How to Capture a Live Photo in FaceTime on iOS 11 and macOS High Sierra

iOS 11 and macOS High Sierra bring Live Photos to FaceTime, allowing you to preserve a special memory while video chatting with friends and family. Whenever you use the new Camera button that’s at the bottom of the screen on a FaceTime call, it captures a photo, but don’t worry – this can’t be done in secret and the other party is always notified when an image is captured.

How to Take a Live Photo in FaceTime

  1. Initiate a FaceTime video call.
  2. While in the call, press on the camera button that’s located at the bottom of the display to the left of the red button for ending a call.
  3. Pressing the camera button captures a photo from the camera of the person you’re chatting with, so if they have the front-facing camera on, you’ll get a full image of their face as if they had taken the photo themselves.
  4. The Live Photo taken from the FaceTime call can then be found in the Photos app along with the rest of your photos.

Every time you take a Live Photo in FaceTime, the person on the other end of the video call receives a message letting them know that a Live Photo was taken, so capturing an image during FaceTime isn’t something that can be done in secret. FaceTime Live Photos also don’t capture audio.

Disable Live Photos in FaceTime

If you don’t want people to be able to take a Live Photo when FaceTiming with you, it’s easy to disable. Here’s how:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Scroll down to the “FaceTime” option and tap it.
  3. Toggle off “FaceTime Live Photos.”

With this setting toggled off, people you chat with will not be able to use the Live Photo in FaceTime feature. You can still take Live Photos of others, however, as long as their setting isn’t toggled off.

FaceTime Live Photos only works when both FaceTime participants are running iOS 11 and have the option to enable/disable the feature. If someone isn’t using iOS 11 and you attempt to capture a photo, you’ll get a warning that all parties need to be running the new software.

FaceTime Live Photos on the Mac

FaceTime Live Photos are also available on Macs running macOS High Sierra. Capturing an image is done by clicking on the camera button, and toggling off Live Photos can be done on a Mac by opening the FaceTime app, choosing Preferences from the menu bar, and deselecting “Allow Live Photos to be captured during Video calls.”

What You Need to Know About HEIF in macOS High Sierra and iOS 11

With the official release of iOS 11 and macOS High Sierra, Apple introduced support for a new image format called HEIF. Apple sees HEIF as a worthy successor to the JPEG format. So what makes it so good that it can replace an industry standard that’s been in use for almost 25 years?

What is HEIF?

HEIF stands for High Efficiency Image Format and can be considered the still-image version of the HEVC video codec that Apple’s ecosystem now officially supports. (You can learn more about HEVC here.) The HEIF standard wasn’t made by Apple – it was developed in 2015 by the MPEG group, which also invented the AAC audio format used in iTunes.

Benefits of HEIF Over JPEG

As the name implies, HEIF is a more streamlined method of storing image data and offers better quality than the traditional JPEG format. For example, HEIF supports image transparency and can capture a more extended color range than JPEG (16-bit versus 8-bit), which should increase the accuracy of photos taken on Apple’s latest iPhones. At the same time, a HEIF-encoded image should be around half the file size of an equivalent-quality JPEG, so users will be able to keep twice the number of shots on their Apple devices (or in iCloud) before they max out their storage capacity.

In addition, HEIF files include a 320×240 embedded thumbnail that’s four times the resolution but only twice the file size of a standard JPEG thumbnail. HEIF images can also be rotated and cropped without altering the image or re-saving them, all of which makes working with HEIF files that much faster than JPEG on both Mac and iOS devices.


HEIF also brings other benefits that JPEG doesn’t offer because it’s unlike your typical image format. That’s because it’s also capable of acting as a container for multiple files. This should be a boon for anyone who takes bursts of photos or lots of Live Photos – which can be edited in multiple new ways in iOS 11 – but it also means HEIF could become a wholesale replacement for GIF.

HEIF Compatibility and Image Sharing

Currently, Apple only supports HEIF image encoding on iOS devices with a minimum A10 Fusion processor, so that includes the 2017 10.5-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro, the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, and of course Apple’s new 2017 range of iPhones. Owners of these devices can check their camera is encoding photos in HEIF by going to Settings -> Camera -> Formats, and ensuring the “High Efficiency” option is selected. The “Most Compatible” option means photos will be encoded in JPEG format.


HEIF is supported on all Macs capable of running macOS High Sierra, and many macOS applications work natively with HEIF, including Photos, Preview, and Quick Look. This means macOS users might consider converting their JPEG image files to HEIF for greater storage or network benefits.

The transition to HEIF within the Apple ecosystem should be mostly transparent, but if users need to move HEIF content outside of that ecosystem, it’s worth looking into transcoding options (JPEG, for example) to provide the best backwards compatibility for other users. Happily, iOS 11 will auto-convert HEIF images to JPEG when they are shared to devices running earlier versions of iOS, non-Apple devices, and popular social media sites, or when they are passed over to apps that don’t yet support the standard.

What You Need to Know About HEIF in macOS High Sierra and iOS 11

With the official release of iOS 11 and macOS High Sierra, Apple introduced support for a new image format called HEIF. Apple sees HEIF as a worthy successor to the JPEG format. So what makes it so good that it can replace an industry standard that’s been in use for almost 25 years?

What is HEIF?

HEIF stands for High Efficiency Image Format and can be considered the still-image version of the HEVC video codec that Apple’s ecosystem now officially supports. (You can learn more about HEVC here.) The HEIF standard wasn’t made by Apple – it was developed in 2015 by the MPEG group, which also invented the AAC audio format used in iTunes.

Benefits of HEIF Over JPEG

As the name implies, HEIF is a more streamlined method of storing image data and offers better quality than the traditional JPEG format. For example, HEIF supports image transparency and can capture a more extended color range than JPEG (16-bit versus 8-bit), which should increase the accuracy of photos taken on Apple’s latest iPhones. At the same time, a HEIF-encoded image should be around half the file size of an equivalent-quality JPEG, so users will be able to keep twice the number of shots on their Apple devices (or in iCloud) before they max out their storage capacity.

In addition, HEIF files include a 320×240 embedded thumbnail that’s four times the resolution but only twice the file size of a standard JPEG thumbnail. HEIF images can also be rotated and cropped without altering the image or re-saving them, all of which makes working with HEIF files that much faster than JPEG on both Mac and iOS devices.


HEIF also brings other benefits that JPEG doesn’t offer because it’s unlike your typical image format. That’s because it’s also capable of acting as a container for multiple files. This should be a boon for anyone who takes bursts of photos or lots of Live Photos – which can be edited in multiple new ways in iOS 11 – but it also means HEIF could become a wholesale replacement for GIF.

HEIF Compatibility and Image Sharing

Currently, Apple only supports HEIF image encoding on iOS devices with a minimum A10 Fusion processor, so that includes the 2017 10.5-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro, the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, and of course Apple’s new 2017 range of iPhones. Owners of these devices can check their camera is encoding photos in HEIF by going to Settings -> Camera -> Formats, and ensuring the “High Efficiency” option is selected. The “Most Compatible” option means photos will be encoded in JPEG format.


HEIF is supported on all Macs capable of running macOS High Sierra, and many macOS applications work natively with HEIF, including Photos, Preview, and Quick Look. This means macOS users might consider converting their JPEG image files to HEIF for greater storage or network benefits.

The transition to HEIF within the Apple ecosystem should be mostly transparent, but if users need to move HEIF content outside of that ecosystem, it’s worth looking into transcoding options (JPEG, for example) to provide the best backwards compatibility for other users. Happily, iOS 11 will auto-convert HEIF images to JPEG when they are shared to devices running earlier versions of iOS, non-Apple devices, and popular social media sites, or when they are passed over to apps that don’t yet support the standard.

How to Get the Most Out of iOS 11’s New Screenshot Editor

Screenshot: E.Price

With iOS 11, Apple rolled out a new screenshot tool for the iPhone and iPad that allows you to quickly edit your screenshot after you capture it.

Taking a screenshot is done exactly the same way it’s always been done. If for some reason you’ve never tried to do that, you take a screenshot by pressing the Home button and the Sleep/Wake button at the same time.

Now when you capture that screenshot, you’ll see a small thumbnail of your recent capture in the bottom left side of the screen. It will stick around for a few seconds after you capture it (you can dismiss it by swiping it to the left), and then move along. To access the screenshot editor, tap on that thumbnail.

Write on It

Writing on screenshots is probably the thing you’re most likely to do with the editor. Within it, you have a pen tool as well as a pencil and marker. Choose which digital pen you’d like to use by tapping on it. To the right, you’ll see color choices (white, black, blue, green, yellow, red), tap on the color of your choice and then start writing on the image. In the image below I used the pen to draw the circle, a pencil to underline text, and the marker to draw the sun.

Screenshot: E.Price

If you mess something up along the way, tap on the eraser icon to erase that mishap. You can also go back in time and remove your last edit by clicking the back arrow on the top right side of the page on iPhone, or bottom left on the iPad.

If your digital handwriting isn’t so good, you can also add text to images by tapping the plus sign at the bottom right of the page, and then selecting Text.

Crop Away

Cropping within the screenshot editor works exactly the same way it does in other photo editors. To adjust the screenshot’s size, adjust the blue border around your image. You can also pinch-to-zoom to zoom in on a particular part of the screenshot to come in closer to what you want to highlight.

Save Your Signature

Screenshot: E.Price

One thing the screenshot tool can potentially come in handy for is signing documents on the fly. Within it, you can save your signature, so you just have to drag and drop it on whatever forms (or love notes) you need to sign. To get to where you save your signature, tap that plus sign at the bottom right side of the page and then select the Signature section.

Move Drawings Around

You draw a big circle around something, and then realize you actually circled the wrong thing. You can move your digital circle around (or anything else you’ve written) by tapping the digital lesson tool on the page and then tapping what you’d like to move, and then drag in across the screen to its new home.

Use Pre-Set Shapes

Screenshot: E.Price

99% of the time I take a screenshot it’s because I want to point something in particular out to a friend, typically with an arrow. The screenshot tool has a number of shapes pre-set in its menu (a square, a circle, an arrow, and a speech bubble). You can get to them by tapping that plus sign at the bottom right and then tapping on the one you want. Shapes sizes can be adjusted to whatever size you need, and you can drag and drop it to the best placement within your screenshot.

11 ways to improve iPhone battery life with iOS 11

ios-11-control-center

Jason Cipriani/CNET

Hooray, a new iOS update is here! Oh no, my old iPhone is ripping through battery life at an alarming rate! 

Updating to a new version of iOS can be a rollercoaster of emotions (and that’s if it updates at all). If your iPhone doesn’t hold a charge like it used to, here are 11 ways you can extend the running time of your iPhone with iOS 11.

1. Check app-by-app battery usage

Your iPhone keeps a list of the most egregious abusers of its battery. Head to Settings > Battery and you’ll see a list of the apps that have used the most power in the last 24 hours and the last seven days. (In the image below, it says the last two days because I’ve only been using iOS 11 that long.)  

Tap the little clock icon along the right edge to see how long each app has run on screen or in the background during your selected time frame. With this knowledge, you can limit using power-hungry apps when you’re running low on juice. And knowing, they say, is half the battle.

ios-battery-usage

Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

2. Lower screen brightness

Powering the display is the single biggest drain on your battery. Use the slider in Control Center to reduce your screen’s brightness. 

You can also enable Auto-Brightness, which adjusts the screen level based on ambient light — but I’d only do this if you use your iPhone more at night than during the day or at least more inside than outside during the day. Or live in Seattle or somewhere where it’s seldom sunny (*waves at UK readers*). 

This is because in brightly lit environments, auto-brightness keeps your screen at or near max brightness and drains your battery faster. The auto-brightness setting moved in iOS 11. It’s no longer found under Display & Brightness page in Settings but buried in the Accessibility settings. Here’s the path: Settings > General > Accessibility > Display Accommodations.

ios-auto-brightness

Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

3. Turn your Flashlight down low

Like the display, the flashlight can be a big battery drain. With iOS 11, there are four brightness levels for the flashlight. If you’re a frequent flashlight user, try out the lowest setting; it’s still plenty bright and can save you some battery. Swipe up for the Control Center and 3D Touch or long-press on the flashlight button and set your brightness preference, which iOS will remember for subsequent flashlight uses.

ios-flashlight

Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

4. Use Low Power Mode

Low Power Mode isn’t new but it is super useful. It reduces or disables the following features: email fetch, “Hey Siri,” background app refresh, automatic downloads and some visual effects, plus it sets Auto-Lock to 30 seconds. When your battery hits 20 percent, iOS will offer to turn it on for you, but you can toggle it on by going to Settings > Battery, asking Siri to “turn on Low Power Mode” or adding a button for it to the new Control Center.

ios-low-power-mode

Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

5. Don’t push, fetch less

Urgent messages probably arrive by text these days, which means you need emails neither pushed constantly to your phone nor fetched frequently. Check your mail settings to make sure push is turned off and fetch set to Manually, or, if you must, Hourly. You can adjust Push and Fetch settings by following this path: Settings > Accounts & Passwords > Fetch New Data and change it to Manually. This means the Mail app won’t go hunting for new emails unless you launch it and check yourself.

ios-mail-fetch

Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

6. Nay Siri

There’s some debate over how much power listening for “Hey Siri” uses. Many people disable it out of privacy concerns because with the setting on, your iPhone is constantly listening for you to utter the magic words for the assistant to spring into action. It must use some, as Lower Power Mode turns it off. 

To turn it off, go to Settings > Siri & Search and toggle off Listen for “Hey Siri.”

ios-hey-siri-setting

Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

7. Limit background app refresh and auto downloads

Some apps, if you allow them, refresh their content when you aren’t using them, so that when you return to them you’re served fresh content, saving you from needing to pull down to refresh. Background refresh is certainly convenient, but it’s also a drain on battery life. Head to Settings > General > Background App Refresh and you can turn Background App Refresh off entirely or select which apps you’d like to refresh in the background.

Like refreshing in the background, an app updating itself in the background also uses battery resources. You can disable this feature and update your apps manually via the App Store app. To do so, go to Settings > iTunes & App Store and tap the toggle switch to turn off Updates in the Automatic Downloads section.

background-app-refresh

Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

8. Disable some visual effects

The visual effects that Low Power Mode reduces or disables, I believe, are the motion and transparency animation effects that lend a sense of depth as you tilt your phone or open and close apps. First, go to Settings > General > Accessibility > Reduce Motion and tap the toggle switch to turn on Reduce Motion. Next, head back to the Accessibility screen, tap the line above Reduce Motion titled Increase Contrast and tap the toggle switch to turn on Reduce Transparency.

reduce-motion

Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

9. Tighten up Auto-Lock

If the display is a huge power draw — and it is — then it’s a good idea to shorten the time it stays on when sitting idle. Auto-Lock shuts down your iPhone after it has been inactive for a period of time. You can set it as short as 30 seconds. To set a time period for Auto-Lock, head to Settings > Display & Brightness > Auto-Lock.

ios-auto-lock

Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

10. See what’s tracking your location

Apps constantly requesting your location naturally consumes battery. Thankfully, iOS 11 gives you more control over how and when apps access your location. No longer can a developer offer only “Always” or “Never” for the tracking options for location services. Now, you’ll be able to choose “While Using the App,” whether the developer likes it or not. Head to Settings > Privacy > Location Services to adjust the settings for all of your apps that use location services.

ios-location-services

Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

11. Restrict notifications

Too many notifications are both annoying and a drain on your battery because they can wake up an idle iPhone and turn on the display. Go to Settings > Notifications and choose which apps can push notifications your way. You can also shut off notifications on the lock screen. For Show Previews at the top, select When Unlocked.

ios-notifications

Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

iOS 11: Everything you need to know.

iOS 11 is here: How to download and install the new OS.

This week’s top stories: iPhone 8, Apple Watch Series 3, and Apple TV 4K reviews, iOS 11 is here, and more

In this week’s top stories: The iPhone 8, Apple Watch Series 3, and Apple TV 4K are now available and we go hands-on with it all, Apple officially release iOS 11, the iPhone X launch looms, and much more. Read on for it all…

Spigen TEKA RA200 Airpods Earhooks Cover

Following Apple’s first event at Steve Jobs Theater last week, it this week released a trio of new products: the iPhone 8, Apple Watch Series 3, and Apple TV 4K are now readily available to consumers. We had the opportunity to hands on with all three.

In our iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus review we noted of the similarities and differences compared to the iPhone 7 and asked whether or not it was worth waiting for the iPhone X. Meanwhile, our Apple Watch Series 3 review highlighted the iPhone freedom that LTE connectivity provides, though some app limitations hold it back.

The Apple TV 4K also packs a new, slightly revised Siri Remote alongside performance improvements 4K HDR support, and more.

Elsewhere, a multitude of apps were updated with support for new iOS 11 features such as the Files app, Drag and Drop, and ARKit. Most notably, Ikea released its new augmented reality app, Ikea Place.

The iPhone X launch, however, is still the cloud hanging above all of this week’s releases. The device has reportedly suffered another production delay which could further hinder supply when it’s released next month.

Head below for all of this week’s top stories.

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Apple Watch |

Apple TV |

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This week Benjamin and Zac discuss 9to5Mac’s iPhone 8 / 8 Plus and Apple Watch Series 3 reviews, favorite app updates for iOS 11, and best features in iOS 11 / watchOS 4 / tvOS 11.

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How to really turn off Bluetooth and Wi-Fi in iOS 11

control-center-bluetooth-and-wi-fi

Right: Looks like Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are off, right? Nope: They’re just disconnected. The radios are still active, which poses both battery and security concerns.


Screenshot by Rick Broida/CNET

There’s something different about iOS 11 — and whether or not it’s a good thing is up for debate.

Ever since its debut, way back in iOS 7, Control Center has included convenient Bluetooth and Wi-Fi toggles. Tap one, the feature turns off. Tap again, it’s back on.

In iOS 11, those same toggles are there, but they function differently: Instead of actually turning off the Bluetooth and Wi-Fi radios, they simply disconnect you from devices and networks. The radios stay on.

When will Apple fix this?

Apple isn’t likely to issue a fix for this unless there’s sufficient user outcry, but it isn’t a bug; it’s by design, according to this Apple support document.

What’s the purpose behind this new “feature”? As explained in that document, “In iOS 11 and later, when you toggle the Wi-Fi or Bluetooth buttons in Control Center, your device will immediately disconnect from Wi-Fi and Bluetooth accessories. Both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth will continue to be available.”

Why? So you can keep using “important” features and devices like AirDrop, AirPlay, the Apple Pencil and the Apple Watch.

Here’s where it gets really weird: If you deactivate Bluetooth and/or Wi-Fi via Control Center, both will reactivate automatically starting at 5 a.m., or if you restart your device. And Wi-Fi reactivates if you walk or drive to a new location.

How to really turn off Bluetooth and Wi-Fi

ios-11-bluetooth-off

Now Bluetooth is off off.


Screenshot by Rick Broida/CNET

I suspect most folks toggle these radios off for security reasons (iPhones are susceptible to the recent BlueBorne malware attack) and/or to extend battery life. Unfortunately, Control Center no longer allows you to turn off Bluetooth or Wi-Fi.

To do that, you’ll need to venture into Settings, just like in the days before Control Center.

For Bluetooth: Settings > Bluetooth > Off

For Wi-Fi: Settings > Wi-Fi > Off

What are your thoughts on this? Do you prefer the new way these buttons simply disconnect you, or do you want Apple to return this option to the way it was?

I’m with F-Secure’s Andrea Barisani, who suggested Apple add a long-press option to allow for actually turning off the two radios.

This is how to use the new iOS 11 Files app

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With Apple’s iOS 11 update comes the new and handy Files app. The improvement in file organization, dragging, and dropping is best put to use on the iPad, which we’ve demonstrated below. The Files app, however, appears on other Apple devices like the iPhone. Here’s how it works:

1. Once the Files app is opened, you can see the different file locations beneath “Browse” in the left column. Here, iCloud Drive has been selected, and inside this location, we’ll open up the documents folder.

2. Once a file like the documents folder has been opened, the contents inside can be easily moved around and organized. To select a file, just tap down on the selected file and hold it down. The file image will slightly enlarge, and then you have control over dragging and dropping it to different file folders or locations. Once your file is hovering over the destination folder, lift your finger and the file will drop. 

3. The Files app also allows you to drag and drop many files at once. Once a file has been selected, use your other hand to tap on the other files that you’d like to move, and they will automatically be “piled” on the original file, allowing them to all be moved around together. 

4. Each individual file — document, photo, video, etc. — can be given a colored tag, for whatever organization strategy you’re using. Drag the file to the left “Tags” bar, and drop the selected file (or files) onto the desired color. The files will stay in their original location, but also be collected in the red tags folder, so you can click on that tag and see all the red-tagged contents inside. 

5. The Files app on the iPhone works a little differently, because its functions are adjusted for a smaller screen. To select a file, tap down on it and then life your finger. This will reveal the action bar  above, allowing you to copy, move, and tag files. 

That’s it. Now you can finally keep track of all the documents, photos, videos, and other media you have stored on your iPhone or iPad. This should vastly improve the way you organize files on your device. Enjoy!

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Data-transfer app AnyTrans 6 moves iOS and Android data to new iPhone

This post is brought to you by iMobie, maker of AnyTrans.

There’s no denying it — the new iPhones look amazing. So it’s no surprise if you’re already plotting how to get one. But with any new device comes the challenge of moving the important stuff from your old one.

For iOS users, iTunes can make migrating a hassle. For Android users switching to iOS, it’s even more complicated. That makes iMobie’s updated all-in-one iPhone manager, AnyTrans 6, an exciting app. Available for macOS and Windows, it’s an ideal bridge between your old iOS or Android phone and a new one.

AnyTrans transfers data from iPhone to iPhone

This newest version of AnyTrans uses a clean, easy-to-navigate menu with clearly defined tools. iPhone users can migrate 34 types of content, including photos, messages, contacts, videos, and so on. Users with data on more than one old iPhone can use the Merge Device feature to bring the contents of both into a new iPhone. You can also clone your device with — you guessed it — the Clone Device feature, no iTunes backup needed.

If your iPhone is missing key data, even if it’s specific to a single app, you can avoid a full restore. Instead, through the AnyTrans interface you can select the missing files and move them to the proper app. And, of course, you can also make the same transfers to your iPad, Mac, iTunes and iCloud accounts.

iMobie simplifies the complex task of migrating to a new iPhone.
iMobie simplifies the complex task of migrating to a new iPhone.
Photo: iMobie

Move data from Android to iPhone

Earlier builds of AnyTrans 6 introduced the iOS Mover feature, which transfers Android data to iOS with one click. Other apps, like Move to iOS, do similar work. But according to iMobie, AnyTrans 6 is the only tool that allows you to freely select and transfer specific files.

For Android users eyeing a new iPhone, it’s all great news. (It’s also free for anyone to use.)

AnyTrans 6 makes it a single-click affair to transfer data from Android to iPhone. In contrast with Move to iOS, there’s no need to reset the iPhone or go into airplane mode on the Android device to make it all work.

As mentioned above, you can either fully migrate, or select just what you need to transfer. Text messages, call logs, contacts, music, videos, ringtones, books, compressed files — AnyTrans makes sure it all flows to the appropriate spot in your new iPhone. The software automatically converts videos and audio. Calendars load up automatically, too.

It all feels easier than it should be.

Try iMobie AnyTrans 6 for free

Additionally, AnyTrans offers free features anybody can use. The iCloud Manager adds another layer of utility for organizing backups. There’s even a built-in media downloader that can deliver content from streaming sites like YouTube and Vimeo straight to your iOS video folder.

You can get a free trial of AnyTrans from the iMobie website. If you like it, a single AnyTrans license costs just $39.99. It’s well worth taking AnyTrans for a test drive, especially if you’re an Android user looking to make the move to iPhone.