iPhone- and iPad-Related Reviews

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?
Boom for iOS logo How to Improve the Sound of Music on your iPhone - — How to Improve the Sound of Music on your iPhone — No, not that Sound of Music. I mean the sound of songs that you buy from iTunes and play on your iPhone. UPDATE: Boom for iOS had an update 6-8-2016. Interface improvements, more options for shaping the sound, and a built-in Help page. It’s only 1.0.2, but there’s a lot of polish in it. You know about Boom 2, the best way to get more sound out of your Mac. Now there’s Boom for iOS. Intended for use with headphones– any headphones, including… Continue Reading How to Improve the Sound of Music on your iPhone
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
The Clever Coffee Dripper - I think of The Clever Coffee Dripper* as an essential Mac accessory because it makes the coffee that fuels this here website (and a lot of other stuff that keeps me up all night.) The beauty of The Clever Coffee Dripper is the water doesn’t just run though the cone and into your cup. Instead, it stays in the Dripper, steeping as it were, until you set it down on top of a cup, which activates a valve, releasing the brewed coffee. The longer it steeps, the stronger the coffee, and you will quickly figure… Continue Reading The Clever Coffee Dripper
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++
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
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.
Thoughts on Apple’s iPhone 6, 6 Plus, and the Apple Watch - The big day has come and gone, and the new iPhones and the Apple Watch are all anyone wants to talk about. I can’t count how many people have written to ask me “So which one do I get?” and “What do you think about the watch?” so I am going to answer the questions here on the blog. The iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus It’s hard to form an opinion about these phones in advance of holding them in my hands. They’re both bigger than an iPhone 5, we know that– and… Continue Reading Thoughts on Apple’s iPhone 6, 6 Plus, and the Apple Watch
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
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
2014 World Cup Soccer Calendar for Mac, iPhone, and iPad - The World Cup is fast approaching. Wouldn’t it be nice to have the World Cup schedule on your Mac, iPhone, or iPad? Or maybe all three? Turns out it’s just a couple of clicks away. This website (worldcupbrazilcalendar.com) has just what you need: an iCal calendar subscription with every game, for every group, and the Round of 16 too. The great thing about it being a subscription is it will be updated as the games are played, so in a few weeks “Winner of Group C vs Runner-Up of Group D” (which is what the… Continue Reading 2014 World Cup Soccer Calendar for Mac, iPhone, and iPad
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
iOS 7: Coming Soon, and Why You Should Wait to Install It - Yes, iOS 7 is coming soon. Very soon. Tomorrow, in fact. Assuming your iPad/iPhone/iPod can handle it (more on that later), you can download and install iOS 7 through the air— for free! The question is, should you install iOS 7? The answer is “probably.” But not right away. My advice: wait. Wait for others to find the bugs. Wait for ME to find the bugs. Wait for me to write up my first-hand experience (I of course will NOT wait as research does not wait here at the Christian Boyce Center for Advanced iPhone… Continue Reading iOS 7: Coming Soon, and Why You Should Wait to Install It
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)
Top 3 iPhone Games - Note: I am honored to present this special Guest Expert blog post, written by my friend Zach, a Macintosh and iPhone gaming expert. — Christian BoyceTop 3 iPhone Gamesby Zach, age 9 First Place: Ancient WarPoint of the game: destroy a totem pole without your own totem pole being destroyed tooCost: $1.99 Ancient War is great difficulty-wise. It has different levels that start off really easy and become extremely hard. Also, Ancient War has good action, good controls and okay sound effects. I like how every couple of minutes you get to shoot fireballs.Ancient WarSecond… Continue Reading Top 3 iPhone Games
Epicentral iPhone app - Here’s a handy iPhone app, especially if you were in Southern California at 4:53 pm today. It’s called Epicentral and it tells you where and when and how big the earthquake was. Here’s the link. In case you wondered: Anza Borrego Desert State Park, magnitude 5.7. Last updated 12/7/15
Free Fireworks App - In case you didn’t get enough fireworks tonight here’s an iPhone app that lets you make fireworks anytime you want. It’s called “iLoveFireworks Lite” and it’s free.I can’t find any written directions but through trial and error I’ve discovered a few things. First, tap on the screen to make a small firework. Second, drag your finger (in any direction) to make a trail that ends up in a firework. Third, tap and hold to make a BIG firework (when you lift your finger). Fourth, and this is my favorite, tap and hold with multiple fingers… Continue Reading Free Fireworks App
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)
Handy iPhone App: Gorillacam - I’ve been experimenting with a free iPhone app called “Gorillacam.” It comes from the people who make the GorillaMobile iPhone tripod* but you don’t have to have the tripod to use it. Gorillacam improves upon the standard iPhone Camera app in several ways, including the handy features shown in the picture below:Of these, I like “Press Anywhere” (lets you take a picture by touching anywhere on the screen– especially handy if you’re taking a picture of yourself at arm’s length), Self-timer (especially handy if you’ve put your iPhone in a GorillaMobile* for taking a picture… Continue Reading Handy iPhone App: Gorillacam
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
New York Times iPhone news reader - I still prefer a “real” newspaper to any electronic version, and if you ask I’ll get all poetic and tell you why. In the meantime, here’s one of my favorite iPhone apps: The New York Times reader. By the way, it’s free. It would be a bargain at twice the price. Heh. You can click any of the pictures here to go to the iTunes Store and download the program yourself. FYI. (In case you were wondering why I don’t just use Safari on the iPhone and go to www.nytimes.com, the answer is that it’s… Continue Reading New York Times iPhone news reader
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 3G S– it’s great! - I bought a new iPhone last week-– the 3G S, 16 gigabytes of storage, in vivid black. It looks just like the 3G it replaces but has a few new doodads inside. And it has “S,” which stands for “Speed.” Here are some pictures. Here’s a list of the things I like about my new iPhone 3G S. It was easy to order from Apple’s website. It was “only” $199 (my original iPhone was $599– yikes). It arrived on time, on Friday 6-19-2009, thanks to Fed Ex (no charge from Apple). It is MUCH faster… Continue Reading iPhone 3G S– it’s great!
iPhone app of the week: eReader - Surely you’ve heard of the Kindle, the electronic book-reading device from Amazon. It can hold thousands of books in its memory and you can download new ones through the air. That’s the good news. Here’s the bad news: it costs $359, the screen isn’t color, and it’s another thing to carry around (and it’s not small). Enter eReader, the iPhone app that turns your iPhone (or iPod Touch) into a Kindle-beating device for the low low price of ZERO. Yes, zero. Nice. You can download many books for free from www.manybooks.net. You do it right… Continue Reading iPhone app of the week: eReader
OmniFocus: To-do list for Mac and iPhone - There are many to-do list programs for the Mac. And there are many to-do list programs for the iPhone. But there aren’t many to-do list programs for the Mac that synchronize with the iPhone, an essential feature if you ask me. Actually, there are two Mac to-do list programs that have synchronizing counterparts on the iPhone: Things (Mac link here, iPhone link here), and OmniFocus (Mac version here, iPhone version here). I use OmniFocus, and that’s what I’ll write about here. OmniFocus follows David Allen’s Getting Things Done approach, where every project (no matter how… Continue Reading OmniFocus: To-do list for Mac and iPhone
Make mine Mint (dot com) - Wow, what a cool website: www.mint.com. They call it “the best way to manage your money.” And it’s free. Anyone can sign up for a mint.com account. You then enter information about your financial accounts– savings, checking, investments, credit cards. Do that, and at a glance you can see ALL of your financial information in one place. Better than that: you can see every transaction for every account, right there on the site. You can find every transaction that had to do with dining out, or gasoline, or presents for your uncle. Very handy. Download… Continue Reading Make mine Mint (dot com)
Stuff I Like - Here’s something that I really like: anti-glare film from Power Support. The film is exactly the right size for whatever it is you want to cover– in my case, my iPhone and my MacBook. The glare on my MacBook screen, especially, was a constant irritation– but not any more! Wow, does this stuff work. Took me two tries to get the bubbles out on the iPhone’s film but I did the MacBook right the first time. It even feels good to the tapping/sliding finger on the iPhone. I think it’s a little more slippery than… Continue Reading Stuff I Like
iPhone Stuff I Like - If you have an iPhone, even an old one, you surely know that (as of July 11th) there are gobs of new programs that you can add to an iPhone to make it do cool stuff. Being a “cool stuff” person, and also a “I would rather not pay for something if I don’t have to” person, I have tried just about every FREE iPhone application, and I’m here to tell you what I like. So here we go. Remember, they’re all FREE. RemoteLets you drive your iTunes library through the air, using your iPhone.… Continue Reading iPhone Stuff I Like
More iPhone stuff - I hate to say that I’m disappointed in the new iPhone, but I’m disappointed in the new iPhone. And in the new 2.0 software. The new phone just isn’t very much better than the old one. If you don’t have an iPhone at all, I say go get one. But if you have one of the original models, I say don’t bother with the new one. My original-model iPhone, with the 2.0 software, locks up at least once each day. It never used to. And, the synching takes forever, and when you delete something from… Continue Reading More iPhone stuff


Last updated: July 18, 2016

by 8:21 AM

iPhone- and iPad-Related Reviews