fixed : best iPhone-app for DHL, UPS and PostNL track-and-trace in The Netherlands

Question :

I live in The Netherlands and on my iPhone, I want to trace packages that will be delivered to me shortly.

The PostNL.app works perfectly, but it’s for PostNL shipments only…

The UPS.app works perfectly too (despite the privacy agreement is a little awkward), but it’s for UPS shipments only…

There are various apps in the Apps Store for DHL shipments, but none of them work for The Netherlands…

I’ve tried the iPhone-apps by Deliveries, ParcelTrack and 17track, but even though they are advertised as ‘perfect solutions’ in most countries, they fail for at least one of the main delivery services in The Netherlands…

Isn’t there any iOS-app that can track all mayor post & parcel delivery services like PostNL, UPS, DHL, GLS and TNT in The Netherlands ?

 

Answer :

Yes there is… but there’s only one : AfterShip.app [click to download]

…and it’s not perfect yet, it still needs a little more do-it-yourself than advertised :

  • the Auto Detect function doesn’t always select the proper delivery service, nor does it always include the proper delivery service in it’s short list of options, so (especially for DHL deliveries) you must always double-check the exact delivery service from your shipment confirmation eMail
  • there’s only one Title (or Description) field you can add to your Shipment-entry, so if you want to include both Sender and Content description (as you can in most other Track&Trace apps) you will have to combine those into only one line of info
  • the Edit option only allows you to edit the Title (a.k.a. Description) of your Shipment-entry, so… if you’ve erratically chosen (or guessed) the wrong delivery service, you will not be able to edit or correct it… you will have to delete the entire Shipment-entry and create/add a new, corrected one entirely…

But apart from that… it’s FREE and once you have picked the delivery services correctly, it works as expected ! (and that’s far better than any other Track&Trace app)

There are a few things to know :

  • TNT-shipments from Amazon UK and Amazon DE to The Netherlands : if your online Amazon account info lists TNT (or “TNT (Netherlands)”) as the delivery service, the actual shipment will be done by PostNL, so you’ll need to choose “PostNL Domestic” as the delivery service ; if in the “Verzendbevestiging” you have received through eMail, the fine print says “Je items worden verzonden door Post NL Pakketten.” the actual shipment will expedited be by PostNL Domestic, even if your online Amazon-shipment-info says something else !
  • DHL-shipments from Amazon DE to The Netherlands : if your online Amazon DE account info lists DHL (or “DHLNL”) or DHL_CONNECT as the delivery service, this will NOT be DHL Express or DHL Benelux (the ones suggested by AfterShip.app), this will usually be shipped using DHL Parcel NL ; in the “Verzendbevestiging” you have received though eMail, the fine print says “Je items worden verzonden door DHL NL Pakketten.” the actual shipment will be expedited by DHL Parcel NL, even if your online Amazon-shipment-info says something else !
  • DHL-shipments from Dutch resellers to addresses within The Netherlands will be usually expedited by “DHL Benelux” (and NOT by “DHL Express” or any other DHL branch)

enjoy !

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info : comparison of lightning-splitters

Question :

I would like to use two lightning-connections on my new iPhone that only has one lightning-connector. Are the available lightning-splitters any good ?

 

Answer :

Yes and No.

Yes, if you only want to use a pair of wired headphones and charge your iPhone at the same time, all lightning-splitters I’ve tested are up to the job. And if you have a USB-headphone (or a mini-jack-to-USB-adapter) you could even use the Apple Lightning Camera Connector.

But if you want to connect anything else, the lightning-splitters that I’ve found won’t do the job… even the ones that claim to support data syncing didn’t support in iOS 12 in my testing…

So, for now it’s only power&audio-splitters…

Here‘s an in-depth comparison [open attached file] of the lightning-splitters I’ve tested :

Apple Lightning Camera Connector

Auswar Lightning Audio Splitter

Beyeah Lightning Audio Splitter Argent

Beyeah Dual Lightning Splitter

PowerBear Dual Lightning Splitter

Arotao Dual Audio & Charge Adapter

 

My recommendations would be :

  • if you want a mini-jack-adapter for your headphone : get the Auswar Lightning Audio Splitter
  • if you want data-transfer : get the Apple Lightning Camera Connector

fixed : how to take a screenshot on an iPhone X / XS / XR ?

Question :

Whenever I wanted to take a screenshot of my iPhone’s screen, I used to press the Home-button and the ON/OFF-button simultaneously, and I would have my screenshot. Since I now have a new iPhone without the physical Home-button, I can no longer do that… but I haven’t figured out how to take screenshots now…

What should I do ?

 

Answer :

On the new iPhones that no longer have a Home-button, like the iPhone X / XS / XS Max / XR, the buttons to press to get a screenshot have slightly changed :

press the ON/OFF-button (right) and the VolumeUp-button (left) simultaneously for more than a second, and you’ll hear the ‘camera-shutter-sound’ and see the screen flash ; this means the screenshot has been taken and you’ll see it appear in reduced size bottom-left on your screen… and it will be placed in your Photos.app

That’s it 😉

enjoy !

fixed : make old iPhone ready for clean install

Question :

I have just upgraded to a new iPhone, so now I want to pass on my previous iPhone to my child. What is the best way to do get this olde iPhone ready to transfer his/her data onto it ?

 

Answer :

Over time, little things inside iOS get buggy or corrupted… especially each time you transfer your data and settings directly to a new iPhone and/or iOS version. If you upgrade your iPhone’s version of iOS onto a new one without doing a clean install, which requires you to erase all data from your device, buggy data and settings get copied over also…

So… every once in a while you should do a clean install, especially if you run into weird and inexplainable buggy behavior of your iPhone.

FYI :

  • If you do a regular iOS upgrade or update, all system info is copied over, so that won’t get rid of most of the problems
  • If you backup to iCloud, only personal data, settings and game progress are preserved, so bugs and corruptions get some chance of being solved, especially if you take the time to do a complete reinstall of iOS from the online AppStore (i.e. a Clean Install)
  • If you restore iOS from a personal backup (like an iPhone backup in your personal iTunes-backup registry), you also run the risk of reinstalling the bugs & errors that had been in your iPhone’s iOS when you last backed-up

so… use the following procedure to make sure you get the least possibility of reintroducing old bugs :

  • turn on your receiver iPhone (the newer one that is going to be used in the future) and open the Settings app
  • click on the owner’s name (with the text “Apple ID, iCoud, iTunes & App Store” below it)
  • click on iCloud
  • click on iCloud Backup
  • click on Back Up Now and a fresh backup of your personal data, your app settings and your Game Center game progress will be synced with iCloud
  • now wait for the iCloud syncing process to complete
  • now do the same on the donor iPhone (the older one that is going to be abandoned)
  • open the Settings app
  • click on the owner’s name (with the text “Apple ID, iCoud, iTunes & App Store” below it)
  • click on iCloud
  • click on iCloud Backup
  • click on Back Up Now and wait for the iCloud syncing process to complete
  • then go back to the receiver iPhone (the newer one that is going to be used in the future)
  • connect the receiver iPhone to a Mac (or Windows-PC) using an USB-cable
  • open iTunes
  • make sure you see your iPhone listed in the sidebar
  • then click on the small iPhone-icon (in the lower top bar ; left of the buttons for Library, For You, Browse, Radio & Store ; and just right of the Music/Films/… -button)
  • now a dedicated iTunes -page opens for the iPhone
  • make sure that “Summary” is selected in the left menu bar
  • then click on the “restore iPhone…”-button
  • then wait for the reinstallation to finish
  • the iPhone is now being erased and reinstalled
  • this reinstall takes extra time, compared to a traditional iOS-upgrade
  • when finished, you have performed what is usually called a ‘Clean Install’
  • now follow the on-screen instructions
  • when you can, enter your iCloud username & password to enable downloading your data & settings from your iCloud-backup
  • needless to say, apps will be restored from the official apps located in iCloud, or rather : the Online iTunes App Store, so the apps will all be restored perfectly, without bugs or buggy behavior

That’s it !

enjoy 😉

 

fixed : FaceID not working properly

Question :

I’ve set up FaceID on my new iPhone, and it seemed to work just fine at first. But now, it doesn’t seem to work most of the time… most of the time I have to eventually unlock my iPhone with the access code.

I’ve already tried to update the face-scanning by creating new reference face scans, but that hasn’t led to any improvement in the situation…

This is getting very annoying…

Is there any way to fix this ?

 

Answer :

Having iOS 12 make new face-scans to be more accurate and more forgiving doesn’t seem to help… instead, do this :

  • put your iPhone further away from your face (for FaceID to work, you need to have  almost your entire face in viewing range of the frontal selfie camera)
  • if your iPhone is on the table, pick it up and hold it in your hand, or move your head directly above the frontal selfie camera, this will vastly increase your chances of being recognised (if you are used to reading with the iPhone above or besides your breakfast/lunch/dinner-plate, your drink, your newspaper or your work, your face is only partially in front of the camera and therefore not detectable for FaceID)
  • swipe up from the bottom of the screen one extra time (don’t bother if the screen is already showing the keypad to unlock the screen using your 6-digit-code) it’s odd, but it works about 50% of the time…

Knowing this will save you a lot of frustration…

Enjoy 😉