I downloaded the IFTTT application when it was released on the iPhone but I never really used it before. I am aware of its potential in automating tasks but I can't find a Recipe before that I can efficiently use. Originally a web application, IFTTT (short for "IF This Then That") is a service that enables users to connect different web applications (e.g. Facebook, Evernote, Weather, Dropbox, etc.) together through simple conditional statements known as "Recipes". IFTTT was developed by Linden Tibbets and launched in 2010. IFTTT was then released on the iPhone in July 2013. (Source: Wikipedia)

Rediscovering the application over the weekend because of my uncle, I started browsing on the available Recipes that I can use. The first Recipe I used was the one suggested by my uncle which post Instagram pictures as native Twitter pictures. Since I also use Facebook a lot, I used the Recipes sharing links and status updates on Facebook then posted to Twitter automatically. Finally, as I was checking the IFTTT application on my iPad mini, I came across a possible Recipe between Instagram and Twitter. I created the Recipe myself and what it does is tweet photos that I liked on Instagram. I just shared the Recipe on IFTTT's website for the consumption of other users. 

There are a lot of useful Recipes on IFTTT which involve weather, sending emails and use of locations just to name a few. IFTTT is such a powerful application which could save you a couple of steps to the usual tasks you perform. IFTTT is available on the web and works natively on the iPhone and iPad. The application on the iOS devices is free and you can download it here

Here's the Recipe I mentioned earlier and shared on IFTTT's site. 

IFTTT Recipe: Tweet liked photos in Instagram connects instagram to twitter

I was chatting with a friend last night when I curiously browsed on Facebook Messenger's stickers. It has been a long time since I checked it and the stickers I found last night are very interesting. I wrote an article about it when the stickers were first introduced to the application last year. The stickers render properly on Facebook's website for your messages. Here are the stickers I have downloaded from the Facebook Messenger app.

Here are some additional stickers I found interesting from Facebook as well. Be sure to check them out and download them for your use.

- Peabody & Sherman
- Disney's Frozen
- Candy Crush
- Despicable Me 2

The biggest update yet to this favorite game of mine from Supercell has just been released last week. Clan War is now live after a number of teasers, demos and FAQ have been shared by Supercell. Our clan participated in the Clan War over the weekend and we're very fortunate to win our first match. Here are some screenshots of what's new in the update.

Contents of what's new in the update

Let's start a war!

The updated Clan Castle which can now store war loots from the Clan War

My war base (not an original)

Our clan's map (doing good on the first few hours of the war)


"Write the code. Change the world." I just love that tagline for this year's WWDC. Yes, you read that right, its WWDC all over again and its set on June 2 to 6. Expect announcements on updated software for iOS and Mac OS (reserving OS X as it might not be applicable anymore since the current OS is 10.9 already). I just wonder what other announcements Apple would bring to its audience, I'm just excited as any Apple fan should.

Last Thursday, Supercell's latest game has been rolled out to the rest of the App Store locations. Initially released in Canada, the long wait has been worth it for their latest offer. Boom Beach is all about island invasion and military troops training. I am a big fan of Supercell's games and I have all of them on my iPad mini from Clash of Clans to Hay Day. Here are some screenshots of the game on my device. Watch out for my impression of the game in a future post. But in case you ask me if I like it? I absolutely like it!

Download Boom Beach for free on the App Store

I have finally updated my iPhone 4S over the weekend to iOS 7.1 removing my Jailbreak. The latest release from Apple cannot be jailbroken. I've read good reviews with iOS 7.1 and I'm just fine not having it anymore. I must say that I really liked the look and feel of the Cydia "store" on iOS 7. It's really clean and aligned to the minimalist look of the latest OS. For this post, I'm going to share some of the jailbreak tweaks I have installed on my iPhone 4S and used for 3 months on my device. Jailbreaking has come a long way and all the tweaks I've used are very stable and ran smoothly on my iPhone.  Here are some of my recommendations which are also available on iDownloadblog.

1. iFile (free) - I think this was the first tweak I downloaded. I used the application to update the icon of Cydia. This article from iDownloadblog teaches you how to perform it.

2. Activator (free) - Centralized gestures, button and shortcut management for iOS. This tweak allows you to place shortcuts anywhere on your device whether its on the touch screen or the available physical buttons. I use this tweak together with BiteSMS.

3. BiteSMS (free)- This tweak is what Messages should have been on the iPhone. It has a lot of features like Quick Reply, Quick Compose, Scheduled Messages, Auto-Forward, Auto-Retry, Passcode Lock, Privacy, Contact Pics, Easy Pick Smileys, Templates, Signatures and much more. It's really efficient to use BiteSMS and I must say this is what I'm going to miss upgrading to iOS 7.1.

4. Zeppelin (free)- This tweak allows you to change the Carrier Logo on your device. Some of the replacement logos include Batman, Superman, Apple and even Android.

5. FlipControlCenter (free) - Customizable switches in the Control Center which allows you to add other controls from Settings.

6. CCQuick (free) - Functions like FlipControlCenter but this tweak runs at the bottom of the Control Center. One handy functionality I use from this tweak is the simultaneous quitting of applications running in the background.

7. iCleaner Pro (free) - from iDownloadblog, this jailbreak tweak scans the iOS filesystem to find and remove unnecessary files such as large app caches from Safari, log files, temporary files and Cydia package remnants.

8. Winterboard (free)- after BiteSMS, this is another tweak I'm going to miss. This tweak allows you to change the look and feel of your device. I just love themes and this tweak allows you to use them to replace the stock icons of your iOS device. Speaking of themes, if ayecon was my favorite theme in iOS 6.0, Solstice has got to be my favorite theme for iOS 7.0

9. Forecast ($0.99)- another cool tweak that makes weather information available on your lock screen including the animation from the Weather application by Apple.

10. Messages Customiser (free)- this tweak allows you to change the color of the bubble in the stock Messages app which also works flawlessly with BiteSMS.

11. Spot Define (free)- this is another very helpful tweak that allows you to use Spotlight to look for definitions of words. No need for downloading an application from the App Store with this tweak which uses the built-in dictionary on your device and Spotlight.

All of these tweaks work great on iOS 7 and they just keep on getting better. If you would like to explore and experiment jailbreaking, be sure to try out these tweaks on your devices.

Ever since the release of iTunes 11 for iOS 7.0 distribution, I lost the ability to sync my calendars on my iOS devices thru the application. I work on a software company and we use Microsoft Outlook for work. I use the calendar in Outlook extensively for meetings and reminders and I was really disappointed when syncing this on iTunes got lost.

I looked for options to sync my Exchange calendar in iCloud but it was not that smooth. I thought installing the iCloud tool would make it easy on my Windows machine. I was able to research using Google Calendar and that seems to be a good option. I saved my calendar from Outlook and imported it in Google Calendar. I select a month's worth of events to be imported to the service. Again, its not that smooth since (1) I have to manually export and import calendar for a specific duration and (2) new calendar events are not synced automatically unless I perform (1) again exporting and importing. I chose this option though for a couple of weeks because I find it more efficient than the iCloud tool in Windows.

Just this week, I was able to read an article about an update to the Sunrise Calendar application gaining support for Exchange calendars. When I was reading the article, it mentioned that I still have to setup my Exchange account though in the Settings app of my iOS device. Then it struck me, why don't I try setting up my Exchange account just to get the calendar events? So that's just what I did!

I went to the settings app of my iPad mini first then to Mail, Contacts, Calendars. You should be able to see Accounts there and just have to setup your Exchange account by selecting it, place now your username and password. After successful validation, you'll see toggles for Mail, Contacts, Calendars, Reminders and Notes. This will allow you to choose which Exchange information you allow to be fetched by your iOS device. In my case, since I only want my Calendar, I disabled everything else except for it. Afterwards, I went to the Calendar app on my iPad mini and I saw that its trying to sync already. I noticed though that my Exchange calendar is not adding up. When I closed the Calendar app, I was prompted that I should update my Passcode lock. I then realized that since I now added my Exchange account, I should update my Passcode (8 characters minimum) which understandably is for Security purposes. I have updated my Passcode accordingly and when I launched the Calendar app again, all my Outlook events are synced! I performed the same steps on my iPhone 4S.

I was so dumbfounded because why didn't I thought of this in the first place. My initial impression before was that I can only sync Mails on it which I do not want especially for Work mails. I receive a lot of them, I don't want to get annoyed by it and I don't want unread emails to be displayed on my Mail app, that's just how OC I am on stuffs. This is a good find and something I'd like to share to my readers. Hope you find this article helpful.

Image at the very top courtesy of Placeit

Well here's a nice touch from Google on its search page today to celebrate International Women's Day! Let's celebrate womanhood.

Kjwan: Shot using the Canon S95 and edited on the iPad mini using Camera+ HD

Its been a week already since the 7107 International Music Festival concluded. Aside from the festivities, I grabbed the opportunity to take a lot of pictures again. Its been a long time since I had the Canon S95 with me for an event. I just use my ever trusty iPhone 4S in taking pictures most of the time. With a concert event like this, I need to revert to the Canon S95 because of the manual controls I can change while taking pictures depending on the situation. I can also shoot in RAW which would be very helpful in post processing. For this post, I'm going to share the other things I used in capturing and editing the pictures. A lot has changed in my workflow and the reason for it is because of mobility.

In the past, after taking shots on the Canon S95 I edit the pictures on my Mac using iPhoto. I even purchased Pixelmator from the Mac App Store but I really haven't used the application in editing my pictures. It turns out I'm just fine in using iPhoto for basic editing -- color enhancement, crop and straighten are the usual things I edit on my shots. Now, with my frequent use of the iPhone 4S, I found myself less dependent on the Mac in editing my pictures. There are a lot of applications on the App Store about Photography. I tried a lot of them from the articles I read and tested them for practical usage. I even wrote on article about the applications installed on my iPhone. I have deleted some of them already and retained just some of the photography applications below.

          HDR FX Pro
          ProCam (there's ProCam 2 already)

But there are two applications that really stood out in my iPhone -- Camera+ and Over. I use the editing tools in Camera+ before sharing it to my social networking sites. On the other hand, I use Over in placing a watermark on my pictures. Both applications have their iPad counterparts so I also have them on my iPad mini. Aside from the iPhone, I use the iPad mini because of its larger screen which is good for photo editing.

In summary, here's a comparison of my photography workflow before and at present.

1. Shoot pictures using the Canon S95
2. Edit pictures on the Mac using iPhoto
3. Watermark pictures using Art Text 2 (here's the Lite version)
4. Share on social networking sites

At present
1. Shoot pictures using the iPhone (sometimes the S95)
2. Edit pictures on the iPhone or iPad mini using Camera+ (or Camera+ for iPad)
3. Watermark pictures using Over
4. Share on social networking sites

Between the two, my current workflow is lighter in the bag. Since I always want to pack light, I only have my S95, iPhone, iPad mini and an SD Card reader (Apple's Lightning to SD Card Camera reader). This is what works for me and I find it very efficient.

My iPad mini and SD Card reader
(would love for Apple to remove that extra length of cable though or please, totally remove it!)

Here are some pictures I've taken from the 7107 event.

Techy Romantics: Shot using the iPhone 4S and edited using Camera+

Red Hot Chili Peppers: Shot using the Canon S95 and edited on the iPad mini using Camera+ HD
P.S. Concert photography is very tricky and I need to start using flash on some shots when necessary. 

The artists who will play on 7107

Its going to be a big day in the music scene of the Philippines as the first ever International Music Festival kicks off tomorrow in Clark. With over 50 artists playing in the event, it will be a mix of local and foreign talents playing different genres of music. Its a once in a lifetime experience and it will the first for me to attend such a big event. Based from 7107's website, since the opening of the ticket sales last December, the event already sold to music lovers from different parts of the globe from United Kingdom, Germany, Norway, Spain, Qatar, India, Pakistan, Indonesia, Singapore, Korea, China, Japan, Thailand, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and USA. Fortunately for us, we got discounted tickets last December. I will be joining a friend and two other companions in the event. I'll be posting some pictures from my social media accounts which you can check out on my blog. 

Schedule of the artists who will play

Map to the venue

Companion app from the App Store
(download the application from the link below)

Source: 7107imf.com

Google made a nice touch on its Search page today just in time for the opening of the Winter Olympics in Sochi. The Doodle displays some of the games in the event and a quote from the Olympic Charter which reads "The practice of sport is a human right. Every individual must have the possibility of practicing sport, without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play." theguardian has hit it right on the spot when it wrote an article as well about the Doodle, you can read it on this link

I'll be watching some of the games here in the Philippines on TV since some Filipinos are participating in the festivities. Let the Sochi Games begin!

I was browsing Google's Search page and I saw a caption just below the Search bar. I got curious today and noticed that the caption can be clicked. Upon clicking, I was redirected to Doodle 4 Google's page about their latest competition this year. The caption displayed in the Search page is the theme of the contest, draw your own doodle about "If I Could Invent One Thing to Make the World a Better Place." Based from their site, Doodle 4 Google is a competition open to K-12 students of U.S. schools. The student must be a U.S. citizen or a permanent U.S. legal resident, be enrolled in a U.S. based school and be living in the U.S. I have featured last year's winner on this post with a theme "My Best Day Ever." Last year's winner is Sabrina Brady.

Source: Doodle 4 Google

Finally, the long awaited update for Clash of Clans has been released. I have been waiting for a long time for this release. The game's Facebook page has provided a sneak peek of what's coming and this really made me excited for it. The major updates in this release are the Hero abilities added to the Barbarian King and Archer Queen which allows them to be enraged (Iron Fist) and invisible (Royal Cloak), respectively, for a short time. The Hero abilities are unlocked for free at Level 5 and improve in strength every 5 additional levels. I still haven't attacked this week but I'm very excited to use it on my Level 7 Barbarian King. I already saw a replay shared by my clan mate last night. One of the changes though have been disabled temporarily because of some problems. This is related to the Gem Box that's supposed to be included in the release. For the mean time, trees and bushes surrounding your village will give you more gems than before.

Here's the complete release notes of the update from the App Store.

All hail new Hero abilities!
- Both Heroes have acquired special abilities that can be activated once per battle, after they have been deployed.
- Iron Fist: The Barbarian King and nearby Barbarians become enraged for a short time, moving faster and dealing more damage (does not stack with the Rage Spell).
- Royal Cloak: The Archer Queen hides from and becomes invisible to all enemy defenses for a short time.
- Both Hero abilities will instantly call in a group of Barbarians or Archers to reinforce their King or Queen.
- Hero abilities unlock for free at Hero level 5 and improve in strength every additional 5 Hero levels!

Flyers, freezers and brand new boosts
- Level 6 Minions are here to wreak havoc on enemy bases!
- Level 5 Freeze Spell leaves defenses on ice for longer than ever before.
- Get your Heroes back into battle faster by boosting their recovery 4x while sleeping.
- Boost cost and duration of Barracks and Spell Factory now reduced from 4 hours/20 gems to 2 hours/10 gems.

Clan Co-leaders take charge
- Clan Co-leaders can now be appointed by the Clan Leader or other Clan Co-leaders.
- Clan Co-leaders have all the privileges of Clan Leaders, except for the ability to demote or kick other Co-leaders.
- Clan Elders are now less powerful to prevent abuse, no longer able to promote or demote and only able to kick normal members.

Gem overgrowth
- New plant growth is being found with more gems inside than ever before!

Interface improvements
- Chat is now available even when away from your village, such as when visiting and watching replays
- Army Camps, the Spell Factory and Clan Castle now display used capacity next to their name when they are selected.
- Friends List has been moved to the Leaderboard menu, on the last tab, replacing the Search Clans tab (Search Clans is still available from the Clan Castle menu).
- Rage Spell info now correctly indicates damage percentage increase (e.g. 30% instead of 130%).
- Obstacles can now be cleared in edit mode.

Balance tweaks
- Decreased the upgrade cost and time of Freeze Spell levels 3 and 4.
- Decreased Rage Spell level 5 damage bonus from 80% to 70%.
- Increased Hog Rider training cost by about 30% on all levels.
- Increased Valkyrie hitpoints by about 20% on all levels.
- Increased Pekka hitpoints from 3400 to 3500 on level 3 and from 3800 to 4000 on level 4.

Many more bug fixes, tweaks and performance improvements

Copyright © 2012 My Macintosh and Me.