$13,000 iPhone bill nearly puts sad ending on family trip

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data charges
Mom, I swear I didn't use the internet.
Photo: KGO San Francisco

Correction: This story has been updated to accurately explain how Airplane Mode works.

A family from San Jose, California, returned from an overseas trip with several memories. But the strongest may be the one that greeted them at home — an iPhone bill with more than $13,000 in data charges.

The Chung family prepared for their trip to Vietnam with a firm rule that the iPhones would be on Airplane Mode to avoid roaming and internet fees. So it appeared son Nicholas Chung was in trouble when the T-Mobile bill showed the sky-high data charges coming from his number over a 30-minute period.

Pro Tip: Force your iPhone to connect to a faster network

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Sometimes your phone won't connect to a perfectly good network slow connection
Sometimes your phone won't connect to a perfectly good network.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Do you ever pull your iPhone out of your pocket and see the dreaded E for EDGE? Or even (gasp) GPRS? Or perhaps you’re so spoiled that you get uncomfortable when you’re on 3G instead of LTE or 4G. Worse, you look over to a friend’s iPhone, which uses the same network you do, and they have a proper, speedy hookup, while you;re stuck with a slow connection.

What’s going on? Is there a way to force your iPhone (or iPad) to use a better available connection? There certainly is.

Indie rockers Airplane Mode get their spark from Apple

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These guys rock — and design great apps. Bassist Joe Cieplinski, left, and lead guitar and vocalist, Dave Wiskus, of the band Airplane Mode.
These guys rock — and design great apps. Bassist Joe Cieplinski, left, and lead guitar and vocalist, Dave Wiskus, of the band Airplane Mode.
Photo: Airplane Mode

Cult of Mac 2.0 bugThe indie rock band Airplane Mode does indeed get its name from the feature on an iPhone that shuts off wireless transmission.

The name and the resumes of three of the band’s musicians — well-established iOS designers — have led more than a few people to assume they have found a source of cute parody music about Apple culture.

In fact, you won’t find any iPhones, iMacs or odes to Steve Jobs in the lyrics of the tight, hard-charging synth-driven music. However, the band’s roots in Apple culture permeate everything else, from its use of technology and understanding of social engagement to its start-up energy.

And there is one other way: Airplane Mode is making money.

How to save Snapchats without your friends knowing

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You can totally outsmart Snapchat's screenshot notifications.
You can totally outsmart Snapchat's screenshot notifications.
Photo: Adam Przezdziek/FlickrCC

Snapchat — love it or hate it, chances are you’re using it to playfully stay in touch with your friends and family via real-time photo updates of your best duck face selfies.

One of the ubiquitous app’s features is that your images disappear within a set amount of time, letting you be creative, silly or racy as you see fit without worry about those images sticking around or getting posted to the ‘net.

Savvy users, however, know that they can take a screenshot of any Snapchat and save it to their Camera Roll. Snapchat countered by letting the person you’re connected with know when you try to sneak a screenshot of their photo.

If, however, you’re looking to work around this new “feature,” there’s a simple trick that lets you save Snapchats without your friends knowing.

Is iOS 9.3 Night Shift toggle coming to Control Center?

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This official Apple image might prove Night Shift will be part of Control Center.
This official Apple image might prove Night Shift will be part of Control Center.
Photo: Apple

For our money, Night Shift is one of the coolest additions to iOS 9.3 beta 1. In fact, it could be the most important UI/UX improvement iOS has added in years.

Even the guys Apple ripped off to come up with the feature are cool with it. But it could get even better before iOS 9.3 is finally released to the general public.

Quick! Charge Your iPhone Or iPad Faster [iOS Tips]

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Charge Faster

You know those times when you are just about to head out of the house, and you grab your iPhone, only to notice that you’ve got hardly any juice left? Yeah, me too.

When you need a quick charge on your iPhone or iPad, there’s a chimp-simple way to get it charged faster than usual, and it’s available with a quick tap or two.

Apple Should Turn This Lock Screen Concept Into A Reality For iOS 7 [Video]

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iPhone-lock-screen-concept

The iOS lock screen is a boring place. It displays the time, any notifications you’ve received since you last unlocked your device, and a shortcut to the Camera app. But that’s it. When you compare it to Android’s lock screen, which now has support for all kinds of cool widgets, it’s clear there’s room for improvement.

One way Apple could start improving it for iOS 7 is with this awesome concept from Jean-Marc Denis.