iPhone and iPad How-Tos

Animated GIF showing decreasing cell phone reception. How to fix poor iPhone cell reception in your home and office - Do you have poor cellular coverage in your home or office? When you call people from your iPhone, do they ask you to repeat what you said, because the sound dropped out? Do they ask you to quit walking around– even though you’re sitting still? Do they say it sounds like you’re in a tunnel when actually you’re in your home? If you answered Yes to any of the above, you know how irritating these problems are. Fortunately, there is a solution, and it’s easy, and it’s free. The solution to your problems is WiFi… Continue Reading How to fix poor iPhone cell reception in your home and office
iOS 10 Photos app icon How to use the Memories feature in iOS 10’s Photos app - The Photos app in iOS 10 introduces a great new feature called “Memories,” and it’s a ton of fun. I think you’ll like it and use it a lot. The idea behind Memories is this: you’ve taken a lot of pictures, too many to manage, yet you’d like to go back and view your photos in a nice and organized way. The Memories feature does the organization for you automatically, behind your back, every day, producing mini-movies of your best photos grouped by date, place, or person. And it sets them to music, with the… Continue Reading How to use the Memories feature in iOS 10’s Photos app
Text replacements are awesome! Set Up Your Own iPhone and Mac Text Replacements for Auto-Correct - Whether you’re using an iPhone or a Mac, Auto-Correct is a real time-saver. Turns out you can set up your own “corrections” that expand into frequently-used words, phrases, sentences– even whole paragraphs! (On the Mac, they call them “text expansions.” On the iPhone, they’re “text replacements.” Either way, think of them as Auto-Corrects that substitute a lot of text for a little. Imagine typing a couple of characters in Messages on your iPhone and seeing it expand into a whole bunch of stuff that you didn’t have to type! That’s the power of these things.)… Continue Reading Set Up Your Own iPhone and Mac Text Replacements for Auto-Correct
College Football on December Calendar page 2016-2017 College Football Bowl Games Calendar for iPhone, iPad, and Mac - — 2016-2017 College Football Bowl Games Calendar for iPhone, iPad, and Mac — I’ve created the 2016-2017 College Football Bowl Game calendar for you and your iPhone and iPad and Mac. Click here to get it. When asked whether you want to subscribe, the answer is YES, you want to subscribe. That way you get updates in case I have to change something. The calendar has all the important information (dates, times, teams, TV network, and if I get the time I will also update the scores). Click the link, remember to tell it to… Continue Reading 2016-2017 College Football Bowl Games Calendar for iPhone, iPad, and Mac
Press Home to Unlock How to Quickly Unlock Your iPhone or iPad with iOS 10 - — How to Quickly Unlock Your iPhone or iPad with iOS 10 — We used to unlock our iPhones and iPads with a simple “Slide to Unlock.” It was easy. With iOS 10 it’s different– now it’s a confusing “Press Home to Unlock” which often results in a “click / double-click / ooops that’s Siri / oops that’s Apple Pay” click-a-thon. When you finally get the thing unlocked you’re not really sure how you did it because you tried so many things. It was better the old way, but we can do something about it.… Continue Reading How to Quickly Unlock Your iPhone or iPad with iOS 10
Balloons Screen Effect in iOS 10 Messages How to send balloons and other screen effects in iOS 10 Messages - You’ve probably seen this Apple ad, showing someone receiving a fancy text message:The ad doesn’t tell you how to send such messages. That’s MY job. Here’s how you do it. Start by writing your message on your iOS 10 iPhone or iPad (more or this later), just like you always do. Then, instead of tapping the the arrow-in-the-blue-circle “Send” button, hold that button down (you might have to press hard– depends on whether you have an iPhone with 3D touch, and on your 3D Touch settings. Settings/General/Accessibility/3D Touch). That leads to choices: You can play… Continue Reading How to send balloons and other screen effects in iOS 10 Messages
iOS 10 logo Should I Upgrade my iPhone to iOS 10? - — Should I Upgrade my iPhone to iOS 10? — UPDATE: there are two really fun new features that you can only get with iOS 10. First, you can send balloons and fireworks etc. in a text message, like in the Apple commercial. Second, your iPhone (or iPad) will make these sensational mini-movies called “Memories” for you from your pictures and videos, and they’re really fun. Now that iOS 10 has had a few updates, and considering these two great features, I say please do upgrade to iOS 10. Executive Summary: I usually advise waiting… Continue Reading Should I Upgrade my iPhone to iOS 10?
iOS 9.3.5 icon Should I install the iOS 9.3.5 update on my iPhone? - — Should I install the iOS 9.3.5 update on my iPhone? — Apple’s released another iOS update and this one plugs a hole that allowed someone to hack into an iPhone remotely and monitor activity. Text messages, emails, phone calls, location info– you name it. Pretty sophisticated, and pretty serious stuff. You can read about the exploit in the New York Times‘ excellent article. It boils down to this: if you’re on any version of iOS 9, get the 9.3.5 update right away. The easiest way to do it is “in place, over the air”… Continue Reading Should I install the iOS 9.3.5 update on my iPhone?
iOS 9.3.4 Update Should I update my iPhone to 9.3.4? - — Should I update my iPhone to 9.3.4? — Hot on the heels of the 9.3.3 upcate comes 9.3.4, and if your iPhone (or iPad) is already on 9.anything you should definitely do the update. The 9.3.4 update contains a security fix that blocks a particular exploit and Apple recommends this fix for all iPhones and iPads. You can read about the provided fix on Apple’s website. Apple doesn’t comment on iOS security issues until they have a fix as they don’t want to advertise vulnerabilities before they have plugged the holes. But they do… Continue Reading Should I update my iPhone to 9.3.4?
iOS 9.3.3 icon Should I update my iPhone to 9.3.3? - — Should I update my iPhone to 9.3.3? — NOTE: the following applies to the iPad as well. UPDATE: they’re up to 9.3.5 now. Easy answer: if you’re already on some version of iOS 9,then yes, you should update. See which version your iPhone’s on by going to Settings, then General, then About. Look for “Version.” If you’re on 8.x I recommend staying there unless you have a great reason to move up. Here’s Apple’s page telling you what’s new in iOS 9 compared to iOS 8. It’s not such an impressive list, and remember… Continue Reading Should I update my iPhone to 9.3.3?
How to restrict your Google search to a single website - — How to restrict your Google search to a single website — First in a series of Google search tips. Read them all: How to restrict your Google search to a single website How to search Google Images by color How to search Google for different kinds of pictures How to search Google for the newest results How to get better Google search results Let’s say you’re using Google to search for something, and you know where on the web to look. You can tell Google to search a specified site exclusively– often getting better… Continue Reading How to restrict your Google search to a single website
OpenDNS How to Block Porn Sites and Phishing Sites AND Speed Up Your Home Network - — How to Block Porn Sites and Phishing Sites AND Speed Up Your Home Network using OpenDNS– EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Improve your home network by using OpenDNS. Web pages will load more quickly, and dangerous/inappropriate websites will be blocked. All you have to do is change your router’s DNS numbers. Read the whole article to know which numbers to change them to. If you could protect your home network, blocking porn sites and phishing sites, and you could do it simply, would you do it? What if it also made your network faster? What if it… Continue Reading How to Block Porn Sites and Phishing Sites AND Speed Up Your Home Network
Should I install the iOS 9.3.2 Update? - — Should I install the iOS 9.3.2 Update? — Easy answer: yes, unless you are thinking of updating an iPad Pro 9.7 inch. In that case, don’t. The iPad Pro 9.7 inch can, in some cases, become “bricked” (completely unresponsive) when the 9.3.2 update is applied. UPDATE:Apple has recognized the problem and for now the highest available iOS version for the iPad Pro 9.7 inch is 9.3.1. If you try to get 9.3.2 on an iPad Pro 9.7 inch you’ll be told that 9.3.1 is the highest version available. For now. UPDATE #2: Apple has… Continue Reading Should I install the iOS 9.3.2 Update?
iPhone to printer How to Print from an iPhone - How to Print from an iPhone Printing from an iPhone (or iPad) is handled by iOS, which means printing should be, could be, might be, available anytime you need it. Turns out it doesn’t work everywhere; app developers have to do a bit of work to add the printing feature, and they haven’t all done it. Nonetheless, a lot of iPhone apps can print, including: Apple Apps Mail Safari Maps Notes Photos and Third-party Apps Things
iOS 9.3 icon Should I Update my iPhone or iPad to iOS 9.3? - — Should I Update my iPhone or iPad to iOS 9.3? — If your iPhone or iPad is already on any version of iOS 9, the answer is simple: YES, you should update your iPhone or iPad to iOS 9.3. (Actually, you’ll be updating to 9.3.1 because Apple discovered a problem with 9.3 after it was released. That problem was fixed in 9.3.1.) UPDATE: there are more fixes in 9.3.2. You can’t get 9.3.1 anymore unless you’re on an iPad Pro 9.7 inch. The easiest way to update your device to 9.3.1 is “through the… Continue Reading Should I Update my iPhone or iPad to iOS 9.3?
Here's a tip How to delete an email from your iPhone with a single swipe! - — How to delete an email from your iPhone with a single swipe! — All this time I’ve been doing the Texas Two-Step when deleting iPhone Mail messages: First, I’d swipe from right to left in the email message list, exposing the Trash button (and others) Then, I’d tap the Trash button. See below. That seems pretty easy, but it turns out you can simply continue your Step 1 swipe all the way to the left edge of the screen to trash the message in a single step. Wow. You’ll see the big red Trash… Continue Reading How to delete an email from your iPhone with a single swipe!
iPhone phone icon How to forward a voicemail message from your iPhone - How to forward a voicemail message from your iPhone — I’ll bet you didn’t know you could forward a voicemail message from your iPhone. (If you did know why didn’t you tell me? I didn’t know until a few days ago.) Sometimes you have a voicemail that you want someone else to listen to. Maybe it’s work-related and you’d rather someone else in your office listen to and handle it. Or maybe it’s from your brother, and since he almost never calls you want to share it with your mother so she can hear his… Continue Reading How to forward a voicemail message from your iPhone
Three cool things you can do with your iPhone, using apps that came with it - Three cool things you can do with your iPhone, using apps that came with it Part of the fun of the iPhone is discovering “new” features that were there all along. Here are three that might be new to you. 1. See if something is level. Believe it or not, you check for level using the Compass app. The way you do it is you swipe left while looking at the Compass. This brings up the little-known second page of the Compass app, which is really a level. After swiping left, lay the iPhone down… Continue Reading Three cool things you can do with your iPhone, using apps that came with it
How to protect your Mac and iPhone against phony virus scams - — How to protect your Mac and iPhone against phony virus scams — Most of the blog posts I write are positive, upbeat, “Looky what you can do with your Apple thing!” articles. Lots of how-tos, lots of reviews, all designed to help you do more with your Macs, iPhones, and iPads. Basically, I show you what to do. This time, I’m going to show you what not to do. Namely, I’m going to show you how not to be taken in by expensive fake virus scams. I hate to take up time and space… Continue Reading How to protect your Mac and iPhone against phony virus scams
How to know when it’s going to rain - UPDATE: forecast.io has changed. It’s still great, but it’s now called darksky.net. Read my new article about darksky.net, written in October 2016. When it comes to rain, most of us have questions like these: “Do I have time to walk the dog before it rains?” “Can I put off cutting the grass until tomorrow?” “Do I need to carry an umbrella with me all day?” “Is the rain going to stop soon?” These are simple yes-no questions, yet the typical weather forecast doesn’t come close to answering them. Instead, they give us the ol’ “40%… Continue Reading How to know when it’s going to rain
NFL Post-Season Calendar for iPhone and Mac - Executive Summary: click the link to get the NFL Post-Season Calendar on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Mac. The calendar will work forever– this season, next season, and so on. This article tells you how to do it. Looking for the entire NFL Calendar? Scott Crevier at Southendzone.com has updated his server with the latest NFL schedule. Follow the instructions in this blog post and you’ll be all set– not just for this year, but forever! Read more about it in my NFL Schedules and Calendars blog post. Subscribing to one of Southendzone’s calendars… Continue Reading NFL Post-Season Calendar for iPhone and Mac
How to Track your Mileage Automatically, Using the MileIQ app on your iPhone - — How to Track your Mileage Automatically, Using the MileIQ app on your iPhone — UPDATE: MileIQ will give you $40, and give your friends 20% off an annual subscription, when you refer them using your special link. You could pay for your own account through referrals, assuming you have enough friends. MileIQ is an iPhone mileage tracker, and you need it if you have to keep track of your business-related mileage. Maybe you get reimbursed by your company, or maybe you need the miles for your taxes. I used to track my mileage in… Continue Reading How to Track your Mileage Automatically, Using the MileIQ app on your iPhone
myCardLists icon How to Print Mailing Labels from an iPhone or iPad - This blog post is about printing labels from an iPhone or iPad using an app called myCardLists. I have another article about how to print just about anything from an iPhone or iPad. Take your pick! UPDATE: there’s a new label-making app that you ought to try. It’s called “Label Printer.” How’s THAT for being straight to the point? myCardLists is still great but having choices is great too. Click here to get Label Printer from the App Store. It’s time to mail your holiday cards. You may recall from previous posts (this one from… Continue Reading How to Print Mailing Labels from an iPhone or iPad
2015-2016 College Football Bowl Game Calendar for iPhone and Mac - — 2015-2016 College Football Bowl Game Calendar for iPhone and Mac — UPDATE: I’ve created the 2016-2017 College Football Bowl Game calendar for you. Click here to get it. When asked whether you want to subscribe, click YES. UPDATE: here is the 2016 College Football schedule, for each team in America. The nice people at collegefootballcalendar.net have put out a calendar showing every college football bowl game. It has dates, times, teams, and TV channels (and it will update to show the scores). Subscribe to the calendar, set it to refresh daily (so you get… Continue Reading 2015-2016 College Football Bowl Game Calendar for iPhone and Mac
How to password-protect a Numbers document on your iPhone or iPad - You can password-protect a Numbers document on your iPhone or iPad. No one can open it without the password. This way, if your iPhone or iPhone is unlocked, your document is still protected. It’s really easy to do.(If you know how to do this for a Pages document on your iPhone or iPad you already know how to do it with Numbers.) With a Numbers document up on your iPhone or iPad, look for the wrench at top right and tap it. Then tap where it says “Set Password.” Give your document a password, enter… Continue Reading How to password-protect a Numbers document on your iPhone or iPad
How to password-protect a Pages document on your iPhone or iPad - You can password-protect a Pages document on your iPhone or iPad. No one can open it without the password. This way, if your iPhone or iPhone is unlocked, your document is still protected. It’s really easy to do.With a Pages document up on your iPhone or iPad, look for the wrench at top right and tap it. Tap where it says “Set Password” Give your document a password, enter it a second time, and enter a hint. There’s no back-door into a password-protected Pages document so the hint is essential should you forget the password.… Continue Reading How to password-protect a Pages document on your iPhone or iPad
Six Ways to Use Touch ID on iPhones and iPads - If you have an iPhone 5s, a 6, or a 6 Plus (or an iPad mini 3, or an iPad Air 2), your device’s Home button has a little metal ring around it. That means it has Touch ID, Apple’s technology for identifying you by your fingerprint. Touch ID lets you substitute touching the button with your finger in place of typing in passwords. This saves tons of time, and reduces annoyance. You get a chance to enable Touch ID when you first set up a new iPhone (or iPad), but a lot of people… Continue Reading Six Ways to Use Touch ID on iPhones and iPads
Easy Way to Move Apps from Screen to Screen on the iPhone - Rearranging apps on your iPhone is easy: you tap and hold on any app’s icon, then all of the apps start jiggling, and then you drag the apps to place. Nothing to it, as long as you’re not trying to move things from one screen to another. Yes, you can drag an app to the edge of the iPhone’s screen, and if you do it exactly right you’ll jump to the next (or previous) screen. But it’s not easy, and it gets harder if your iPhone’s in a case, because the case gets in the… Continue Reading Easy Way to Move Apps from Screen to Screen on the iPhone
Why Don’t My Photos Sync? - I get a lot of interesting Mac, iPhone, and iPad questions. Even with 25 years in the business I encounter new problems all the time. I hate to keep the solutions to myself so I thought I’d write them up from time to time, hoping to help someone else with a similar problem. (These will be quick reading, not as detailed as my usual how-to articles.)I hope you’ll enjoy reading about these true-life situations. Here’s one from this week.One of my customers has a MacBook Air and an iPhone 4s. She’s become accustomed to taking… Continue Reading Why Don’t My Photos Sync?
Turn Your iPhone Sideways - Many apps rotate to match the iPhone’s orientation, so if you happen to hold it sideways, those apps will still be right-side-up. But some apps do more than simply rotate. For some apps, turning the iPhone sideways gives a completely different view. Here are three such apps. 1. Calculator Here’s how the Calculator app looks vertically: And here’s how the Calculator looks sideways. It’s a whole new thing! Sideways, the Calculator has enough functions to satisfy a math major. Bonus Tip: launch the Calculator quickly with a swipe up from the very bottom of the… Continue Reading Turn Your iPhone Sideways
How To Track Your Steps for Free with Pedometer++ - — How To Track Your Steps for Free with Pedometer++ — A lot of people wear sleek, high-tech bracelets on their wrists these days. (A smaller group of people wear less sleek, high-tech, non-removable bracelets on their ankles.) Either way, they’re tracking their steps. Here are some of the bracelets that you might see being worn today: Fitbit Fuelband Jawbone Ankle monitor (free, sort of) Turns out you don’t have to buy a bracelet (or have a judge award you one) to know how many steps you take in a day. All you need is… Continue Reading How To Track Your Steps for Free with Pedometer++
Season’s Greetings, and a Present for You - — Season’s Greetings, and a Present for You — It’s been a super year for me and my blog. I published my 400th article, doubled the blog’s readership, and connected with readers from around the world. With your help– comments, suggestions, and encouragement– I turned this blog into a forum for helping a whole lot of Mac, iPhone, and iPad users in a really big way. I couldn’t have done it without you. Thank you for your support. With Christmas just barely behind us I’d like to offer Season’s Greetings, and a late gift: a… Continue Reading Season’s Greetings, and a Present for You
How to Fix Yosemite’s Spotlight Search - I get a lot of complaints about Yosemite’s Spotlight search. Generally the complaints are “Spotlight finds everything except what I’m looking for!” Actually, what often happens is Spotlight does find what you’re looking for, but it finds so many other things that the thing you’re looking for gets lost in the soup. For example, here I’m looking for my Christmas shopping list. I bring up Spotlight and type in “Christmas” and I get this: Yes, the shopping list is in there, but geez, I wasn’t looking for a Wikipedia definition, or Christmas music, or a… Continue Reading How to Fix Yosemite’s Spotlight Search
icon for myCardLists How to Print Mailing Labels from your iPhone or iPad (2014 Edition) - UPDATE: I’ve updated my how-to article on printing mailing labels from your iPhone or iPad. Please click here to see the 2015 version. Thank you. You can use your iPhone or iPad to print mailing labels for any or all of your iPhone/iPad’s contacts. It’s December already– if you want to get those Christmas cards out you’d better get crackin’. Printing mailing labels will help. Before we get into the nitty-gritty, how about joining my mailing list? I have hundreds of Mac, iPhone, and iPad how-to articles on my blog already and you’ll get an… Continue Reading How to Print Mailing Labels from your iPhone or iPad (2014 Edition)
iOS 8.1.1 Update: Something to be thankful for - Thanksgiving is more than a week away, but Apple’s given iPad 2 and iPhone 4s owners something to be thankful for today: a fresh new iOS update, with performance improvements galore. It’s iOS 8.1.1, the best version yet, and if you’re on 8.anything it behooves you to get the iOS 8.1.1 update now. iOS 8.1.1’s release notes are a little on the vague side: “This release includes bug fixes, increased stability and performance improvements for iPad 2 and iPhone 4s.” Some have interpreted this to mean that the update is meant only for iPad 2… Continue Reading iOS 8.1.1 Update: Something to be thankful for
Easy Automation with IFTTT - Weren’t computers supposed to make things easier, doing all sorts of work for us while we sit on the porch drinking lemonade? It hasn’t exactly turned out that way, not for most of us. A free service called IFTTT (IF This, Then That) aims to change that. I use it and it’s great. IFTTT is a web-based service, so there is no software to install, no Mac vs. PC stuff, no “your computer is too old” stuff. All you need is a computer and a web browser. You use YOUR computer to set things up,… Continue Reading Easy Automation with IFTTT
iOS 8.1 Update: Do It. Here’s How. - The iOS 8.1 update came out yesterday. I’ve installed it on my iPhone 5s and iPad 2 and it’s solved some iOS 8 problems for me, including performance issues which were very evident on the iPad 2. If you’ve already installed 8.0, 8.0.1, or 8.0.2 on your iPhone or iPad (or iPod touch) the 8.1 update is something you should do right away. As my friend Sondra would say, “It’s a no-brainer!” If you’ve been waiting to install iOS 8 until I told you it was time: “it’s time.” You can go to Settings/General/Software Update… Continue Reading iOS 8.1 Update: Do It. Here’s How.
How to Edit Photos Using iOS 8’s Photos App - Apple’s packed some great photo-editing features into iOS 8’s Photos app. It’s not quite Photoshop but it may be all you need. Plus, it’s already on your iPhone, assuming you’re on iOS 8. Plus it’s a ton of fun. Here’s how you can use these features to quickly improve your pictures. Mom, and others on iOS 7: use Snapseed. Sorry about that. Start by taking a picture, or choose one from your Photo library, and tap “Edit” at top right. If all you see is a picture, tap the picture itself and you’ll see buttons… Continue Reading How to Edit Photos Using iOS 8’s Photos App
My Four Favorite Money-Saving Shopping Websites - Our friend Ben Franklin said “A penny saved is a penny earned.” Actually, there’s some debate about whether he actually said that, but the thought is a good one. You can’t always bring in more money but if you buy stuff at a discount it’s almost the same thing. The four websites described below will do more than save you a penny. They’ll save you a bunch of dollars– maybe enough to buy an iPhone 6. Do your wallet a favor and check these sites out. These are my personal favorites– they save money for… Continue Reading My Four Favorite Money-Saving Shopping Websites
iOS 8 Tip #8: Make and Answer Phone Calls From Your iPad - Eight for 8, Day Eight. I make a point of turning off my iPhone’s ringer when I am in someone else’s office or home. Occasionally I forget to do it, and when a call comes in I rush to slide the switch to “mute.” That’s what happened last week, but when I muted the phone, the ringing didn’t stop! Turns out that the ringing was coming from my iPad. My iPad! The iPad without any cellular service (aka “the cheap one”). The iPad that doesn’t do anything internet-y without WiFi. The iPad that most definitely… Continue Reading iOS 8 Tip #8: Make and Answer Phone Calls From Your iPad
iOS 8 Tip #7: Set the Camera’s Focus and Exposure Independently - Eight for 8, Day Seven. Feeling lucky. Some of iOS 8’s new features are more like refinements of old features, and some of them are a little on the subtle side. In fact, some of them are so subtle you might not notice them– but that’s why I’m here, to point them out for you. Here’s one now. iOS 8 Tip #7: Set the Camera’s Focus and Exposure Independently Until iOS 8, the standard Apple Camera app set focus and exposure wherever you tapped on the screen. That was actually pretty powerful and many a… Continue Reading iOS 8 Tip #7: Set the Camera’s Focus and Exposure Independently
iOS 8 Tip #6: See the Battery Usage, per App - Eight for 8, Day Six. Let’s get rolling. I get a lot of calls asking how to prolong the battery life on iPhones and iPads, so many that I’ve written a couple of blog posts about that already: here, and also here. But iOS 8 gives us a new tool in our quest for longer battery life, and that is the subject of today’s iOS 8 tip. iOS 8 Tip #6: See the Battery Usage, per App If we knew which apps were eating up our batteries we’d be more careful about turning them off,… Continue Reading iOS 8 Tip #6: See the Battery Usage, per App
iOS 8 Tip #5: Hands-Free Siri - Eight for 8, Day Five. iOS 8 gives us a new, hands-free way of controlling Siri. Here’s how it works. iOS 8 Tip #5: Hands-Free Siri Used to be, to use Siri you held the Home button down until you heard “beep beep,” and then you let go and then you started talking, and when you stopped talking, Siri stopped listening. That worked pretty well except you had to keep talking– if you paused, Siri thought you were done, and the results weren’t always good. Then Apple changed Siri so she’d listen as long as… Continue Reading iOS 8 Tip #5: Hands-Free Siri
iOS 8 Tip #4: Faster Typing, Thanks to the Predictive Keyboard - Eight for 8, Day Four. iOS 8 Tip #4: Faster Typing, Thanks to the Predictive Keyboard iOS 8’s keyboard looks a lot like its predecessors, except now it has a little strip across the top row. It uses that strip to present its three best guesses for what you want to type next. Tap a guess to squirt the word right in. It takes a little getting used to but it’s worth it as it’s way faster to tap on a guessed word than it is to type the word yourself. It’s built into the… Continue Reading iOS 8 Tip #4: Faster Typing, Thanks to the Predictive Keyboard
iOS 8 Tip #3: Audio Texts and Video Insta-Selfies - Eight for 8, Day Three. Why do we say that half of eight is four, when anyone can look at the picture and see that half of 8 is 3? Must be the New Math. Before we get to today’s tip I want to thank those who’ve been sending in tips, questions, and thanks. Those kinds of interactions really make my day. Keep ’em coming. And now, on with the show. iOS 8 Tip #3: Audio Texts and Video Insta-Selfies Yesterday I commented that Tip #2 (Actionable Notifications) wasn’t as important as the invention of… Continue Reading iOS 8 Tip #3: Audio Texts and Video Insta-Selfies
iOS 8 Tip #2: Actionable Notifications - Eight tips! Eight days! This is Day Two, so let’s get down 2 it. iOS 8 Tip #2: Actionable Notifications In the olden days (that is, before last Wednesday), if someone texted you, and your iPhone was locked, you’d have to unlock it and go to Messages if you wanted to reply. Similarly, if you were doing something else on the iPhone– maybe reading your mail, maybe buying an app, basically doing anything other than texting– you had to stop doing what you were doing, leave that app, and open up Messages in order to… Continue Reading iOS 8 Tip #2: Actionable Notifications
iOS 8 Tip #1: The Two-Finger Down-Swipe - If you’d have asked me, I would have said “No, I wouldn’t recommend installing iOS 8 on the first day. Wait for Apple to iron out the wrinkles.” But some of you didn’t ask me, and some of you that did ask me went ahead and installed it anyway. Actually, I did too, not because I don’t think my advice is any good but because I have to stay one step ahead of you. So now it’s installed, and I’m here to tell you about the coolest things I’ve found in iOS 8 so far.… Continue Reading iOS 8 Tip #1: The Two-Finger Down-Swipe
400 blog posts How to Write 400 Blog Posts, Part 1 - I recently published my 400th blog post. I thought you might want to do something like that yourself. Here’s how I did it, and how you can do it too. If you’ve ever thought “I’d like to make a blog but I don’t know where to start” you are in the right place. THIS is where to start. Look, you don’t write 400 blog posts. You write one blog post, and then you do it again 399 more times. Before you write your first post you need to get your tools in order. Tools I… Continue Reading How to Write 400 Blog Posts, Part 1
How to Make a Good Password - — How to Make a Good Password — UPDATE: even though your passwords aren’t stored as plain text at places like LinkedIn and Target it isn’t terribly hard to figure out what those passwords are should there be a data breach. This video shows you how password cracking gets done. You’ve no doubt been hearing a lot about the recent “hacking” exploits, the ones that obtained pictures of various female celebrities in compromising positions. At first glance this looks like a new level of hacking, a major break-in and invasion of privacy, but it turns… Continue Reading How to Make a Good Password
Top Three iPhone and iPad Tips - Even beginners can do amazing things with iPhones and iPads. And, because it’s so easy to do so much, a lot of people don’t look for ways to make it even easier. I am here to tell you: there are ways. Here are my three favorite time-saving, effort-reducing, better-result-producing iPhone and iPad tips, things that you can learn in a jiffy and put to good use forever. 1. Text Expansion You’re familiar, of course, with the iOS auto-correction feature: you type something incorrectly and the iPhone or iPad fixes it on the fly. You can… Continue Reading Top Three iPhone and iPad Tips
How to Send a Group Email from Your iPhone or iPad - (And a mini-introduction to Launch Center Pro.) Ever send a message to a group of people from your Mac? If you have, you know it’s easy if you’ve created a “Group” in your Contacts app, and then addressed the email to the Group. (Even better: address the email to nobody, and put the Group’s name in the BCC box so the email addresses aren’t advertised to each recipient.) Having a Group set up in the Contacts app saves you the time it takes to add each person as an email recipient individually every time you… Continue Reading How to Send a Group Email from Your iPhone or iPad
iPhone 5 Battery Replacement Program - Maybe there’s something wrong with your iPhone 5’s battery after all. Apple has found that a “very small percentage” of iPhone 5 units (the 5, not the 5s, and not the 5c) “may suddenly experience shorter battery life or need to be charged more frequently.” If that sounds like your iPhone, check out Apple’s serial number checker on their iPhone 5 Battery Replacement Program page and see if your phone qualifies. Apple will replace the battery at no charge. Note: this program went into effect on August 22nd, 2014 in the United States and China.… Continue Reading iPhone 5 Battery Replacement Program
Get Faster Internet Just by Asking - I get my internet service through Time Warner Cable. I think the speed originally was 5 Mbps. Somewhere along the line I upgraded to Time Warner’s “Turbo” internet and got it up to 20 Mbps. I thought that was pretty fast. (I test the speed at www.speedtest.net. Avoid clicking the links that install MacKeeper.) A few weeks ago I set up a new Time Capsule* for one of my customers. When I ran the speed test at his place he got 100 Mbps. Holy cow– 100! I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t even know it… Continue Reading Get Faster Internet Just by Asking
iOS 7.1 Update: Get It - Apple continues to refine iOS 7. The 7.1 update is the latest and in my experience it’s something you ought to install. The easy way to do it is through the air. Make sure your iPhone or iPad is plugged in and charging before starting, just to be safe. Then Settings, General, and Software Update. The harder way is to connect your iPhone (or iPad) to your computer with the USB cable and do the update via iTunes. Actually, it’s not really “harder” but it does take a lot longer. That’s because doing it via… Continue Reading iOS 7.1 Update: Get It
Christian Boyce Speaking at Macworld/iWorld - Macworld/iWorld (formerly “Macworld Expo”) is coming soon to San Francisco’s Moscone Center. I’ve been selected as one of the speakers in the “RapidFire” session on opening night (March 27th, 2014), starting at 5 PM. Each RapidFire speaker (I think there are 15) gets exactly five minutes to impart some pearls of Mac or iPhone wisdom and if it’s anything like last year it’s going to be educational and a lot of fun. If you’re going to be at Macworld/iWorld you owe it to yourself to come to RapidFire.Here is a link to a video of… Continue Reading Christian Boyce Speaking at Macworld/iWorld
How to Erase an iPhone (or iPad) - Looking to pass your old iPhone (or iPad) down to your sister, your cat, or maybe your sister’s cat? You’ll need to erase it before you do, and it’s easy when you know how. Here’s how. First, make a copy of everything that’s on the iPhone (or iPad), just in case. If you have a Mac (or a PC-ugh) in your life, make the backup via iTunes: connect your iPhone (or iPad) to your Mac (or PC- ugh), control-click on the iPhone (or iPad), and choose “Transfer Purchases”. That copies the things you’ve purchased using… Continue Reading How to Erase an iPhone (or iPad)
iOS 7: Get the iOS 7.0.3 Update - If you’re still using iOS 6 that’s fine– stay there if you want. But if you’re on any version of 7 lower than 7.0.3, get your device updated to 7.0.3 pronto. There are lots of improvements in iOS 7.0.3, but here are the most important ones: 1. iOS 7.0.3 introduces the iCloud Keychain feature that remembers your log-ins for websites and your passwords for WiFi networks. Enter the info once and it’s remembered, so you don’t have to enter it ever again– and it syncs across all of your iOS devices (as long as they… Continue Reading iOS 7: Get the iOS 7.0.3 Update
How to Find an iPhone 5s - UPDATE (November 5th, 2013): Apple’s legal department has asked that the Apple-Tracker website be shut down as it violates terms of use of the Apple.com website. So now it’s gone. Too bad– it was rather handy. Thanks, Apple-Tracker. Looking for an iPhone 5s? Of course you are. And are you discovering that the iPhone 5s is in short supply? Of course you are. And are you wishing there was a way to check the inventory of every Apple Store near you, with a minimum of effort? Of course you are. So am I. Fortunately, there’s… Continue Reading How to Find an iPhone 5s
iOS 7: Reset Your iPhone (or iPad) and Fix Mysterious Problems - I’m getting a lot of calls about things that don’t work right after the iOS 7 upgrade. Two of the oddest: the camera wouldn’t take pictures, and email could not be sent even though the settings appeared to be correct. When faced with this kind of issue you have two great chances to make things right again. Your first chance is to simply turn the iPhone (or iPad) off– completely off– and then back on again. You’d be surprised at how many problems go away with the old off-on routine. (In case you’ve forgotten how… Continue Reading iOS 7: Reset Your iPhone (or iPad) and Fix Mysterious Problems
iOS 7: How to Turn Off an Unused App - I am getting this question a lot lately, and understandably so: the way we turned off unused apps in iOS 6 (and further back) was a little different, and you can’t do it that way in iOS 7. For review, here’s how it worked in iOS 6: Double-tap Home button. The current app slid up, and every other app that you hadn’t explicitly turned off was shown in a scrolling list across the bottom. Put your finger on any app’s icon until it wiggles. The icons all get a red circle with a minus sign… Continue Reading iOS 7: How to Turn Off an Unused App
iOS 7: Stretch Your iPhone’s Battery Life - iOS 7: Stretch Your iPhone’s Battery Life UPDATE: Apple has found that the batteries in some iPhone 5 units drain too quickly. They’ll replace those batteries for free. Read all about it on my post “iPhone 5 Battery Replacement Program.” My iPhone 5, with iOS 7, ran out of power today. I don’t know exactly when but I know it was before 6 PM. That’s not good. It’s never happened before, but then again I never accidentally turned on Bluetooth (because it was almost impossible to do that accidentally in previous versions of iOS) and… Continue Reading iOS 7: Stretch Your iPhone’s Battery Life
iOS 7: First Look, First Tips - Last week I cautioned against being among the first to install iOS 7. The main reason for that was concern that unknown bugs in iOS 7 could surface, either during the installation or after, creating inconvenience and maybe worse. Of course not everyone reads this here blog so the message did not have a global reach (you can help with that– click the Share button at the bottom of this article and tell a friend. Or two!). I installed iOS 7 on my iPhone 5 and on my iPad 2 without trouble, but only after… Continue Reading iOS 7: First Look, First Tips
Back Up Your iPhone to iCloud– Please! - There are two ways to back up your iPhone (and iPad). The first way used to be the only way: connect your iPhone (or iPad) to your computer with a USB cable and let iTunes take care of it. It’s not a lot of trouble, and it’s reasonably fast, and your iPhone/iPad will charge a little during the backup thanks to the USB cable. But you still have to remember to do it, and of course you also have to have a computer to connect to. Starting with iOS 5.0 (two years ago) there’s a… Continue Reading Back Up Your iPhone to iCloud– Please!
Clone Your Hard Disk– Automatically - (Thanks to Jana L. for inspiring this blog post. Jana wins a limited-edition Christian Boyce and Associates coffee cup, and so can you. One question (or suggestion) will be chosen (and written up) each week, and the author of the question will get a coffee cup. We only have so many cups, and when they’re gone, they’re gone– so don’t delay, send a question today.) And now, for Jana’s question(s). Q: I have a Time Machine backup already, but I’d like to periodically make an exact copy of my Mac’s hard disk on an external… Continue Reading Clone Your Hard Disk– Automatically
The Daily Tip: Automate ebay Searches with SearchDome - Automate ebay Searches with SearchDome ebay is great, but if the thing you’re looking for isn’t available the first time you search for it you’re going to have to come back and search for it again. That’s a bit of trouble, and half the time you forget to do it anyway. So you either put up with searching ebay for your item day after day, or you simply don’t find it ever (because you eventually forget to look, or it becomes too much trouble). All of the difficulties go away if you use a marvelous… Continue Reading The Daily Tip: Automate ebay Searches with SearchDome
The Daily Tip: Google Translate - Do you ever need to translate something into another language? Of course you do. Here’s how you do it quickly and effortlessly, using Google Translate. 1. Go to translate.google.com. Here’s what you’ll see: In this case the box on the left is set for English, which is what I’m going to type in. The box on the right is set for Spanish, which is what I want Google to translate into. You can use the menus at the top of the web page (bordered here in RED) to choose whichever languages you’d like. 2. Now… Continue Reading The Daily Tip: Google Translate
The Daily Tip: iPhone Camera Tips - The iPhone camera isn’t perfect but it takes pretty good pictures. Use it right and it’ll take even better pictures– much, much better pictures. Here are the most important things to know. 1. You can take a picture by pressing either of the volume buttons. This lets you hold the iPhone more like a “real” camera and take your pictures in a more comfortable way. See below. 2. Your iPhone has auto-focus and auto-exposure and they’ll work a lot better if you tell it what to focus on. It will set the exposure for the… Continue Reading The Daily Tip: iPhone Camera Tips
The Daily Tip: Shake to Undo Typing - Every so often, I make a big mistake on my iPhone, like when I’m writing a long email and somehow accidentally delete everything I’ve written. That’s when I’m glad that I know about “Shake to Undo Typing.” When this sort of thing happens to you, just shake your iPhone (or your iPad) and you’ll get a message like this one: Tap the Undo Typing button and you’re all set. You can shake the iPhone or iPad just about any which way and you’ll get this “Undo Typing” message. Side to side, up and down, to… Continue Reading The Daily Tip: Shake to Undo Typing
The Daily Tip: How to take iOS Screen Shots - My friend Jay suggested I post a daily Mac or iPhone or iPad tip, big or small, doesn’t matter to him. Great suggestion. Let’s see how many days in a row I can do it. Every so often there’s something on your iPad’s screen, or on your iPhone’s screen, and you want to take a picture of it. Maybe it’s your Mail, Contacts, and Calendars settings and you want to take a picture so you can email it to someone like me. Or maybe you get some weird message on the screen and you want… Continue Reading The Daily Tip: How to take iOS Screen Shots
Siri Tip: Add Item to a Reminder List - Apple’s Reminders app for iOS is super handy. It is even handier when you use Siri to add items to the Reminders by voice. All it takes is the keyword “Add.” So, Kate (this is for my sister Kate who recently joined the iPhone Club), you press and hold your iPhone’s Home button, wait for Siri’s microphone to pop up, and then say something like… “Add Gatorade to my Groceries list” and Siri does the rest. Of course you have to actually have a Groceries list (which you make in Reminders by tapping “Create New… Continue Reading Siri Tip: Add Item to a Reminder List
Forecast.io: Great Weather Website - UPDATE October 2016: Forecast.io is now Darksky.net. See my article about Darksky.net and the Darksky app. Forecast.io is the nicest, cleanest, and most useful weather website that I’ve ever seen. It’s from the same people who made the excellent Dark Sky app for iPhones and iPads, and like Dark Sky it’s all about presenting data in a useful way. My favorite part: they don’t hide behind any “50% chance of rain” predictions. Rather, they show you that it’s going to start raining at 2 PM, and stop raining at 3. That’s information you can really… Continue Reading Forecast.io: Great Weather Website
Macworld/iWorld 2013 - I’ll be speaking at Macworld as part of the RapidFire session. It’s a lot of fun for everyone: each of ten speakers gets 5 minutes to demonstrate something cool. I’ll be covering Moom, Desktop Curtain, and Typinator (and speaking very quickly). Here’s a link to my PDF handout. Macworld/iWorld 2013 runs this Thursday through Saturday. I’ll be on the Digital Village radio program on Saturday at approximately 10:15 AM discussing the best (and worst) things I saw at the show. You can listen at 90.7 FM in Los Angeles (KPFK FM). You can also use… Continue Reading Macworld/iWorld 2013
How to Use Dropbox’s Previous Versions feature - Or, How Dropbox Saved the Day when My Customer Somehow Lost a Very Important Document You probably know about Dropbox, the best way to keep your files in sync across Macs, iPhones, iPads, and even PCs. I put all of my current projects into my Dropbox folder and that lets me access my stuff from any of my machines. I can work on something from my MacBook Pro while I’m out, then continue the work on my iMac when I get back to my office, without sending files around by email or by USB thumb… Continue Reading How to Use Dropbox’s Previous Versions feature
How to Print Mailing Labels from an iPhone or iPad (2012 Edition) - NOTICE Things have changed since this article was written in December 2012. The Avery Templates Everywhere app is no longer available. The Avery Design & Print app is still available, but it’s terrible (bad interface, crashes, buttons don’t work– you name it). Use myCardLists* instead. It prints labels perfectly. Here’s a link to my how-to article about myCardLists, updated in 2015. (Rather than delete the old post I am leaving it here for people who already have the Avery Templates Everywhere app installed. Note that I do NOT recommend the Avery Design & Print app… Continue Reading How to Print Mailing Labels from an iPhone or iPad (2012 Edition)
How to Use Safari’s Reader - Every so often I show my Mom something on her iPad (or her iPhone, or her Mac) and her reaction is incredibly enthusiastic. Actually, sometimes it’s more along the lines of “I wish you’d shown me this before.” Either way, when that happens, I write it up for everyone. This is one of those times. Safari’s Reader feature has been around for a bit but since Mom didn’t know about it I’m assuming that there are at least a few others who don’t know about it too. In a nutshell, it makes web pages easier… Continue Reading How to Use Safari’s Reader
How to Use Safari’s iCloud Tabs - (No, that’s not the official iCloud logo, but I thought it would be fun to build one from Safari icons.) Safari’s iCloud Tabs is a feature I didn’t think I’d be interested in, and now I use it all the time. Give it a try and see if you’re not hooked, same as me. iCloud Tabs keeps track of every Safari window (and every Safari tab) on all of your Apple devices, including Macs, iPhones, iPads, and iPods. Then, it makes the combined list available from each device. What this means is you can start… Continue Reading How to Use Safari’s iCloud Tabs
Big Day of Updates: iOS 6, Mountain Lion 10.8.2, and Lion 10.7.5 - Who says there’s nothing new under the sun? I don’t, especially after today. All in one day, Apple released: iOS 6 OS X 10.8.2 Mountain Lion OS X 10.7.5 Lion The short story: back up your devices, then go ahead with the updates.(Click here for an excellent and exhaustive Macworld article on how to back up your device and then how to install the updates.) Here’s the longer story. iOS 6 iOS 6 is the software that comes on the soon-to-be-available iPhone 5. But you don’t have to buy an iPhone 5 to enjoy iOS… Continue Reading Big Day of Updates: iOS 6, Mountain Lion 10.8.2, and Lion 10.7.5
How to Make Your iPhone and iPad Read Out Loud to You - The iPhone and iPad will read out loud to you. This is more than a party trick; it’s very handy to let your iPhone or iPad read a news article or a long email to you while you drive home, or while you pour yourself a bowl of Captain Crunch cereal (for example). It’s also sort of fun, and perhaps a learning tool, to highlight a page in an iBooks book and have your iPhone or iPad read that page to you. It’s all very easy though you have to be on iOS 5 or… Continue Reading How to Make Your iPhone and iPad Read Out Loud to You
Type Faster on iPhones and iPads with Text Shortcuts - If you’re an iPhone or iPad user, and you type the same things over and over, this tip is for you. This technique saves me a lot of time, all the time, as it works every place that text can be entered on an iOS device. That includes Mail, Messages, Notepad, Safari, and many, many more. Before I show you how, let me give you an example. I often need to enter my email address into a web-based form (in Safari). On a Mac it’s no big deal to type it and there are several… Continue Reading Type Faster on iPhones and iPads with Text Shortcuts
Four Tips for New iPad Owners - Are you new to the iPad? Here are some tips that will help you get more from this amazing device. Get an Apple iPad dock. It will hold your iPad at the perfect angle for use as a digital picture frame (more on this later), or for viewing any kind of information that you’d like to see at a glance (such as your calendar, or a weather map, or a webcam, or whatever). There’s a place in the back of the dock for connecting the charging cable that came with the iPad so while the… Continue Reading Four Tips for New iPad Owners
What’s New in the iOS 5.1 Update - Apple released iOS 5.1 last week and if you’re already on 5.0 or 5.0.1 this update will come to you automatically, through the air. You’ll be asked whether or not you want it– the answer should be “yes.” Be sure your iPhone (or iPad or iPod) is connected to a charger, and on a WiFi network, and then go for it. (If you haven’t seen a message on your iPhone (or iPad or iPod touch) asking you about updating, do this: go to the Settings app, then General, then Software Update (near the top). If… Continue Reading What’s New in the iOS 5.1 Update
Built-in Siri Tip Sheet - iPhone 4S users: if you have trouble remembering what Siri can do for you, try bringing up Siri’s built-in tip sheet. I don’t know why it took me so long to find it but you know me– as soon as I find something, I write it up so you can know too. All you do is start Siri by pressing and holding the Home button. You’ll hear the two beeps, indicating that Siri’s listening. If you look at the screen you’ll see, to the right of “What can I help you with?”, a tiny gray-on-gray… Continue Reading Built-in Siri Tip Sheet
Hear the Christian Boyce Macworld|iWorld Report on the Radio - I’ll be giving my annual “State of the Mac (and iPad, and iPhone)” address this Saturday on the Digital Village radio program, hosted by Ric Allan and Doran Barons. The show starts at 10 AM this Saturday, January 28th, 2012 and in Los Angeles you can listen to it live on the radio, 90.7 FM KPFK. If you aren’t within range of KPFK, listen over the internet using this link. And, if you miss the show, listen whenever you want by visiting Digital Village’s Audio Archive. My part of the show will probably start around… Continue Reading Hear the Christian Boyce Macworld|iWorld Report on the Radio
Ten Tips for New iPhone Owners - So, Santa Claus brought you an iPhone! Great news. I hope it’s an iPhone 4S, with Siri. Here are ten tips that will help you take advantage of the iPhone 4S’s amazing capabilities. Make your address book as complete as possible. Don’t stop with names and phone numbers– fill that thing up with email addresses, home and work addresses, and birthdays. You’ll thank me later. Note that you can get to the Address Book from the Phone app so if you’re already using the Phone app just tap the button that says “Contacts” at the… Continue Reading Ten Tips for New iPhone Owners
More Siri Tips - I’ve discovered some interesting Siri features that I didn’t find in the manual, which isn’t surprising since there isn’t a Siri manual. In no particular order, here are the tips: “Set a timer for 20 minutes.” Everyone knows how to do that. But, after a bit, the timer is off the screen, as you switch to some other app or the iPhone goes to sleep. The cool thing is that you can say “Show me the timer” and it comes back to the front. Very cool. I am using that today as I cook my… Continue Reading More Siri Tips
Happy Thanksgiving 2011 - Happy Thanksgiving to one and all. I’ll spend my Thanksgiving cooking a turkey in the Primo Kamado cooker on the balcony, doing a little online shopping, and keeping an eye on the key football games. Here is how I do it. You can do it too. Cooking a turkey in the Primo Kamado A Primo Kamado is a ceramic cooker, something like a Big Green Egg. I’ve cooked a lot of turkeys on my Primo over the years and they have all been delicious. Turns out that the preparation and cooking are much more important… Continue Reading Happy Thanksgiving 2011
Apple Airport 7.6 Update - Apple put out a firmware update (version 7.6) for its Airport wireless routers. It helps with AirPlay (that amazing feature that lets you show your whole iPad 2 or iPhone 4S screen on your TV, provided you have an Apple TV), and with network performance. Apple doesn’t say much more about it, but I’ve installed it here on two Airports and so far so good. Airport base stations check weekly with Apple for updates. When there is one, like this 7.6 update, your Airport base station’s light will flash orange, on and off, and you… Continue Reading Apple Airport 7.6 Update
iPhone 4S: First Impressions - I’ve had my iPhone 4S for a couple of weeks, long enough to know what I like and don’t like. What I Like It’s fast. I didn’t think my iPhone 4 was slow, and it isn’t, but the iPhone 4S is faster. Siri is handy and fun. I use it all the time, especially to make reminders and to set timers. In general, I like iOS 5, which comes pre-installed. I really, really like the over-the-air software updates. This works extremely well. What I Don’t Like The battery drains very quickly. iOS 5.0.1 came out… Continue Reading iPhone 4S: First Impressions
iPhone 4S: Siri - My iPhone 4S arrived and of course I had to start experimenting with Siri. Here are some tips: You have to turn Siri on! Siri is initially switched off. Settings/General/Siri. Hold the Home button down until the iPhone beeps twice– then start talking to Siri. You can also pick the iPhone up, hold it to your ear as if you were on a call, and listen for the two beeps. I like pressing the Home button better. (If, when you try to trigger Siri, you see “Voice Control” instead of the Siri microphone, Siri has… Continue Reading iPhone 4S: Siri
Use Google to Search One Website - Right when you think you know everything, you learn something new. At least that’s what happens to me. Yesterday, I learned how to restrict my Google searches to a particular site. This can be very handy when you know that you read something on the internet, and you are sure you know the name of the site, but you just can’t find the article. The technique is also handy if you are wondering whether a particular website has covered a particular topic. For example: let’s say you’re looking for an alternative to Quicken, because you’re… Continue Reading Use Google to Search One Website
First Look: iOS 5 - Apple released iOS 5 October 12th, 2011 and I installed it here on an iPhone 4 and an iPad 2 right away. It works great on both. You can read quite a bit about the new features on Apple’s site. Here, I’ll point out some key features that are especially important. Let’s take it from left to right in the picture above (Apple’s own graphic, showing us what THEY think is important). Notifications.The new Notification Center is not a typical app in that you don’t launch it by touching an icon. Instead, you swipe down… Continue Reading First Look: iOS 5
Accept Credit Cards on Your iPhone, with Square - Being able to accept credit cards is good for business. It’s convenient for customers, and it’s fast for the vendor. Unfortunately, for the small businessman, accepting credit cards has been an expensive hassle. Not anymore– thanks to Square. Square provides, for free, a credit card reader that fits into your iPhone’s headphone jack. Use the Square iPhone app to enter the amount of the bill, swipe a card through the Square reader’s slot, and you’re on your way to getting paid. Start by going to Square and signing up for an account. All you need… Continue Reading Accept Credit Cards on Your iPhone, with Square
Save Money on Your AOL Bill - (This one is for AOL users. If you are one, read on. If you aren’t one, read on anyway. I’ll bet you have at least one AOL-using friend that can put this information to use.) Actually, I could have called this “Eliminate Your AOL Bill.” Keep reading. Once upon a time, AOL (America Online) was the Number One way for people to get online. AOL provided software, an email address, and a phone number with a modem at the other end that would answer your dial-up call and put you on the internet. That was… Continue Reading Save Money on Your AOL Bill
The iMom Project, Day Ten - Ten tips in ten days. It’s the iMom Project, Day Ten. Tonight: the iPhone’s Settings app. That’s what it looks like: three gears, in what has become the international symbol for settings, or preferences, or tools (or gears). I don’t know why three gears means “Settings” on the iPhone but it does. And, in a big departure from what we’ve gotten used to on the Mac, just about all of the settings for the iPhone– including those for most of the apps, are packed into this one Settings app. (On the Mac, the settings for… Continue Reading The iMom Project, Day Ten
The iMom Project, Day Nine - Ten tips in ten days. It’s the iMom Project, Day Nine. You already know how to take a picture and email it: take the photo, get to the Camera Roll in the Photos app, and then touch the little curvy arrow flying out of a rectangle. I circled in red the little curvy arrow flying out of the rectangle in the picture below. Turns out that little curvy arrow flying out of a rectangle has a name— the Sharing button– and it turns out that it’s not exclusive to the Photos app. It shows up… Continue Reading The iMom Project, Day Nine
The iMom Project, Day Eight - Ten tips in ten days. It’s the iMom Project, Day Eight. If this were Jeopardy! they’d call it “Potpourri.” But, it’s not Jeopardy!, so I’m calling it “My Favorite iPhone Tips.” Try ’em all. Favorite Tip #1: The Home Button.The Home button is very important. If you’re using an app (Mail, maybe) and you press the Home button you’ll be taken to the Home screen that you were last looking at. You can have more than one Home screen, as you have probably noticed– some of your apps are on “this” Home screen and some… Continue Reading The iMom Project, Day Eight
The iMom Project, Day Seven - Ten tips in ten days. Day Seven. (Note: we didn’t say “Ten tips in ten days in a row.“) Today we’re going to learn about the Maps app. You will find it very handy. Start it up and work along with me. The items circled in red are important. The Maps app has two modes: Search and Directions. We want Search, at least for now. “Search” lets you find things like ATMs and gas stations and bookstores and donuts and Macy’s and thrift shops. And addresses of people in your address book. So, tap “Search”… Continue Reading The iMom Project, Day Seven
The iMom Project, Day Six - Ten tips in ten days. Day Six. One of the things that we’ve grown used to on the Mac is Undo. Make a mistake, and if you catch it soon enough you can go to the Edit menu and choose Undo. Super powerful, and super handy. I use it all the time. Turns out the iPhone has Undo too, but you have to know how to do it. Or undo it. Whatever. First let’s look at some scenarios where you’d want to use Undo. Maybe you’ve been writing an email on your iPhone, and somehow… Continue Reading The iMom Project, Day Six
The iMom Project, Day Five - Ten tips in ten days. Day Five. Let’s talk about the Calculator app. I am sure that you have tried it already, and you are probably thinking it’s a little simplistic for a Math major like yourself. Which it is. But, sometimes you just need to do a little quick addition or division or whatever. And the Calculator is great for that. But wait, there’s more. Suppose you enter something into the Calculator and you make a mistake. Maybe you’re trying to enter 727.62 and you get everything right except for the last character. Do… Continue Reading The iMom Project, Day Five
The iMom Project, Day Four - Ten tips in ten days. Day Four. Today’s tip: use the “search” screen. It looks like this: Once you get to this screen (I will tell you how in a minute), you can search for just about anything on your iPhone (or iPad). Here’s a partial list: Apps People Notes Emails Calendar events I say “partial list” because you can also search, right from this screen, the web (using Google), or the famous Wikipedia. But that stuff’s not actually “on” your phone, and the list was about stuff on your phone, so we have to… Continue Reading The iMom Project, Day Four
The iMom Project, Day Three - Here we go. Day Three. The iPhone clock app. So simple. Yet, so fabulous. I use the clock every day and so should you. Here are some ideas for you: Use it as an alarm clock. It’s way way WAY better than the alarm clock you use now, because with this one you can set multiple alarms! Set an alarm for 7 AM on weekdays and for 9 AM on weekends. Set an alarm to remind you that your favorite TV show will soon be on. Set an alarm to remind yourself to go to… Continue Reading The iMom Project, Day Three
The iMom Project, Day Two - Ten tips in ten days. Day 2. When taking a picture with the iPhone, remember that the picture is taken when you take your finger off of the button, not when you touch it. So, get the camera app going, compose your picture, put your finger on the button and keep it there waiting for that perfect moment… and then, very gently, take your finger away. You will get better pictures this way (stabbing at the button to capture the picture at just the right time results in a jarred iPhone, and a blurry picture).… Continue Reading The iMom Project, Day Two
The iMom Project - I set Mom up with an iPhone 3GS this week, and she’s getting the hang of it. I thought I’d speed up the learning process by teaching her a tiny bit about the iPhone every day. My plan is ten tips in ten days. Figuring that a lot of other people are new to the iPhone too I thought I’d put the tips here on the blog so everyone else can benefit. That means you, Debbie, and also you, Christi. So here we go with Tip Number One. Know How to Zoom In and Zoom… Continue Reading The iMom Project
Search Google Images by COLOR - I know, everyone knows how to use Google… but not everyone knows how to use Google IMAGES to search by COLOR. They will if they read this blog entry. Suppose you go to Google and you search for something. Here, I’ve searched for Yoda. I want pictures, so I’ll click either of the three red-circled “Images” links.The result of course is a page full of Yoda images.Of course you can use the options in the left-hand column to choose an image size (use “Medium” or “Large” if you intend to print the image). But… how… Continue Reading Search Google Images by COLOR
How to type accented characters, umlauts, upside down question marks (for Spanish), and more– on an iPad - How to type accented characters, umlauts, upside down question marks (for Spanish), and more– on an iPad Here are a bunch of nifty shortcuts that will have you typing accented characters, umlauts, Spanish punctuation (upside-down question marks, upside-down exclamation points) in no time. These shortcuts involve holding down a key on the iPad’s onscreen keyboard until a pop-up of other keys appears. I wrote about typing accented characters on a Mac in a separate article. See the picture: This picture shows the pop-ups you’ll get when you hold down the iPad’s “E” or the “N”… Continue Reading How to type accented characters, umlauts, upside down question marks (for Spanish), and more– on an iPad
VIDEO TIP: How to Add PDFs to Your iPad - Recently I hit upon the idea of gathering up as many of my PDF manuals as I could– manuals for my printer, for software, for my camera, etc.– and putting them onto my iPad for reading in the iBooks app. The way I do it is easier than what I’d seen described online, so I thought I’d document my method in video form so everyone can benefit. Click the picture below to watch the video.You can see the three PDFs (Olympus camera manual, HP printer manual, and AppleScript Language Guide) on the top shelf of… Continue Reading VIDEO TIP: How to Add PDFs to Your iPad
iPhone as Magnifying Glass - I don’t know why everything seems to be printed in itsy-bitsy type these days but armed with my trusty iPhone I can read almost anything. It’s ridiculously easy. I don’t know why it took so long to come up with the idea but it did. All you do is use the iPhone’s camera app to take a picture of the tiny type. Then, tap the icon at lower left to display the picture. Then, “un-pinch” to enlarge. Problem solved. For example: I needed to get some numbers from the back of an Apple Time Capsule.… Continue Reading iPhone as Magnifying Glass
Quick Fix for a Facebook Security Issue - Facebook has a nice little security hole, and someone has already done a “proof of concept” hack to show that it’s easy to get into someone’s account. The hack involves “listening” as people log into Facebook using an open network (such as what you’d find at Starbucks) and capturing names and passwords. Once that happens, the hacker has all he needs. He can log in with the captured Facebook credentials and post things and comment on things and delete things and generally cause a bunch of trouble. You don’t want that. Unfortunately, the person who… Continue Reading Quick Fix for a Facebook Security Issue
Best Buy’s iPad 2 Availability Checker - Best Buy sells the iPad 2, and they have a handy online iPad 2 availability checker where you can tell it which iPad 2 you want, enter a zip code, and find out whether Best Buy has it in stock at a store near you. They are not currently accepting iPad 2 orders online so if they do have it in stock you’ll have to RUN to the store and get one (because you can’t reserve it online). Still, it beats driving all over the place and making a bunch of phone calls. UPDATE: Best… Continue Reading Best Buy’s iPad 2 Availability Checker
QR Codes: the Next Big Thing - Qrafter icon (QR code reader). QR Codes: the Next Big Thing This is a business card. So is the black-and-white mess below. And the messy one is easier to put into your address book. That’s because it’s a “QR code,” and it turns out it contains all of the information in the card above– and you can read it using your iPhone’s camera and add it to your address book without doing any typing at all. I’m telling you, it’s the Next Big Thing. The QR code format is rather broad. Storing name, address, and… Continue Reading QR Codes: the Next Big Thing
iPad Guided Tours - If you have an iPad, or think you might want an iPad, you ought to have a look at these videos. As usual, Apple’s made it look easy (and with the iPad, it really IS easy). Watch even one of these short videos and you’ll think “I could use one of these things! I could do what they’re doing! It looks like fun! I want an iPad!” And you’ll wish you had time to watch every one of the videos. It is interesting to compare these to Motorola’s XOOM tablet videos— watch one of those… Continue Reading iPad Guided Tours
Google Instant Previews - It’s not easy keeping up with Google— they make changes all the time, and they almost never make a big deal about them. Google Instant Previews is a good example of that. What it does is show you “Instant Previews” (hmmm!) of each website in search results, which makes it a little easier, sometimes, to figure out which website you want to go to. For example, here I’ve searched for Barbecue Recipes, and as expected I found a LOT of results: approximately thirteen million, four hundred thousand. I don’t want to plow through thirteen million… Continue Reading Google Instant Previews
Nifty Time-Saving iPhone Tip - Ever get an email on your iPhone, and for whatever reason you would rather call the person than email him back? You can do it in a couple of taps. For example, let’s say you get this email on your iPhone. If the email contains a phone number, like this one does, just touch it. A little window will pop up: Touch “Call” and you’re done. That’s pretty easy: the phone number is in the email, you touch it and tap Call. A touch and a tap. (So… if you want to make it easy… Continue Reading Nifty Time-Saving iPhone Tip
RetailMeNot.com: Money-Saving Website - Ever buy something online, and right at the end you see a little box that says “Enter your promotional code here”? Ever wonder how you’re supposed to get those codes? I get them from RetailMeNot.com. RetailMeNot.com provides discount codes for use on other websites (and printable coupons for use in stores, and news about special offers). I’ve made checking with RetailMeNot.com a habit– every time I’m about to buy something online, I open another browser window (File/New Window, or Command-N) and see if RetailMeNot can help me save some money. A lot of the time… Continue Reading RetailMeNot.com: Money-Saving Website
Instant Access to Websites with your iPhone and iPad - The iPhone’s Safari browser is nice and quick. What isn’t quick is typing in a web address– it takes longer to tap-tap-tap http://christianboyce.com into Safari than it does to read the articles when you get there. There are ways to make getting to websites in Safari quicker; here are two of the best. The second one’s better than the first but read the whole thing anyway. First, use the bookmarks. The icon looks like an open book, at the bottom of the Safari app (circled in red below). Tap that button and you’re on your… Continue Reading Instant Access to Websites with your iPhone and iPad
iPhone’s Greatest Hits - To my new-to-the-iPhone Verizon-subscribing friends, first of all WELCOME. We are glad you’re here. The party is three and a half years old and it’s just getting started. You’re late, but in six months no one will remember. Second, you can learn a lot about the iPhone in three and a half years. But, lucky for you, I already learned it, and I’m going to boil it down to the things I think you will really like about the iPhone. Here, then, are the iPhone’s Greatest Hits. Use the Clock app. It’s terrific. Use it… Continue Reading iPhone’s Greatest Hits
A Little Google Tip - When you search with Google you sometimes get MORE than what you want, and it clutters up the results. For example, suppose you’re looking for Mac help in Austin, Texas. You type in… Mac help Austin Texas … and you get a pretty good list. But, there are a lot of repair places listed, and you don’t need repairs, you need help. You can make the “repairs” items go away by modifying your search like so (the minus sign is the key): Mac help Austin Texas -repair Pretty good. But, it turns out there’s a… Continue Reading A Little Google Tip
New Strategy for iPhone App Organization - If you’re using iOS 4 on an iPhone you’ve no doubt seen “Folders” as shown above*. Folders are great for grouping apps (here, I’ve put a bunch of weather-related apps into their own folder), but they’re also great for giving you quick access to a lot more apps in a lot less time (and a lot fewer taps). The trick is to store folders in the Dock. Here’s what my first Home screen looked like before I got organized. As you can see from the dots near the bottom of the screen, I have the… Continue Reading New Strategy for iPhone App Organization
Pile of old phones How to trade in your old cell phones, computers, and other electronics for cash or gift cards - — How to trade your old cell phones, computers, and other electronics for cash or gift cards — RadioShack’s Trade-and-Save program is no longer. But there are plenty of other options for trading in your old cell phones and computers and other electronic equipment, including: Apple’s Trade-in Program Amazon’s Trade-in Program Gazelle and It’s Worth More You may also like this article by me: Trade-in Your Old Smartphone for an Apple Store Gift Card. Note: Gazelle will sell you used equipment at a discount. Worth looking into. Last updated Thursday, July 7, 2016
How to Save Money on iPhone Apps - — How to Save Money on iPhone Apps — AppMiner Some iPhone apps are free. Some aren’t. Except when they are. Turns out that iPhone app pricing changes all the time. That app that you didn’t buy because it cost too much might suddenly cost half as much– or maybe even nothing at all. The trick, of course, is to get ’em when they’re cheap. AppMiner, itself a free iPhone app, helps you do it. UPDATE: AppMiner has been removed from the App Store. Apparently AppMiner’s concept violates the terms of the App Store so… Continue Reading How to Save Money on iPhone Apps
iTunes University - Apple’s iTunes university offers more than 250,000 free lectures, videos, films, and other materials— from universities, museums and art institutions, and libraries all over the world. You’ll find courses from Stanford, Michigan, and Cal (and many, many more); lectures about past and current exhibits from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, MOMA (the Museum of Modern Art) and the US Holocaust Memorial Museum (and many, many more); and discussions and insights from The New York Public Library, The Royal Opera House in London, and the Carnegie Institution for Science (and many, many more). And it’s free.… Continue Reading iTunes University
Quick Way to Enlarge iPhone’s Emails - Someone (Dave) asked me how to make the text bigger on his iPhone, specifically for emails. I told him how to do it: Settings, then Mail, Contacts, Calendars, then scroll way do to the Mail section, then change the Minimum Font Size. That works, and Dave’s happy, so that is that. Except that I found another way to do it. Here’s a picture of a “typical” email message, viewed on my iPhone. Definitely readable, though a little small after a long day. (If it looks a little blurry that’s the screen-shot’s fault, not the iPhone’s.… Continue Reading Quick Way to Enlarge iPhone’s Emails
FaceTime to the Rescue - No doubt you’ve heard about FaceTime, Apple’s groovy new video-chat feature built into the iPhone 4. It’s pretty cool the first time around– in fact, it’s better than that. It’s incredible. Mind-blowing. Astounding. That’s how it was for me. But then it wore off, becoming sort of a novelty instead of a game-changer. Until tonight. Tonight, one of my customers needed help with his Apple TV box. Not with his Mac, which I can see and control from over the internet– but with his Apple TV. The customer’s television was displaying a message from the… Continue Reading FaceTime to the Rescue
iPhone Software Update (iOS 4) - Somewhat overlooked in last week’s iPhone 4 pandemonium is the updated operating system for iPhones called “iOS 4”. It’s available as a free download for existing iPhone and iPod Touch users. (Sorry, it is not available yet for the iPad.) I put it onto my iPhone 3GS and it’s working fine. Here’s what you’ll get when you install iOS 4 onto your existing iPhone: (note: iPhone 4 owners can skip this– the iPhone 4 comes with iOS pre-installed.) Multitasking: in effect, it lets you suspend an app, and come back to it later, just as… Continue Reading iPhone Software Update (iOS 4)
iCal calendar for World Cup matches - In the “better late than never” category, here’s a calendar for your iCal with the time and date of every World Cup match. Click here to get the calendar. All you do is click on it. iCal will add it automatically. I would set it to refresh once per day– not so important now, but when we get to the knockout round it will be nice to have the country names rather than “1st place Group C vs. 2nd Place Group D.” You can turn it off with a simple uncheck-of-the-box later, or even delete… Continue Reading iCal calendar for World Cup matches
iPhone Sliiiiiiide Technique - If you’re an iPhone user you know that accurate pointing leads to efficient use. Actually, it’s the other way around: inaccurate pointing leads to inefficient use. It’s not easy to be accurate when your finger’s bigger than the buttons and keys and controls on the iPhone’s screen, but it turns out there’s a useful technique that will help you when you’re off the mark. In a nutshell, it’s this: if you touch the wrong key, don’t let go– just sliiiiiiiiide to the right key, and then let go. For example: Here I’m in the middle… Continue Reading iPhone Sliiiiiiide Technique
My Favorite Shopping Site - (Note: last week one of my customers– Tom Nevermann,AKA “The Moving Doctor“— asked me to help him find a good deal on USB-powered speakers for his Mac. I took him to www.dealnews.com and set up an email alert for him, and now every time a good deal on USB-powered speakers comes along, Tom gets notified by email. That experience inspired me to write this blog entry as I know DealNews can save you some money too.) I get a lot of questions that start with “Where’s the best place to buy…”? Generally speaking I refer… Continue Reading My Favorite Shopping Site
How to Make Your iPhone Battery Last All Day - — How to Make Your iPhone Battery Last All Day — When it comes to the iPhone, I hear two complaints over and over:1. AT&T is the pits, and2. The battery runs down too quickly. I’m not thrilled with AT&T either but I can’t solve that problem for you. I can, however, help you make the battery last longer. Do it my way and it will last all day. First thing you do: turn down the brightness on the screen. Turn it way down. Here’s where mine is:A bright screen will run down your battery… Continue Reading How to Make Your iPhone Battery Last All Day
Nice iPad Video - PCMag.com reviewed the iPad and produced this very nice video that tells you all about it. Yes, the narrator speaks too rapidly, but you’re in control– put your mouse over the video and pause it if you need to (I did). Or grab the time (above the little stripe showing how much you’ve watched) and drag it back to the left to make the guy back up (I did that too). PCMag: Apple iPad video review from PCMag.com Reviews on Vimeo. Last updated Tuesday, December 15, 2015
iPad Video Tutorials - You may not have heard but Apple has something new called the iPad and it’s coming out April 3rd (this Saturday). They’ve made some sales tools, I mean instructional videos, and you can watch them via this link. Warning: the videos are very well done and you may find yourself ordering an iPad after watching them. Kids, take note: look at the hands in these iPad videos. Take care of your nails and you too could be an Apple “hand model.” It beats working. Trust me. Last updated Tuesday, December 8, 2015
iTunes App Store Wish List - All of a sudden, the iTunes App Store has a “wish list” feature. Didn’t used to, and it made shopping for apps a little harder than it had to be because you had to write down the names of apps that you thought you might want to go back to. Now (as of a week or so ago) it’s all built in. Here’s how it works: Start iTunes and go to the “iTunes Store” section Find an app that you want to add to your Wish List” Click the little triangle to the right of… Continue Reading iTunes App Store Wish List
Dropbox– cboyce says “Thumbs Up.” - This is Dropbox. You want it. Here’s the link. They have a little video there, right on the first page. It’s worth watching– it explains the whole thing. However, if you’d rather have ME explain it for you, read on. Suppose you have a laptop and a desktop Mac. There is bound to be some item that you would like to have with you on both machines– maybe it’s a book you’re working on, maybe it’s a folder of website files for your 30th high school reunion, maybe it’s a checklist of things you need… Continue Reading Dropbox– cboyce says “Thumbs Up.”
AT&T’s Mark the Spot app - AT&T might not have the best phone and data services (might not?), but at least they’re giving us an easy way to let them know when and where we experience problems. The idea is, when something goes wrong– dropped call, no service, slow internet, etc.– you fire up AT&T’s Mark the Spot app and tell them all about it. Seems like a good idea. You can get Mark the Spot from the iTunes Store for free. Here’s a link to save you time. And here’s a picture of the app’s opening screen. They haven’t thought… Continue Reading AT&T’s Mark the Spot app
Save Time and Trouble with Tripit.com - You know that feeling you get when you suddenly discover that there’s a much easier way to do things? That’s the feeling I got when I “discovered” Tripit.com, because Tripit makes one of my more tedious tasks go away. Which task is that? The one where I type flight information into my calendar so I have it when I need it. Anyone who’s done it knows the routine: you make your travel plans online (typity-type, clickety-click), then you get to type even more into the calendar, trying very hard to be careful, but take it… Continue Reading Save Time and Trouble with Tripit.com
Blog from anywhere! - There’s a nifty little iPhone app called BlogPress and it lets you add and edit Blogger and Blogspot blog entries. If you have a blog on either Blogger or Blogspot you simply must try it. I’m using the free version (there’s a fancier not-free version) and it works like a charm. Another couple of great iPhone blogging apps: BlogTouch Pro for Blogger and Blogspot and BlogTouch Pro for WordPress. These apps MAY result in more-frequent posts by me. Only if I have something to say, of course. – Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone Last… Continue Reading Blog from anywhere!
Even More Stuff I Like: Cameras preference pane - One of the things I like about iPhoto is it kicks in automatically when I connect my camera. One of the things I don’t like about iPhoto is it kicks in automatically when I connect my iPhone for synching or charging (iPhoto kicks in because it thinks of the iPhone as a camera, and wants to import its pictures). You might be thinking “Go into iPhoto’s preferences and tell it not to connect automatically, as shown below”– … but if I do that, iPhoto will NEVER launch automatically, and I usually want it to– just… Continue Reading Even More Stuff I Like: Cameras preference pane
Introducing Managed Service from Christian Boyce - We’re introducing something new today: Managed Service from Christian Boyce. In a nutshell, you get the same great service as always, but you get it sooner and it costs you less. Click this link to read all about it. Last updated Monday, December 14, 2015
Google Stuff You Didn’t Know - — Google Stuff You Didn’t Know — UPDATE: I’ve written a new series of articles on Google search. Read this one, and then use these links. How to restrict your Google search to a single website How to search Google Images by color How to search Google for different kinds of pictures How to search Google for the newest results How to get better Google search results When you want to find something on the web I’ll bet you head for Google. It’s so easy, so fast, so powerful– and so free! I’m sure you… Continue Reading Google Stuff You Didn’t Know
iPhone Stocks App Tips - There’s this thing called “The Stock Market” where people with extra money place bets on companies, and if things go right they cash out with more than they went in with. It’s sort of like betting on the NFL, except it’s legal in every state, and harder to handicap, and if you lose you can always wait around and hope that someday things will turn around and you’ll end up winning. Anyway, Apple provides an app for Stocks on every iPhone, and this very day I “discovered” a couple of features I didn’t know about.… Continue Reading iPhone Stocks App Tips
Best Free iPhone Dictionary - You really ought to have a dictionary on your iPhone. You can get this one– Dictionary.com– for free, and it’s terrific, so what are you waiting for? Click this link and start the download. It’s big (35 megabytes, not that it will make much of a dent in your 8 or 16 or 32 gigabyte iPhone), so do it from your computer and sync it into the iPhone. May as well start the download while you read the rest of this review. (With a name like “Dictionary.com” you might guess that you’d need an internet… Continue Reading Best Free iPhone Dictionary
Anti-Glare Film for the iPhone - Power Support Anti-Glare Film is the best $14.95 you can spend on your iPhone. It does a great job of cutting glare, it protects your iPhone’s screen, it cuts down on fingerprints, and it feels great as you tap and drag. You ought to get some. They come two to a package so find a friend and split the cost. Here’s an Amazon link to the Power Support Anti-Glare Film Set for iPhone 3G/3GS*, and here’s a link to the Power Support Anti-Glare Film Set for the original iPhone* Get the right one: the sizes… Continue Reading Anti-Glare Film for the iPhone
iPhone 3.1.2 Update - Apple released updated iPhone software, version 3.1.2, this very afternoon. The previous version was 3.1 and no I don’t know what happened to 3.1.1. This update takes a lot less time than the 3.1 version and it is supposed to help the iPhone to wake up from sleep more reliably, to connect to the AT&T cellular network more reliably, and to show video without crashing more reliably. I never saw any of those problems but I guess someone did, and the new software is here to fix it. Assuming you want the update, which is… Continue Reading iPhone 3.1.2 Update
MMS iPhone Update - MMS: noun. Abbreviation for Multimedia Messaging Service, an enhancement to the SMS (Short Messaging Service). In English: with MMS, you can still “text” someone, but now you can send a picture, or a video, or a sound. This feature was part of Apple’s 3.0 upgrade a few months ago, and lots of people have been using it ever since– except not in the United States, where AT&T couldn’t get its network ready in time. AT&T is ready now, and you can start using MMS today. Unless you’re using an original iPhone, in which case you… Continue Reading MMS iPhone Update
Your Photo on NationalGeographic.com - Hey, photographers: National Geographic wants YOU. Rather, they want your pictures. Only if they’re good though. Every day they publish “The Daily Dozen” online, twelve photos submitted by regular people. Maybe even you. Some of the photos selected for the Daily Dozen will also be published in National Geographic’s print edition. Here’s the link to get started. Read the fine print, especially if you’re interested in getting paid, because they’ll not be paying at all, not ever. You really should check it out. Here’s the Daily Dozen from September 16th, 2009. You can do it.… Continue Reading Your Photo on NationalGeographic.com
iPhone Tip of the Year - Having your entire address book with you, always up to date, is mighty handy. Being able to search your address book is also mighty handy as it keeps you from scrolling through hundred of iPhone screens to get to the name you want. The problem is, sometimes you find yourself way down deep in your address book, alphabetically speaking, and the search box is way up at the top. Scrolling to the top of the list a screen at a time will drive you nuts. Today’s tip won’t keep you from going bonkers but if… Continue Reading iPhone Tip of the Year
Take better pictures with your iPhone - iPhone pictures often look shaky. People blame the iPhone, and get used to lousy results. That’s a drag, because the iPhone can take really good pictures. Here are some very nice pictures that were taken with an iPhone. Here’s another iPhone photo gallery. Turns out that shaky pictures aren’t caused by the iPhone. Shaky pictures are caused by you. That’s because the iPhone takes a picture when you let go of the button, not when you touch it– the opposite of what you’d expect. So, as you stab quickly at the shutter button, trying to… Continue Reading Take better pictures with your iPhone
Charge your iPhone the RIGHT way - You’re probably thinking “what a waste of time– what’s so hard about charging an iPhone? Just plug it into the wall, right? Right?” Wrong. Well, technically “right”, except my way is even more right. And my way is “plug it into the computer.” Here’s why. Plugging into the wall charges the iPhone. That’s all it does. Plugging into the computer will also charge the iPhone, but does more: It creates a backup, automatically, of everything on the iPhone. If you lose the iPhone, or it breaks, you can connect the new one to your computer… Continue Reading Charge your iPhone the RIGHT way
iPhone Maps Super-Tips - They don’t give you much of a manual when you buy an iPhone, and that’s too bad because there are lots and lots of cool features that aren’t obvious right off the bat. The Maps app is a case in point. Here, then, are some hints for using the Maps app. Try ‘em. Tip #1: Use the Current Location button.Look at the picture below. See where the red arrow’s pointing? That’s the “Current Location” button. Touch it, and assuming you have either cell phone or WiFi coverage (or both), you’ll see a map with your… Continue Reading iPhone Maps Super-Tips
Barcode Scanner app for iPhone - I just learned of an iPhone app called “Snappr.” It’s amazing. UPDATE: Snappr’s been discontinued. Try RedLaser or ShopSavvy instead. Launch Snappr, then “scan” a barcode by taking a picture of it using your iPhone’s camera. The picture is sent to Snappr’s servers, where the code is actually read. In a few seconds they tell you how much that thing would cost at Amazon.com, Yahoo.com, and a few others. That way, before you buy that big flat-screen TV as a present for your older brother’s 47th birthday this coming July so he can watch college… Continue Reading Barcode Scanner app for iPhone
iPhone 3.0 software– go get it - If you buy a new iPhone you get the latest iPhone system software (iPhone OS 3.0) and that software lets you do some pretty cool things: Cut, copy, and paste Landscape keyboard for email, text messages, etc. Spotlight search of email, address book, etc. Voice memos … and lots more. The neat thing is, you can put the new iPhone software on an older iPhone– for free. It’s fine with me if you quit reading right now and go do it. In case you need instructions:1. Connect your iPhone to your Mac with the USB… Continue Reading iPhone 3.0 software– go get it
iPhone Super Tips - Here are some of my favorite iPhone tips. Try ‘em and let me know what you think. Press the Home button and you go to the “Home” screen you were most recently on. Press the Home button again and you go to the FIRST PAGE of the Home screens. Capture whatever’s on your iPhone’s screen by holding the sleep button (top right) and quickly pressing the Home button. You’ll hear a camera shutter sound, not that “a camera shutter sound” will mean anything to anyone in a few years, and the picture will be stored… Continue Reading iPhone Super Tips
iPhone idea of the Week - So brilliantly simple, today’s idea is this: use your iPhone to take a picture of where your car is parked. When you return, have a look at the picture, and that’s that. It’s a huge help in those huge parking structures– just get a photo showing “B45” or whatever the sign is next to your car, and when you come back for your car you’ll have a visual reminder. Happy New Year. Last updated Sunday, December 13, 2015
iFixit.com - What a cool website, and gee don’t I wish I’d found it before I took apart that iBook and couldn’t put it back together again. Click the picture and have a look. How-to manuals. Parts. Friendly tips. cboyce says “Check it out.” (Here’s the manual I should have read before taking apart the iBook): Last updated Sunday, December 13, 2015
Free AT&T WiFi for iPhones - Maybe they got tired of hearing us complain about how slow the AT&T Edge network is and how 3G isn’t so much better. Regardless, AT&T is now providing free WiFi connections (many times faster than the Edge and 3G networks) in “thousands of hotspots nationwide” including airports, McDonald’s, and Starbucks. Click here for a map of AT&T’s hotspots. Click here for AT&T’s instructions on how to make the connection. Last updated Sunday, December 13, 2015
Football picture I love football, part 1 (of hundreds) - — I love football, part 1 (of hundreds) — UPDATE: here is the 2016 College Football schedule, for each team in America. UPDATE: click here for the 2011 NFL Prime Time calendar in iCal format. I love football, and I especially like the “glamour” games on Monday Night, Sunday Night, and now Thursday Night. I thought it would be handy to have the NFL Prime Time schedule in my iPhone’s calendar, so I got the info from NFL.com and massaged it into an iCal calendar (which then uploads to my iPhone when I sync). You… Continue Reading I love football, part 1 (of hundreds)

Last updated: July 18, 2016

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iPhone and iPad How-Tos