Using International iMessage to avoid SMS Charges

iMessage uses data instead of SMS, and therefore works internationally to send free text messages (as long as you have an international data plan).

However, you must TURN OFF “Send As SMS” when you are traveling internationally, otherwise your phone may send an SMS message (green message) using international SMS rates.

Go to Settings >Messages to turn off “SEND As SMS”

Beginner's Guide to iOS Passbook

Start using iOS Passbook in 5 Easy Steps

With  the launch of iOS 6 came the much anticipated Passbook app.  Despite passbook being out for over a month now, most people have no idea how to use it, so I decided to put together a painfully easy tutorial.  Let’s get to it.

Reasons to use passbook

  • Thin out your wallet by carrying around less loyalty and gift cards
  • Leave your wallet in your pocket, and pay with your phone in just a few taps
  • Avoid printing things like concert tickets, boarding passes, train tickets, etc.

1.  Start with a Starbucks card

If you live anywhere near a Starbucks, I recommend you bite the bullet and experience Passbook as soon as possible.  The easiest way to get started is to purchase a gift card at your local Starbucks and ask the cashier to load it with $5.

2.  Download the Starbucks app

Visit the iOS app store and download the free Starbucks app.

3.  Link your card to the Starbucks App

3.1 Click the + Icon at the top Right of the Starbucks App

3.1 Type in the numbers from your physical Starbucks card

 4.  Add your Starbucks card to the Passbook App

Once your card is added to the Starbucks app, you will see a Reload and Manage button under the card.  Hit the “Manage” button.

4.1 After hitting “Manage” select the option that says “Add Card to Passbook

5.  Open the Passbook app

Go back to your home screen on the iPhone, and open the Passbook app.  You should see your Starbucks card appear.

Your Starbucks pass will look something like this.

Save Time and Earn Rewards

Earn your Starbucks gold status in no time, and don’t worry about fishing your plastic Starbucks card out of your wallet.  By simply flashing your Starbucks card against a barcode reader at the cashier station, you are able to instantly pay and earn your Starbucks rewards.
See some of my other posts regarding Passbook.

iOS Emergency Alert in NYC During Hurricane Sandy

During Hurricane Sandy on Monday, October 29th starting at 8:30PM Eastern, mobile users all around NYC received a mysterious alert message:

Go indoors immediately and remain inside.  DO NOT DRIVE.  Call 9-1-1 for emergencies only.

These emergency alerts are a new feature of iOS 6, allowing government agencies to send out critical messages to the public.  The U.S. Government’s emergency alert system was launched in May 2012, and this was the first alert to be sent out in NYC since the system launched.

iOS 6 Maps Confuses Brooklyn and Manhattan

Want to get confused?  Try searching for a 5th avenue address on the new iOS 6 Maps app.  Unlike Google Maps, the new iOS 6 maps cannot make a distinction between Manhattan and Brooklyn for certain addresses.

333 5th ave in Google Maps (btwn 32nd and 33rd street in MANHATTAN)

333 5th Ave in iOS 6 Maps (between 3rd and 4th street in BROOKLYN)

3 New Must-Have Apps for iPhone (Zipcar, RedLaser, Dropbox)

Some very exciting developments in the iPhone apps world this week.  Check out these 3 must-have apps:

1.  DropBox

Create an account at, then effortlessly sync files between your home computer, work computer, and your iPhone.  You can even take pictures/videos from your iPhone and upload them directly to your computer. Cost: FREE.  This absolutely kills the $4.99 Air Sharing app’s revenue model.

Amazingly seamless syncing of files between your computer and iPhone.

2.  RedLaser

RedLaser uses the camera of your iPhone as a barcode scanner.  Scan anything from books, to candy and it will instantly search for the product on Amazon and Google.  Great for price matching when buying electronics.  Cost: $1.99.

Hold over any barcode (RedLaser)
Runs search on Amazon and Google for the product.
Runs search on Amazon and Google for the product.

3.  ZipCar

Much anticipated ZipCar app is finally out.  Find a nearby car using the built in GPS function, reserve it via the iPhone interface.  Once you initially unlock the car with your KeyCard, you can then unlock/lock/honk the horn from your iPhone.  Really impressive stuff, and will definitely up my Zipcar usage.  Cost: FREE (Zipcar membership required)

Locates Zipcar locations near you.
Locates Zipcar locations near you.

You can unlock, lock, and even honk the horn using your iPhone.
You can unlock, lock, and even honk the horn using your iPhone.