagram for hours. After about two years you'd notice that people's pictures are looking better than yours, or your friend has a louder phone, and you'll decide it's time to upgrade.

Google is changing that soon with its Project Ara.
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Apple Pay is more secure than your bank card

By: Marawan Alwaraki, April 20, 2016
It seems like a lot of people aren't using Apple Pay (or other mobile payment services) because of security concerns. Below I outline the main security problems with bank cards, followed by reasons why Apple Pay is a lot more secure.

Side note: I only talk about Apple Pay in this post because it's the only mobile payment service I know enough about. Most of the security features in Apple Pay are also present in Android Pay, and the two work very similarly, but I just don't know enough about Android Pay to reach any conclusions regarding it. Also all my information about Apple Pay came directly from Apple's support website.

Now let's get right to it.
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Hey Siri, it's time for iPhone to open up!

By: Marawan Alwaraki, April 14, 2016


Siri has been around for almost five years now. She started as a personal assistant that can tell you if you need an umbrella, now she's.. well, a personal assistant that can tell you if you need an umbrella.

Ok, that was mean. Surely Siri does get better with every major iOS update. She (or now even he) can speak multiple languages, control your house with HomeKit and do a whole lot more than she could five years ago. There is however one problem with Siri which lead me to sharing this post. It's a problem that strongly reflects Apple's closed ecosystem, a problem that Google Now does not suffer from: lack of third party app integration.

Here's a simple example:
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Counter Argument: The iPhone SE is garbage (sort of)

By: Kumail Hussain, March 31, 2016

Hello Apple this is 2012 speaking and we want our design back. Now, I'm not going to be giving you some backstory about the iPhone SE because that's boring. I'm here to tell you why some other company, besides Apple, deserves your money.

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