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How to set up an Apple ID in any country without payment information

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One of the primary reasons I switched to the iPhone 6S when it came out, after years of using Android (and, very briefly, Windows Phone), is the App Store. And while Apple’s home for apps serves as a great host for first-to-market downloads and higher-quality content than its Android counterpart, geographical restrictions have kept some apps out of reach for non-stateside residents.

Take Google’s iOS keyboard, Gboard, as an example; it’s a worthy alternative to sticking to the status quo. Unfortunately, it’s only available in the U.S. App Store. Ditto for Microsoft’s equally compelling Word Flow keyboard. Mind you, there are other cases where having a U.S.-based Apple ID means more and better options.

That said, unless you have a payment option tied to a U.S. address, switching regions isn’t an option. What you can do, however, is create a new ID, this time choosing the U.S. (or any other country) over your country of residence. Again, that method requires a mode of payment in your region of choice. Or does it? Turns out, you can make an Apple ID without keying in a payment option. You just have to know how to do it.

But before we get to the good part, do note the instructions below are for iPhone and iPad owners, though you might achieve the same results using iTunes.

1. Launch the App Store.

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2. Scroll down to the bottom of the Featured tab.

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3. Select your Apple ID, and then sign out.

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4. Make a new ID by choosing Create New Apple ID from the dialog box.

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5. Select your preferred proxy country or region (again, we recommend the U.S.), then tap Next.

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6. Agree to Apple’s Term and Conditions.

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7. Don’t fill out the boxes under New Account. Instead, hit Cancel. You’re now in the App Store of your country or region of choice.

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8. Use the search bar to find an app to install and get the app.

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9. Select Create New Apple ID and repeat the abovementioned steps. Don’t hit Cancel this time.

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10. Fill out the required fields. Choose None under Billing Information, then key in a phone number and an address to complete the account-creation process.

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11. You’ll receive a verification email from Apple shortly afterwards. Click the link in that email.

High-five yourself; you now have an Apple ID in your desired locale.

There are other advantages to creating an Apple ID that isn’t linked to a payment system, such as not worrying about accidentally spending anything on content and not having to watch your child like a hawk each time he or she borrows your phone or tablet. That said, regardless of reason, it’s probably better to have one than not.

Apps

How to hide from Instragram’s new Activity Status feature

It’s on by default!

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Instagram silently rolled out a new feature of its app. If you don’t like your friends to know that you’re online (and also protect your privacy), you might want to take action. Why? Because it’s automatically turned on.

If you have the latest app, you probably noticed something new inside the Direct Messages section. This new feature dubbed “Activity Status” lets your Instagram buddies know if you’re online. If you happen to be scrolling through your timeline moments ago, the status will show that you’ve been available earlier.

This is switched on by default but the data is only shared with users that you follow and those you message privately. There’s no need to panic if you think a stalker will know that you’re online — unless you follow them, too.

How to turn it off?

You can easily switch it off inside the app. Just go to your profile page and tap the top-right icon for Options.

Next, scroll down until you see “Show Activity Status” and switch the toggle button beside.

That’s it! Now that it’s off on your end, your status will not show up to your buddies. Although, you won’t be able to see the status of other accounts as well.

Since the new feature was smoothly included in the recent updates from the Play Store or App Store, it’s not clear when Instagram introduced the function. Some might not have it yet, which could mean it’s still an experimental approach with a limited number of users.

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Pokémon Go will drop old iPhones that don’t support iOS 11

You must upgrade to play!

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Bad news for Pokémon Go trainers out there with an old iPhone. If the “battery-gate” fiasco is not enough to make you upgrade, this announcement might force you if you want to keep on playing.

Niantic announced its plans to drop support for iOS devices that can’t be updated to iOS 11. Primarily, these are iPhones and even iPads released in or before 2013. They are the following:

  • iPhone 5c
  • iPhone 5
  • iPad (4th generation)
  • iPad (3rd generation)
  • iPad mini (1st generation)
  • iPad 2

The anticipated update will take effect starting February 28, 2018. After that date, Trainers using Apple devices that can’t be updated to iOS 11 will no longer be able to log in, catch Pokémon, and use their PokéCoins or other items. They must switch to a supported device to continue playing.

Niantic stated that the change is a result of improvements to Pokémon Go which push the game ahead of the capabilities of old iPhones and iPads.

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6 free VPN apps for Android and iOS

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If you’re connecting to a public Wi-Fi, it’s best to use a virtual private network or VPN to mask your IP address and avoid security risks. A VPN creates a secure, encrypted “tunnel” over the internet between your device and any website or app you are trying to access.

(more…)

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