Siri lets you relive your audio misadventures.

Want to see all the songs you've found via Siri or iTunes Radio? Photo: Buster Hein/Cult of Mac

iOS 8 includes Shazam — a magical technology that gives your iPhone the power to listen to a song and tell you what it is. In the car, at a movie theater, or even at a crowded bar, you can just ask Siri, “What song is playing?” or hold your home button for a few seconds, and your iPhone will use Shazam tech to tell you exactly what song is in your environment. You can also (surprise) buy the song you just recognized via a little button in the results screen.

But what if you want to buy it later? Or remember what song was playing at the bar last night when that cute girl gave you her number? You can easily do just that with a quick trip to iTunes on your iPhone.

Tap the icon for the iTunes Store and you’ll see the familiar set of featured albums and New Music. Tap on the little menu button in the upper right (it looks like a bulleted list with three lines) and you’ll access your Wish List, Siri, Radio, and Previews screen.

Screengrab: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

To see what you’ve had Siri recognize for you, simply tap on the Siri tab at the top of the page. Your iPhone will list out all the songs you wanted to know more about, along with a handy button to buy the song to the right of the song title. Super useful!

If you’re trying to remember what songs were playing for you on iTunes Radio, simply tap on the Radio tab at the top of the same page and you’ll get a list of all the songs played on any of your iCloud-connected devices via iTunes Radio.

Now you can relive all your audio adventures with a quick tap or two, and even contribute to your music collection with a buy in the iTunes Store. How convenient!

See how iOS 8 lets you connect with friends faster than ever.

The upcoming release of iOS 8 brings many new features that will dramatically improve everyday use of iPhones and iPads. While currently contacting your friends can be an annoyingly long process because you must open apps and search through contact after contact, a new feature in iOS 8 eliminates this common hassle.

In today’s video we show how iOS 8’s new quick contacts feature will make contacting your most recent friends much easier. After you update to iOS 8, simply double-click the home button to enjoy this new functionality.

How to set up a complex passcode on your iOS device.

passcode ios 7 screenSmartphones and tablets these days store an incredible amount of information, and with much of it sensitive and personal, many users like to keep their device somewhat private by limiting who has access.

With the introduction of Touch ID on the iPhone 5s, Apple sought to make iOS devices more secure by making security as simple as a fingerprint. But with Touch ID currently an iPhone 5s-only feature, where does that leave all other iOS users?

Thankfully, there’s a solution.

The default passcode setting in iOS 7 only allows for a 4-digit numeric string, otherwise known as a simple passcode. But when you’re really serious about device security — or just want to be extra sure no one finds out about your Taylor Swift app or questionable weekend photos — iOS 7 offers more complex passcode protection.

With a complex passcode, you can pick a passcode that includes letters, numbers, and special characters. What’s more, a complex passcode can be much longer than just four characters. In iOS 6, the string limit was 37 characters long. But in iOS 7 I was able to enter in over 90 characters without receiving a warning about having too long of a passcode. This makes the task of guessing another’s passcode exponentially more difficult.

Time to get started.

To set a passcode that can include numbers, letters, and special characters, go to Settings > General > Passcode Lock. If you’ve grown weary of Touch ID and would like to do this on an iPhone 5s, it’s listed under Settings > General > Touch ID & Passcode.

Next, simply toggle off the “Simple Passcode” setting. If you haven’t set up a passcode at all yet, you’ll first have to select the “Turn Passcode On” option located near the top of the settings pane.

simple passcode ios

Upon doing so, you will be prompted to enter a complex passcode with the ability to choose from an array of numbers, letters, and special characters. You’ll be prompted to enter the passcode twice, the first time you tap ‘Next’ to continue and the second time you tap ‘Done.’

While you can insert special characters like ñ or é in a complex passcode, you unfortunately cannot use emoji icons. Which is a damn shame because a passcode like this would be pretty cool.

emoji ios icons

As is always the case, it’s important to make sure that your passcode is hard for others to guess but easy for you to remember.

After setting up a complex passcode, your new passcode lock screen will look like this, offering up a full text-and-number keyboard for your passcode entry.

ios 7 complex passcode entry

Is a Complex Passcode even necessary?

With a 4-digit numeric passcode, there are potentially 10^4 (10,000) different passcode options. That sure seems like a lot, but a study on common iOS passwords reveals that many people still rely on passcodes that aren’t terribly hard to guess. Some common passcodes to avoid include 1234, 0000, 2580, 1111, 5555 and 5683 (which spells out ‘love’). Also try and avoid passcodes that represent (easy to guess) birth years such as 1949, 1985, and 1999.

When using a complex passcode, however, the number of possible passcode combinations increases exponentially. With about 77 characters (numbers+letters+special characters) to choose from, and a passcode that can be as long as 50 characters (at least), that’s already 77^50 possible permutations right there, making it effectively impossible for anyone to ever guess your passcode without peering over your shoulder. Even opting for a slightly longer 6 character passcode increases the number of possible passcode combinations from 10,000 to 208.4 billion (77^6).

And with that, may your device always remain secure from prying eyes.

As a final note, this comic strip about password strength from XKCD is on topic and worth sharing.

Check out this cool (and pointless) iPhone lock screen trick in iOS 7.

There are plenty of useful iOS guides out there featuring extensive lists of tips and tricks. But what about iOS tips that are completely pointless? You know, the type of iOS tips will do nothing to increase your productivity or efficiency, but rather exist solely as something to show off to friends if you happen to find yourself bored at a party.

Well search no longer, friends. We’ve got such a tip for you today.

Thanks to a Reddit thread which surfaced last week, I stumbled upon a cool, and admittedly useless, iOS trick which at the very least shows off iOS 7’s physics engine.

Here’s how it all works.

From the iOS 7 lockscreen, there’s a small camera icon located in the bottom right portion of the screen. As you may already know, you can quickly access the camera app by sliding the icon upwards.

But if you want to have a bit of fun, slide up the icon about three quarters of the way up and then slam (read: slide) it back down as fast as you can. If you do it right, you’ll bounce the screen hard enough that it’ll shoot all the way back up and open up the camera app in the process.

And knowing is half the battle…

Source: TUAW.