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  • How to change the DNS server used by your iPhone and iPad

    At times when websites take longer than needed to load up on an iPhone or iPad, the problem could be caused by your Internet provider's slow DNS server. AppleInsider advises how to update your iOS device's network settings to use a different DNS service than the one provided as part of the Wi-Fi connection settings.

    iOS DNS address change

    The Domain Name System (DNS) is a way for computers to find where it can find specific websites and services online. Effectively acting as a directory enquiries service or a phonebook for the Internet, the DNS takes the domain name requested by a browser and returns the IP address, which is then used by the browser to connect to what it needs to access.

    Generally, the DNS server is defined to a device automatically when they connect to a network, and is usually a server operated by the Internet Service Provider for the connection. For most users, this is fine, but there are a number of other DNS servers online that can be used instead.

    Why change DNS servers?

    Depending on your Internet Service Provider, the DNS server may not update to reflect domain name changes as others, leaving the site inaccessible in some cases with users being directed to the wrong IP address. Some DNS servers update at a faster rate than others, and so are more likely to have the latest address information after such a change.

    Depending on the size of the ISP and the resources it puts into running its DNS server, the reliability and speed of the service could degrade if too many requests are made to it at a time. Extremely large third-party DNS services are usually better equipped for massive loads from its users.

    Using a DNS service that you trust is also handy in cases where some sort of intervention makes an Internet provider's server unusable, such as during the 2014 elections in Turkey, when governments blocked access to social media for a number of weeks. Details for Google's DNS service started spreading between citizens as a workaround for the block, but only for a brief time.

    In the case of public Wi-Fi hotspots, it is also good practice to use a DNS service you are familiar with as there is no guarantee that the DNS offered by the connection will provide correct results, or even the possibility the company running it has taken steps to prevent access to certain sites and services by its users.

    While there are many plusses for using a third-party DNS, it can also cause some problems. In some cases, the use of a centralized DNS service can slow down media access to content delivery networks.

    For example, using a centralized DNS could cause a content delivery network for a service to use the same, and potentially lengthy, connection path between the server and the user as others using the same DNS provider. By comparison, ISP-level DNS services could inform the content delivery network of its location, allowing for a more local server to be used instead.

    Wi-Fi: Changing DNS details

    Enter the Settings app on your iOS device, and select Wi-Fi. Tap the small "i" icon next to the name of the network that needs the DNS server details changed, scroll down, and tap Configure DNS.

    At the top, change the setting from Automatic to Manual. In the section below, tap the red minus circle next to the DNS servers followed by Delete to remove them.

    Tap Add Server, then in the new empty listing, type in the DNS server IP address you wish to use, and repeat for a second listing if a redundancy option is available. Once finished, tap Save in the top-right corner.

    The same process can be used to change the servers again at a later time, or to revert back to the connection's default. To use the DNS server the Wi-Fi network specifies, change from Manual back to Automatic.

    Note that this change will only apply to a specific Wi-Fi network, not for all networks. This setting needs to be changed on all Wi-Fi networks you wish to use a specific DNS server through.

    Cellular: Workarounds required

    Apple has not included the ability to change the DNS details for cellular connections in iOS. By default, users are stuck connecting to whatever DNS server is set up with their carrier.

    It is possible to make changes to the cellular DNS, but only through the use of third-party applications.

    One option is DNS Override, a tool for easily changing the DNS details for Wi-Fi connections, but is also capable of working around Apple's restriction. Once unlocked with an in-app purchase, the app effectively creates a dummy Virtual Private Networking (VPN) profile that isn't actively used, but does allow for the app to set the DNS server, including for cellular networks.

    Another alternative is to set up a VPN on the iOS device. As this creates a connection with a remote server before accessing the wider Internet, it can be used to bypass your carrier's DNS server completely.

    Various VPN servers are available, both in paid and free forms, though if you have a good connection at home, it is also possible to set up your own.

    Further Notes

    There are lists of publicly-accessible DNS servers online, giving you a wide variety of options to choose from. Two major third-party DNS services that are also easy to remember are offered by Google and Cloudflare, with both boasting speed and security improvements compared to ISP versions.

    Google's public DNS IP addresses are and Cloudflare's version, in association with APNIC, is located at with the backup

    If you have control over your home network's router and want to change the DNS for all of your devices, the best option is to attempt to change the DNS on the router itself. Making the change here means any device connecting to the Wi-Fi network with the DNS set to automatic will use the updated details.
  • Apple to close last dedicated Apple Watch pop-up store on May 13

    Apple's pop-up Watch store located in the Shinjuku ward of Tokyo will be closing on May 13th, according to recently-posted signage at the location.

    Isetan Apple Watch store

    "This is a notice that Apple Watch at Isetan Shinjuku will close as of Sunday, May 13," the message reads. "Thank you very much for your continuous patronage." The text was spotted by a Twitter user and shared by Kodawarisan.

    The company only ever operated three Watch pop-up stores worldwide, the other two being at Selfridges in London, and Galeries Lafayette in Paris. Both closed in January last year.

    The trio of stores first launched in tandem with the original Apple Watch in 2015, intended to catch the eye of luxury shoppers and position the product as a fashion item, not just an iPhone accessory. Initially they also served as some of the few third-party venues where the Watch was available.

    Apple has since scaled back some of its fashion ambitions. Though Apple regularly cycles new bands in and out of circulation, it has increased its emphasis on health and fitness, and long-since abandoned any use of gold in Edition models, which pushed prices to $10,000 or higher. Modern Editions use ceramic cases and cost no more than $1,349 before cellular plans or extra bands.

    The Isetan store was an unusual holdout, and is likely shuttering because of the full-scale Apple store that opened in Shinjuku earlier this month. The two places are in fact across the street from each other.
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  • Apple sends emails to WWDC 2018 scholarship winners

    After three weeks of deliberations, Apple on Friday sent out notifications of acceptance to students and STEM organization members who applied for a scholarship to this year's Worldwide Developers Conference.

    WWDC 2018 Scholarship
    Source: Roland Horvth via Twitter

    A number of scholarship award winners took to social media to share the news. As seen in the screenshot above, taken from a tweet by 17-year-old Hungarian developer Roland Horvth, some of those chosen to attend the June conference are posting Apple's acceptance letter in its entirety.

    The email runs over the usual specifics, noting each scholarship includes a ticket to the conference, lodging for one week and a one year membership in the Apple Developer Program. In some cases, including Horvth's, requests for travel assistance to the event in San Jose, Calif., have been approved.

    Apple traditionally grants a small number of scholarships to promising developers from around the world. Previous years have seen the company invite 200 students to the conference, but that number jumped to 350 in 2015 as the event grew in size and scope.

    Like last year's scholarship round, applicants were asked to submit a Swift playground with accompanying documentation discussing the various Apple technologies used to accomplish the work. The final product was judged on technical accomplishment and creativity of ideas.

    For up and coming developers, the scholarship program provides an unprecedented opportunity to learn about the latest Apple technology without being encumbered by the usual financial overhead associated with attending the conference. For 2018, Apple provided a total of 5,000 WWDC tickets priced at $1,599, each meted out in March through a lottery system.

    Apple is also sending out correspondence to those who failed to make the cut, saying the extraordinary number of playground submissions made this year's selection process particularly difficult. The company notes those who are unable to attend WWDC in person can take advantage of daily live streaming sessions and sample code via the WWDC app. The app, which normally provides a session schedule, video section, news and more, has not yet been updated for 2018.

    Apple is expected to unveil successors to its major software platforms at this year's conference, including iOS 12, macOS 10.14, watchOS 5 and tvOS 12.

    WWDC 2018 kicks off on June 4 with a keynote at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose. Apple will host over 100 technical and design-focused sessions presented by Apple engineers at the event, which runs through June 8.
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  • Original Mac designer Susan Kare to receive prestigious AIGA medal

    Susan Kare, a former Apple designer known to many as the "woman who gave the Macintosh a smile," will later this month receive an American Institute of Graphic Arts medal, an honor bestowed upon visual arts icons including Richard Avedon, Paul Rand, and Charles and Ray Eames.

    Recently announced on AIGA's website, Kare is being recognized for the "bold and intelligent" icons, user interface graphics and fonts introduced with Apple's first Macintosh computers.

    Originally accomplished in stark monochrome, and always under tight space constraints, Kare's often whimsical designs were among the first to humanize personal computing. Drawing from a wealth of cultural iconography, her work distills and conveys meaning through recognizable glyphs, from a trash can to a cherry bomb symbolizing a system crash to a paint brush and, of course, the infamous "Clarus the Dogcow."

    Prior to Apple, Kare pursued a career in art after receiving a Ph.D. from New York University in 1982, according to a brief AIGA biography. She worked as a curator at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco before taking her craft to Palo Alto, a high-tech mecca where companies like Apple, Hewlett-Packard, Google and Facebook laid roots.

    Kare was invited to apply for a graphic design job at Apple by former high school classmate Andy Hertzfeld. An original member of Apple's Macintosh team who helped develop the platform's operating system and other key software features, Hertzfeld was looking for a designer to imagine a user-friendly human-machine interface.

    To accomplish the task, Kare pulled on her knowledge of mosaics, needlepoint and pointillism to create miniature artistic works that fit within the confines of bitmap graphics.

    In a conversation with The New Yorker, published on Thursday, Kare said she brought a notebook with graph paper to her Apple job interview, on which was sketched draft versions of system icons. Blocking out a 32-by-32 grid allowed the designer to mimic pixel layouts that would ultimately end up on Mac displays.

    "As soon as I started work, Andy Hertzfeld wrote an icon editor and font editor so I could design images and letterforms using the Mac, not paper," Kare said. "But I loved the puzzle-like nature of working in sixteen-by-sixteen and thirty-two-by-thirty-two pixel icon grids, and the marriage of craft and metaphor."

    Kare is also credited with painting a pirate flag that flew above the Bandley 3 building at Apple's Cupertino, Calif., campus in 1983.

    Following Apple, Kare established her own design firm, Susan Kare Design, and provided services to Microsoft, Facebook, Intel, IBM and other big-name clients.

    Kare's work has been shown at a number of major museums including the National Museum of American History, Museum of Modern Art, SFMOMA and more. Most recently, her original Mac sketches appeared in MoMA's "This is for Everyone" exhibit in 2015. Kare also sells prints of her work -- and hand-painted Mac pirate flags -- at
  • Libratone Zipp: Can this AirPlay speaker best Apple's HomePod?

    Libratone's Zipp speaker is a customizable and powerful speaker that is sure to liven up any room whether at home or on the go. Its surprising list of features, not to mention inputs, makes it one of the best speakers you can add to your home.

    Libratone Zipp on Nighstand

    In putting the Libratone's Zipp through its paces, we tested the speaker's design, sound quality, and connectivity. Perhaps more interesting, however, is how Zipp compares to Apple's HomePod, an AirPlay (and soon to be AirPlay 2) enabled device with Siri integration.

    Now let's go ahead and dig in.

    Check out our in-depth video to see the speaker up close, as well as to hear a detailed sound test.

    Design & build quality

    Libratone Zipp Power Adapter

    Right out of the gate, the Zipp draws comparisons to the HomePod. Like Apple, Libratone paid attention to the smallest of details. Take the power cord for example. Instead of using some off-the-shelf boring black cable that would mar the overall experience, Libratone opted to design their own nylon-wrapped variant. It uses a barrel connector, which can be handy since it can rotate in any direction. It also has a replaceable end, one that can be swapped for different international plugs.

    Zipp is instantly recognizable with its brightly colored cover and logo-emblazoned crimson zipper pull. It has a solid weight, which is mostly a sum of the variety of speaker drives and the powerful internal battery.

    Libratone Zipp Cover

    Covering most of the top is a replaceable fabric. It has a few purposes: protecting the top of the speaker from debris, customizing color based on your mood or personality, swapping out if the original is damaged or sullied. The zip closure also happens to be where the Zipp gets its name.

    Additional covers are available from Libratone for $29, which seems like a fairly reasonable price.

    On top of the speaker is a simple light-up touch display used for system control, similar to the HomePod, but with more options. More on that in a bit. The speaker rests on a silicone base that prevents it from sliding around. By the way, if you are wondering, in all our testing, it did not leave any rings on our furniture.

    As a whole, the Zipp very much exudes quality. Just on build quality alone, the Zipp comes off as a premium speaker.

    Touch controls

    Aside from using Siri, the HomePod has three physical controls including a touchscreen on its crest. Zipp easily one-ups the HomePod on this front.

    Libratone Zipp Controls

    A nightingale, Libratone's logo, is perched in the center of the touch-sensitive control panel, located on the speaker's top. Using the small circular screen, you can tap to play/pause, use the arrows to go forward/back in your tracks, and even choose from one of five customizable favorites.

    Our favorite command, though, has to be the hush feature. Too many times am I at my desk listening to music when my girlfriend asks me a question. My usual recourse is to tap the speaker to pause, or scramble for my iPhone to pause it there.

    Zipp takes a better approach. Regardless of what is playing, placing a hand over top of the speaker will "hush" the music, significantly lowering its volume. When you're ready, remove the hand and the volume will regain its original level. This is something we use all the time, and wish Apple would perhaps steal for the HomePod.


    Streaming your tunes is simple on the Zipp. Primarily because of the wealth of options available to stream from.

    Libratone Zipp Streaming services

    Zipp is a Wi-Fi-equipped speaker, so it is capable of streaming Spotify, Tidal, or internet radio all on its own. No device necessary. Wi-Fi is not a requirement though. Music can also be played over Bluetooth or using the auxiliary audio port located on the back.

    Most importantly, at least for Apple users, is support for AirPlay, Apple's high-quality streaming protocol.

    AirPlay and AirPlay 2

    AirPlay, and Apple's upcoming AirPlay 2, is a proprietary streaming protocol that works over Wi-Fi to deliver audio and video data to compatible devices.

    As an example, you can use an iPhone to stream audio or video to your Apple TV. In this case, you can use your Mac, iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV to stream audio to your Zipp.

    Libratone Zipp AirPlay

    It is dead simple to set up and use. Once the speaker is configured, tap the AirPlay icon in an app or in Control Center and the Zipp will show up. Streaming audio from almost any of your devices is literally two taps away.

    AirPlay is also how music is streamed to the HomePod. And like the HomePod, the Zipp will also be upgraded to AirPlay 2.

    Apple's next generation of AirPlay, AirPlay 2, brings better throughput and multi-room audio. That means music can be streamed from a device to multiple Zipps, HomePods, Apple TVs, or other AirPlay 2 speakers simultaneously. I have an Apple TV hooked up to a receiver in the living room, my HomePod in the Kitchen, and the Zipp in my office. I will be able to stream content to all these at the same time after the release of AirPlay 2, which is expected mid-2018 with the launch of iOS 11.4.

    AirPlay 2 also pulls these devices into the Home app to work with HomeKit. What HomeKit will be capable of with speakers has yet to be seen, but we believe they will eventually be built into scenes. Allowing users to schedule or trigger scenes with music playback.

    Audio quality

    Any speaker, regardless of how many bells and whistles it's outfitted with, is useless if the sound quality is not up to par.

    Luckily, the Zipp excels. 360 FullRoom Sound makes it easy to hear from any direction. A tactic the HomePod also adopts when not placed near a wall. This means wherever the Zipp is placed, it sounds great from anywhere in the room.

    Libratone Zipp playing music

    Audio quality usually depends on the method it is played through. For iOS users, the best sounding audio will come through AirPlay. It also supports AptX, which is a high-quality streaming protocol for Bluetooth. This will be useful for Android users.

    When judging the audio quality, we tried several different genres of audio. Specifically: instrumental, rap, classic rock, pop, podcasts and movies.

    Libratone Zipp Audio profiles

    Our biggest takeaway was how well rounded the speaker sounded. Bass lovers may feel a bit underwhelmed, but personally, I preferred them laying off a bit. That isn't to say the bass isn't there, it is, it just isn't overpowering like it is on the HomePod.

    It shines most with the clear mids and highs. Even at the loudest volume, there was no distortion in the audio.

    What we really enjoyed was the different audio profiles that can be enabled, such as "Rock the House," "Easy Listening," "Movie Mode" and "Speech." This makes a huge difference depending on what you are listening to.

    The clear audio is accomplished by a 100-watt Class D amp, a 4-inch woofer, two 1-inch tweeters, and two 4-inch passive radiators. Quite a powerful for package for a portable speaker.


    Unlike the HomePod, the Zipp has its own dedicated app. It houses a bunch of functionality aside from just setup.

    Libratone Zipp settings in app

    There are a variety of settings, including configuring your Tidal or Spotify account, changing the voice profile, setting its location, changing the name, selecting your favorites or performing software updates.

    Information like Wi-Fi strength, battery percentage and sleep timers are also readily available.

    We appreciate the little touches too, such as color matching the app and the speaker. If the cover is changed on the speaker, you can choose the color corresponding color in the app to match the new cover.

    There is also the ability to create "Soundspaces." Up to six Zipps can be connected together for multi-room listening. No need to wait for AirPlay 2 to launch.


    One rarely sees a Wi-Fi speaker that also is portable. Zipp falls into this category. Take it on the go, and stream over Bluetooth.

    There is a leather strap attached to the side (which is removable for when replacing the cover) that makes it easy to carry.

    Inside, is a powerful battery that should last about 10 hours. In our tests, with moderate volume, we actually got almost 12 hours of use. This alone is one of the biggest selling points of the Zipp.

    Since there is a powerful battery on the inside, why not use it to charge other devices? There is a USB-A port on the rear of the speaker, which is perfect for charging a phone on the go. Basically, by taking the Zipp with you, you always have a spare backup battery.

    Zipp vs. HomePod

    One thing we wanted to do, was directly compare the Zipp to Apple's latest home speaker. There are many similarities, as well as many differentiators.

    Libratone Zipp and Apple HomePod

    Let's take a care of what is similar first. To start, they both have powerful, omnidirectional 360-degree audio. They both support AirPlay, as well as the forthcoming AirPlay 2. Perfect for any Apple user.

    Whether Apple Music on the HomePod or Tidal/Spotify on the Zipp, both are able to stream without the need for another device.

    Price is also a bit similar, both aiming for the mid-range market. There are clearly more high-end speakers out there, but both Libratone and Apple are shooting for fairly premium audio at a somewhat affordable price.

    This is really where the similarities end.

    One big difference is the lack of a dedicated app for the HomePod. The HomePod is required to be configured solely in the Home app, whereas the Libratone provides a dedicated app with a wealth of functionality. It is not only convenient, but many users will find it more accessible as well.

    There has been a lot of debate on the audio quality of the HomePod. Most agree it sounds great, though users are split on the heaviness of the bass. Some like the Beats-derived audio, while some, like me, find it a bit heavy-handed. While the Zipp is surely not bass-forward, the different audio profiles make it customizable based on user taste, something sorely lacking on the HomePod.

    A neat feature with the HomePod is its intelligence. A built-in accelerometer tells the HomePod when it moves, and it automatically recalibrates the sound each time it does. Zipp isn't quite as crafty, instead relying on the user to set the location manually in the app.

    HomePod has the edge when it comes to assistants. Siri comes baked right in, making it easy to control easily with just your voice. Zipp isn't completely by itself though; it has the ability to integrate with Amazon's Alexa.

    What we feel really sets the Zipp apart from the HomePod, though, are audio inputs and portability.

    Zipp can handle aux cables, Bluetooth, Spotify/Tidal streaming, Internet radio and AirPlay. HomePod can only handle streaming Apple Music or AirPlay. This can be a big decider when looking which to purchase.

    Portability is also key. HomePod is limited. Since it requires Wi-Fi, it can't leave your home. It is also tied to a cable, with no external battery available. That means moving it around within a home can even pose challenges. Zipp has a handle, built-in battery and doesn't even require Wi-Fi, making it ideal for home or on the go use.

    Zipp for the win

    Libratone Zipp in the Kitchen

    HomePod is a delightful speaker. Apple clearly has gone the extra mile to integrate the speaker into its own ecosystem. However, the way Libratone has outfitted the Zipp with a wealth of features while highlighting the premium audio makes it our personal preference.

    Score: 4.5 out of 5

    Pricing and availability

    Libratone Zipp ships in four different colors and is available on Amazon for $299. There is also a similar Zipp Mini available for $249, though we can't recommend it. Might as well spend the extra $50 for its full-sized brethren.

    Covers are also available for the mini, and full size Zipp for $29 from Libratone.