MacInTouch Reader Reports

Reader Reports: iPhone/Touch Platform

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Jun. 24, 2016
Jun. 29, 2016
Jul. 5, 2016
Jul. 6, 2016
Jul. 8, 2016

Individual and Archived Topics

Jun. 24, 2016



Kip Kumler

WiFi calling on Verizon has been godsend where I live. Otherwise, the cell signal strength is terrible and unreliable. However, I have now run into another problem. WiFi calling seems to require fairly robust WiFi signal strength, and as I move around where I live, my iPhone seems programmed to only switch from one airport to another when the existing signal strength is especially low - (too low for WiFi calling), even when another signal is present which is much stronger. This forces a manual selection. Is there a way to force iPhone to always pick the strongest WiFi signal or to have a threshold for switching based upon what is required for adequate WiFi calling?

Jun. 29, 2016



Karl Pingle

A month or so ago, the current day's weather report in the 'current summary' section of the Notification Center stopped updating. It always shows the same weather. If I touch it, it goes to a page, which is showing the current forecast.

Has anyone else seen this and have any suggestions for getting it to update again? I tried removing the current summary and putting it back; that did not help. I am running the current version of iOS. The same information on my iMac does still update.

Jul. 5, 2016



Jonathan Saltzman

I would welcome any recommendations for a replacement app for the stock Music app on iOS9. All I want to do is play my songs from my collection; I have absolutely zero interest in Apple Music, Beats, or Connect.

The iOS 9 Music app is such a mess; I have set up all the recommendations and restrictions to limit play to only what I have downloaded, but just to get to that part of the app requires a Byzantine amount of taps, swipes, gestures, unwelcome screen results (it somehow always defaults to Apple Music and "please sign up!!") etc.

This and iTunes 12 have to be, hands down, without question, the worst Apple-designed apps since ... I don't know when. It almost makes me just want to use my iPod Shuffle (5th Generation) to listen to music, and just skip the whole premise of the iPhone when not at home (listen to music, but accessible to phone calls).

I doubt very much sending Feedback to Apple would help at this point. The captain has obviously given up command of his ship.



Joe Hallett

I wonder if anyone else is unable to transfer images via wifi from Sony RX100m3 or HX90/v to iPads or iPhone6 running iOS 9.x (currently 9.3.2) and the latest update to Sony's "Playmemories Mobile" app (currently 5.6)... and looking for alternative solutions.


Joe Hallett

My problem transferring images from Sony cameras to iPad appears to be resolved by adding the camera's SSID to my VPN's white list (I use Cloak)... time for a "dope slap."

Jul. 6, 2016



Graham Needham

Jonathan Saltzman asks in 230525

"I would welcome any recommendations for a replacement app for the stock Music app on iOS9. All I want to do is play my songs from my collection; I have absolutely zero interest in Apple Music, Beats, or Connect"

I had exactly the same requirement and checked a few different apps/reviews. I plumped for and bought "Picky."

I couldn't be happier, no streaming/Apple Music cr*p, and it does exactly what you want with a really nice, simple interface IMHO.


Kathryn Jenkins

I have been using TuneShell as an alternative to the Music app.
Some folks also like Ecoute, who I guess would be people who don't mind having only little tiles available rather than also having the option of a list view. So far I am pretty happy with it. If you have a lot of DRM tracks, however, it is not the app you want; it won't play them. This is not a problem for me, since nearly everyhing that I have in iTunes is from my CD collection.

A comment for the reader who is ripping CDs and planning to donate the CDs to the library: I think this would put you on very shaky legal ground. It would also be safer to store the CDs in case of some catastrophe befalling your digital files.


Skot Nelson

All I want to do is play my songs from my collection; I have absolutely zero interest in Apple Music, Beats, or Connect.

Go to Settings --> Restrictions and disable what you don't want.

VLC is an alternative one, albeit a horrible one in my view. I know people who love it though: in my experience that has more to do with Open Source zealotry than it being a better program.

Going to the App Store and typing MP3 Player as a search turns up a tonne of results. I like the look of Pine Player, but basically I'd poke around in there. I'm surprised there's so many options: when Apple bought Soundjam, a lot of players ceded the market.

Prior to that my favourite was Audion.


Erik Rose

I've found the $2 Cesium a capable, well-designed replacement for playing local music.

Now, if I could find a way to get music back off my iPhone, so it could be the canonical store, I'd be a happy man. In these days of tiny SSDs, I shouldn't have to store an additional copy, which I never play, on my computer.


Mike W

I agree with Jonathan Saltzman that the iOS 9 Music app is a mess. It's almost like Apple doesn't want people to have downloaded music on their devices.

Because of the mess IOS 9 Music is, I gave up on using my iPhone for music and purchased a FiiO X5 Gen II Portable High Resolution Music Player. Its UI isn't perfect, but it's much better suited to listening to music the way you want it. In addition it supports multiple high resolution formats up to 24 bits / 192 kHz sample rates. This allows me to not have to suffer using lossy encoding methods or down-sample my high resolution recordings.


John Davies

Jonathan Saltzman: You have lasted longer than I was able to. I researched the alternatives and ended up with Ecoute, which I am still happily using with my music today.

Jul. 8, 2016



Norm Beazer

It is not only Music on iOS devices that is a mess . . .

The same question please, for Photos.

I would gladly remove the Apple Music and Photos apps altogether from both my 'Touch and my iPhone.


Hans Erik Hazelhorst

It is always good to know that you're not only one with a problem. During the years I have watched the Apple music app on iOS devices detiorating, gradually moving from an app that was reasonable at first, to a minimalistic little monster that I am now about to let go forever.

I have tried so often, but every time I get lost, touch the wrong controls etc. Very bad indeed. now, I am ready to switch, where to go? I like to listen to classical music and I wonder: is there an app out there that is particularly suited to classical music:
- no shuffling, please
- a clear interface with entries on composer, instrumentation and genre (piano, orchestral, chamber music, vocal etc)
- display of the entire title in lists, not the first 20 or so characters?
-changing the equiliser on the fly, without have to go back to settings.

Doesn't need to be free, I'd be happy to spend a few bucks on this one.

Commentary and Tips


Fred Moore

Here is a good article by the New York Times and The Wirecutter about the best way to extend the charge of modern phone batteries. While many are old standybys, there are a few reversals and some unexpected tweaks.

Tips and Myths About Extending Smartphone Battery Life

iOS 9


MacInTouch Reader

Before iOS 9, I would read mail in several accounts. As new unread mail would come in, the window would land on the next unread mail as I looked through each mail account.

Now the window lands on a read message from several days ago or even longer ago. I have to scroll to the top and back off to get to the first unread message in the list.

It happens on both the iPad and iPhone. This is very annoying. How can I fix this?

iOS 10

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