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Some iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus users have discovered their wonderful camera freezes on open and randomly does not work. When this happens it’s quite obvious; the user attempts to open the Camera either from the lock screen or the Camera app directly, and instead of having access to the camera, either a stuck blank black screen will show up on the camera display or a blurred image will show up on the camera display, and the iPhone is unable to take any picture or video.

Given that most iPhone users rely on it as their primary camera, and the emphasis Apple continuously places on using the iPhone as a camera for all of your photography needs, this is a pretty annoying bug.

While there is no great way to resolve this problem, there is a rather blunt-force solution to fix the stuck iPhone 7 camera issue.

Forcibly reboot the iPhone.

Yes, a forced restart is a decidedly low-tech solution but it works. Unfortunately simply quitting the camera app is not sufficient, you must reboot the iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus to get the camera to function reliably again.

If you have not rebooted the iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus yet, it’s slightly different from restarting prior iPhone models; rather than holding down the Home button you hold down the lower volume button, here is how you reboot the latest iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus models, which will fix the frozen camera problem:

Hold down Power button and the volume down button until the  Apple logo appears on the iPhone 7 / iPhone 7 Plus screen

Once the iPhone boots up again as normal, access the camera and it will work as intended (for a while anyway, it may randomly freeze up again and require another restart down the road). This is more of a temporary workaround than a true fix since it can happen again, so perhaps a future iOS update will permanently fix the issue.

Here are two examples of what a frozen iPhone 7 / iPhone 7 Plus camera looks like, I personally encounter this issue a few times a week on a device updated to the latest iOS version:

iPhone 7 Plus camera frozen on all-black screen:

iPhone 7 Plus camera frozen on a blurred image:

The iPhone 7 freezing camera issue a well documented problem on YouTube and throughout various discussion forums on Apple support site and elsewhere on the web (1, 2, 3, 4, etc). Oddly enough, release notes in iOS 10.1 noted a bug fix for a similar camera app issue, but the bug persists in the latest versions of iOS including iOS 10.2 and 10.2.1 for some iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus users.

Since almost all iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus owners likely have their devices under warranty, another option is to contact official Apple Support and let see if they can offer a more permanent solution. Some reports online indicate Apple has swapped out cameras or the entire devices if the issue persists for some users, so if you frequently encounter the problem you may want to go that route.

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Decoding Iphone 7 Chip Architecture…

We’ll also reflect on how having the foresight to take its chip destiny into its own hands more than five years ago has helped Apple differentiate itself from competition.

What is InFO?

An acronym for Integrated Fan-Out, InFO is a chip process technology that doesn’t require a chip to be fitted on a substrate before being mounted onto a circuit board. InFO is said to help reduce the thickness of a typical mobile chip by 0.2 mm or more.

But what the heck are substrates, you ask…

Also called diffusion layers, substrates define where chip features like the conductors and the connections between the conducting layers are implanted on a logic board.

The engine that drives your iPhone isn’t connected directly to the printed-circuit board due to its small footprint. Instead, it’s fitted on a package substrate which then connects the chip die to the logic board and distributes input-output signals over the entire die.

iPhone 5s A7 processor fitted on a substrate connected to the logic board.

iPhone 5s A7 processor fitted on a substrate connected to the logic board.

But as TSMC is reportedly on the cusp of solving yield issues, its InFO process using a 16-nanometer node should be ready by the time the next iPhone’s A10 processor enters mass production.

Bernstein Research believes that using InFO to mount the A10 directly onto the iPhone’s circuit board will help reduce the overall thickness of the handset.

And because the shorter distance between logic die and printed circuit board also enables faster thermal dissipation, chip speed could increase by 20 percent as a result.

By the way, supply chain sources claimed recently that TSMC will handle all A10 orders exclusively, leaving Samsung entirely out of the picture.

SoC vs. InFO vs. SiP

Contrast SiP approach to Apple’s current A9 and A9X mobile chips that combine some, but not all features onto a single die. Specifically, the A9/A9X combine a fully-customized ARM-based dual-core CPU, dubbed ‘Twister,’ 2 GB of LPDDR4 RAM, L1/L2/L3 cache, an image processor, an embedded M9 motion coprocessor and graphics cores onto a single die.

This is known as a system-on-a-chip (SoC) approach.

Apple’s ‘A9’ SoC in iPhone 6s has 70% faster CPU and 90% faster graphics. Its predecessor, the A8, has two billion transistors.

Apple’s ‘A9’ SoC in iPhone 6s has 70% faster CPU and 90% faster graphics. Its predecessor, the A8, has two billion transistors.

As mentioned, the A9 chip is connected to the iPhone 6s’s logic board via a substrate. Removing it would let Apple engineers to mount an iPhone’s SoC and other dies directly onto an even smaller printed circuit board.

This approach of combining multiple dies on a circuit board is known as System-in-Package design, as seen on the Apple Watch’s ‘S1’ chip.

Apple Watch’s resin-encapsulated ‘S1’ uses system-in-package (SiP) design.

iPhone 7: not just thinner, but waterproof?

Apple Watch’s resin-encapsulated ‘S1’ uses system-in-package (SiP) design.

Should Apple manage to embed wireless chips and sensors—which are currently separate chips—into its own SoC, the next iPhone could have fewer, smaller chips.

And if that package is covered in resin, like with the Apple Watch, Apple should be able to engineer a fully waterproof iPhone that will require less power while running faster.

Apple building own wireless chips, too

Conveniently enough, VentureBeat claims that Intel has put more than 1,000 engineers on a project to adapt its lauded 7360 LTE modem chip for Apple, so it could be embed in the iPhone 7′ A10 SoC.

Apple’s silicon engineering can be traced as far back as 2007, when it started buying semiconductor startups to assemble an internal team which now counts 1,000+ wireless and chip designers.

‘M9’ motion coprocessor, previously a separate chip, is now embedded in iPhone 6s’s ‘A9’ system-on-a-chip.

‘M9’ motion coprocessor, previously a separate chip, is now embedded in iPhone 6s’s ‘A9’ system-on-a-chip.

If Apple and its chip manufacturers succeed in embedding an LTE modem and other remaining iPhone chips in the A10, the company will leap even further ahead of competition in terms of custom silicon design.

More food for thought

Looking beyond the iPhone, including the cellular modem would make an Apple SoC a lot smaller, and thereby more likely to fit inside an Apple Watch. A 3G/LTE-equipped Apple Watch would make for a 100 percent standalone wearable device, one truly untethered from your iPhone.

But as it’s now surpassed Intel in performance, who’s to say Apple won’t add wireless functionality to its SoCs?

To quote Steve Cheney, Apple designing its own iPhone modems has “physical layer impacts on bandwidth, connectivity, latency and user experience,” all of which are “critical for autonomous vehicles.”

What are your thoughts on Apple’s chip design efforts? And what do you think the future holds in terms of Apple’s chip destiny?

iPhone 7 concept top of post by 3D artist Yasser Farahi.

7 Best Apps To Play With Friends On Iphone And Android

One of the best parts about the internet is connecting with friends and loved ones. Over time, it has become easier and more accessible, and there are many ways you can virtually hang out with people. A popular way to connect with others online is through apps and mobile games. No matter what kinds of games and activities you and your friends enjoy, it’s sure there will be an app to cater to it. 

In this list, we’ve chosen the best games available on the iPhone/iPad App Store or Android Google Play Store that allow you to play with friends. From racing games to trivia, you’ll find something everyone can enjoy. 

Table of Contents

1. Draw Something Classic

Have some artists in your friend group? Whether you’re creatively inclined, Draw Something is an addictive, fun game. It came out quite a while ago and was a smash hit, and today it’s still one of the best game apps you can play with your friends. 

You can choose to play with friends by adding them through email or username or finding them on Facebook. You pick a word you want your friend to guess through your drawing. Your friend will then draw something themselves for you to guess. The game is similar to Pictionary. It’s a simple premise but incredibly fun. 

Draw Something Download for iOS 

Draw Something Download for Android

2. Mario Kart Tour

Who doesn’t love Mario Kart? This app is a great way to play the classic game with your friends. All you need to play is a Nintendo account and a Wi-Fi connection. Then, you can set up a multiplayer room from there with a code you can give to your friends to join a tournament.

The controls for this game are easy to get the hang of, especially if you’ve ever played any of the other Mario Kart titles. You can compete on different tracks with your friends, using power-ups and speed boosts to try and finish first. If you and your friends are Nintendo fans or just want a good racing game to play, Mario Kart Tour is a perfect option. 

Mario Kart Download for iOS 

Mario Kart Download for Android

3. Trivia Crack 2

Trivia games are timeless. Testing your knowledge on random topics is fun, especially with your friends. And Trivia Crack is one of the best trivia apps for group fun. You can add others through Facebook and start answering as many trivia questions as possible.

The game’s goal is to earn “crowns,” which will allow you to collect characters by answering a question in their category. If you collect every character before your friend, you’ll win the game. The trivia categories range from art, entertainment, science, and more. And even if you’re only knowledgeable in a few categories, you still have an equal chance of winning. 

Trivia Crack 2 Download for iOS 

Trivia Crack 2 Download for Android

4. WikiRaces 3

One of the more unique yet entertaining games out there is WikiRaces. The point of the game is deceptively simple: follow Wikipedia links from a starting article until you get to a specific end article. The game developers created this game for the desktop; however, this app allows you to play with all your friends on mobiles. 

To start playing with others, all you need to do is create your own game and then share the game code with your friends. You can then race to get to the correct article in the fastest time possible. 

WikiRaces 3 Download for iOS 

5. Would You Rather

This is a classic game you’ve probably played with people at one point or another. However, with this app, you can make the game even more fun by letting the app do the work to create insane situations. Also, once you tap on your chosen situation, you can see the percentage of other people who chose either answer. 

This is a great app to take out as a party game or even just with a small group of friends to kill some time, have some laughs, or even start some ridiculous debates over which option is better. Overall it’s a well-made virtual game that’s easy to pull out at any time to play with friends. 

Would You Rather Download for iOS 

Would You Rather Download for Android

6. Brawlhalla

Fighting games can provide hours of fun (and some aggravation) for you and your friends. Brawlhalla is a cross-platform game, so if you have the app on your phone, you can also play with friends on their PS4, PC, Nintendo Switch, and more. 

You can pick from a huge selection of characters in the game, each with their special weapons and abilities. The gameplay controls are very similar to Super Smash Bros., with different moves corresponding to certain button combinations. If you and your friends are fans of fighting games, this is a great app to play together on game night.

Brawlhalla Download for iOS 

Brawlhalla Download for Android

7. Scrabble Go

Word games are incredibly popular, but the classic board game Scrabble still ranks among the best. Scrabble Go is a great app that allows you to play multiplayer Scrabble online with your friends, especially if you don’t have time to meet and play the game’s physical version. 

The app version works the same as the board game, where you use the letter tiles to create words. Each letter gives you a certain amount of points, and you should make the longest words possible to score the most points. You can play with a friend one-on-one or start a multiplayer game to play with up to 3 other friends. 

Scrabble Go Download for iOS 

Scrabble Go Download for Android

Spend Time With Friends Playing These Games

All the mobile apps listed above are great options for you and your friends to play together. If you need some entertainment options, checking out some of these games would be a good move. You can have fun guessing drawings, answering trivia, racing, etc. 

Have you played any of the games we listed with your friends? Let us know below.

7 Best Travel Accessories For Iphone, Ipad, Apple Watch, And Mac

Getting ready for vacation, business travel, or just want some ideas to improve charging, organizing, and using your Apple devices on the go? After hands-on testing, we’ve rounded up seven of the best travel accessories for iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, AirPods, and Mac.

Whether you do lots of extended travel, short trips, or just take your Apple gear with you to and from work every day, these accessories offer lots of value and I’m confident they’re made to last after using all of them myself.

Best travel accessories for iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Mac

After using this for several months, I’ve found the mophie 3-in-1 travel charger with official MagSafe support to be the quintessential Apple accessory for powering devices on the go.

Highlights include a premium fabric and highly portable design, full 15W MagSafe wireless charging for iPhone plus dedicated spots for Apple Watch and AirPods all powered by one USB-C cable (brick included too).

It comes with a neat travel case to keep everything perfectly organized and ready to go.

Check out all the details in my full review here. The mophie 3-in-1 travel charger retails for $149.95 but the company usually offers 20% off.

The wallet holds two to three cards, has a bi-fold flip design with an interior window for quickly showing your ID or tapping RFID cards, and comes in six colors.

The 180-degree adjustability means you can get your iPhone propped up at the perfect angle for reading or watching video and with MagSafe it works in both portrait and landscape.

It’s also not much thicker than Apple’s Leather MagSafe Wallet.

The Moft Flash Wallet & Stand is made from soft vegan leather and goes for just $34.99. Check out more details in my full review.

I’ve had this tech organizer for over three years and it’s held up super well. Along with the top-notch materials and build quality, Native Union’s Stow Organizer includes a mix of pockets, elastic straps, a waterproof zipper, and more.

Fine details include an Apple Pencil holder, an interior slim zippered pocket for small items, and an easy-to-access open exterior pocket.

In addition to everything I regularly pack, I can also fit a 27,000 mAh portable battery in this organizer when needed.

You can usually pick up the Native Union Stow Organizer for $59.99.

This is a clever iPhone accessory from mophie. Along with a 10,000 mAh battery and the MagSafe compatibility for iPhone 12 and 13 (or any smartphone with the included snap ring adapter) the snap+ powerstation stand has a built-in kickstand.

But mophie included one more handy feature, an integrated 1/4-20 standard tripod socket to easily use your iPhone and charge up in a variety of scenarios.

You can find the snap+ powerstation stand direct from mophie for $69.95.

Satechi’s GaN USB-C chargers are perfect for powering up iPhone, iPad, and MacBook – even all three simultaneously.

My go-to has become the 108W 3-port model that has plenty of power in a compact design for $75.

Satechi also has 165W and 200W multi-port versions priced at $119 and $149, as well as a single-port 100W model. Meanwhile, the 66W 3-port USB-C GaN Charger appears to have been discontinued.

Even though cloud storage has become the norm, it’s still useful to have a physical flash drive.

Going above and beyond normal flash drives, the SanDisk Luxe features both USB-C and Lightning in one device so it’s seamless to use between iPhone, iPad, Mac, and even PC.

You can pick up the 64GB SanDisk Luxe for around $35 with storage options going up to 256GB.

This JetDrive MacBook Pro flush SD card is a handy accessory, particularly if you want to travel as light as possible.

From the super convenient form factor to dust, water, and shock resistance, plus a generous 5-year warranty, it’s easy to recommend the JetDrive Lite 330 as long as you’re fine with the 75-95 MB/s speeds.

Half-size SD card fits perfectly flush in MacBook Pro

Capacities from 128GB to 1TB

Dust, water, and shock-resistant

95 MB/s write and 75 MB/s read speeds

5-year warranty

Price: Usually $25-$190 depending on capacity

Check out more in my full review.

Thanks for reading our guide on the best travel accessories for iPhone!

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Looking Ahead: Will Iphone 7 Bring Back Apple’s Glory?

Will iPhone 7 Bring Back Apple’s Glory

The Innovator That Set the Tone of the Global Market

Having seen Apple accomplish unparalleled success, rivals started to follow the footsteps of the Cupertino-based company. Everyone else who would look at the smartphone industry as a far-fetched prospect had begun to replicate iPhone. And to a fair extent, they were rewarded with comparative success—albeit nowhere near the incredible euphoria that Apple’s internet phone had created.

With every new generation, iPhone continued to either set a new record or achieve something incredible. When Steve Jobs died in 2011, many thought the smartphone would no longer be a dominating force in the global market under lesser known Tim Cook.

The Admirable Successor

Followed post the demise of Jobs was nothing but a roller-coaster ride thanks to an instinctive approach by Cook. Though iPhone 5 (5c, 5s) didn’t receive the same appreciation as its predecessors, it still was the best among the lot. Then came iPhone 6, 6 Plus in 2014, which climbed the ladder of unprecedented success; breaking away all the previous records by a huge margin.

Packed in with the gorgeous design, all new display and most significantly; highly user-friendly features set iPhone 6 apart from the rest. Once again Apple proved why it is considered to be the best in the business.

Resting on Past Laurels

Buoyed by the massive popularity of iPhone 6, Tim Cook didn’t introduce too many all new features in iPhone 6s and 6s Plus. With very few outstanding qualities, they failed to impress both the tech world and fans. Consequently, iPhone sales dropped to a record low.

While the sudden decline in popularity may have come as a surprise to many around the world, those who have used Apple devices might not have been taken aback by the poor response of the newest iPhone.

Paid the Price for Failing to Live Up to the Expectation

Going by the history, whenever the tech giant has brought something out of the ordinary, the world has lapped it. Such has been its excellent history that fans expect nothing less than spectacle from it. As and when the company has failed to live up to the expectation, it has received a rather weak response like iPhone 5.

So, will iPhone 7 resurrect Apple’s fast losing grip in the market? No. Unless and until it’s primed to be the class apart, company’s fortune will continue to be in doldrums. Since the next generation of the smartphone is reported to arrive with the same design and concept as iPhone 6s, retailers and suppliers are already disappointed as they have already foreseen the dismal results.

Gloomy Road Ahead

“When every other phone is lashed with high-end features like, 4 GB RAM and 4K video recording, the iPhone 7 has to bring with it something pretty unique to wither the storm—that’s more challenging now than ever before..!”

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Dhvanesh

The founder of iGeeksBlog, Dhvanesh, is an Apple aficionado, who cannot stand even a slight innuendo about Apple products. He dons the cap of editor-in-chief to make sure that articles match the quality standard before they are published.

7 Simple Ways To Safely Back Up Your Iphone Photos And Videos

I have a friend who nearly lost all of his photos of his daughter. He had his iPhone for just about two years and he took tons of pictures of her. She wasn’t even two years old yet, so basically, her whole life was on his iPhone. One day, his phone crashed, and he couldn’t figure out what happened to it. His pictures were lost.

He was eventually able to recover his photos, but not without hours of work and days of anxiety. When I asked him why he didn’t just back his photos up, he had no good response. Always back up your precious photos. Seriously. Always back up your photos!

Here are a few different ways to back up your photos and videos so you’ll never have to face the dreaded lost memories again.

How to back up your iPhone photos and videos

When you set up your iPhone, it starts storing your photos in iCloud by default. This makes it possible for you to save a lot of photos, but you should find another way to back them up or you will lose the ones that don’t fit into the 5GB of free iCloud storage that you get.

1. Use Mac’s Photos app

If you have a Mac, you can safely store all your iPhone photos locally on your computer for free. Here’s how:

Connect your iPhone to your Mac via cable.

Open the macOS Photos app.

Tap Allow on your iPhone if asked. In a few seconds, you’ll see all your iPhone pictures and videos appear inside Mac’s Photos app.

Select the desired photos or press Command + A to select all.

Don’t unplug or fidget with the device until the photos are transferred.

2. Use Image Capture or AirDrop pictures regularly

Image Capture comes built-in on all Macs. You can use this to import photos from your iPhone to any folder on Mac. Besides that, you can also AirDrop your important pictures and videos from your iPhone to your Mac for safekeeping. Here are the steps to use both Image Capture and AirDrop to transfer photos from iPhone to Mac.

Must see: 10 free ways to send large videos and files from iPhone

3. Use iCloud Photos

With iCloud Photos, your iPhone, iPad, and Mac can automatically upload new images and save them to iCloud. These pictures are accessible on all your Apple devices, web browser, and Windows PC.

iCloud Photos is fantastic and effortless. However, you only get 5GB of free storage with every Apple ID, and iCloud Photos fills this up very quickly. After that, your device backups will fail, notes will not save, and you will see annoying iCloud popups unless you free up iCloud storage.

Therefore, to sanely use iCloud Photos, you should upgrade to a paid iCloud+ plan, and get 50 GB or more cloud storage.

4. Use Google Photos

Google Photos offers 15GB free instead of the 5GB that iCloud does. Plus, Google Photos is available as an app on Android as well. So, if an extra 10 GB and the possibility of quickly accessing your iPhone photos on Android excites you, look no further. You can set up Google Photos to upload all your pictures and videos from your iPhone.

6. Use Dropbox

If you own a Dropbox account, you can also automatically store your photos in their cloud. If you connect your iPhone to a computer with Dropbox installed, you can turn on Camera Upload, and photos and videos will automatically download to Dropbox.

However, keep in mind that Dropbox has a limited amount of free storage available. When you run out, you have to pay for an upgrade. You get 2GB of storage with a free account.

Dropbox can also automatically upload images that you take with your iPhone. You’ll, of course, need to download the Dropbox app first and create an account if you don’t already have one.

When you first launch the Dropbox app, it will offer to save your photos to Dropbox, as seen in the screenshots below.

If you didn’t enable this feature at launch but want to do it now, follow these steps:

In the Dropbox app, tap Account from the bottom right.

You can also choose to include videos or use cellular data to back up.

Alternatively, you can tap Upload from and then choose only a specific album to upload to Dropbox

7. Use Microsoft OneDrive

Most cloud storage services like OneDrive let you enable camera upload that saves all your iPhone photos to the cloud. As with all cloud storage providers, you will have to pay and get a subscription, as the free OneDrive tier offers only 5GB of storage. You can learn how to upload photos to OneDrive here.

Now you have learned about different ways to back up your iPhone and iPad photos. Don’t be like my friend and think you’re immune to the possibility of losing everything.

Check out next:

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