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” to be sure you’re in that mode.

The white arrow in the blue square at bottom left locates your iPhone (and presumably, you) on the map. Touch that once. Your iPhone’s location is marked with a blue pin on the map. You can see, from the picture above, where my iPhone (and presumably, me) was last night at 1:15 AM. (Note: on older iPhone software versions, the arrow isn’t an arrow. It’s a sort of “cross-hairs” circle thing. It serves the same purpose. I think they changed it after Sarah Palin got into trouble for having cross-hairs on her map of Arizona.)

If you touch the blue pin, a little bit of information pops up. It will say “Current Location” and it will tell you where it thinks your phone is. If you want that little bit of information to go away, touch somewhere else on the map. You can bring it back again anytime.

If you touch the white arrow in the blue box at bottom left you will activate the compass feature, which rotates the map to match “real life.” If your iPhone is facing north, nothing happens. But if your iPhone is facing south, the map will spin around on the iPhone so that “up” is south. Touch at bottom left again to make the map spin around again so that north is up.

So now let’s find something. At 1:15 AM, I wanted a cup of coffee. So I touch at the top, in the search box. I type in Coffee and then touch Search (blue button at bottom right). Here’s what it looked like for me.

Each of those red pins represents a place that has to do with coffee. The closest one shows its info automatically. Touch any pin to show its information instead. Touch the map to just show pins (no information). In the picture below, I’ve touched another pin because I know that the Coffee Bean and Tea Bakery is closed at 1:15 AM.

I don’t know anything about this Funnel Mill place, but it’s easy to find out: just touch the white arrow in the blue circle at the right of the little information flag. Here’s what I got:

This is great stuff. From here, I could touch the phone number to call, or bring up their website, or even get directions. So easy. Turns out they were closed, by the way.

The Maps app searches the area that’s showing on the iPhone screen and if it finds something matching what you searched for, that’s great. If it can’t find what you’re searching for it zooms out until it can. But, once it’s done a search, it’s done. If you drag the map around with your finger it will dot automatically update to show you more matches in the area now shown on the map.

For example: suppose you’re at home and you touch the white arrow at bottom left of the Maps app to locate your iPhone (and presumably you) on the map. Now you search for “Macy’s.” You will see a bunch of red pins representing the nearest Macy’s stores. Now you think “I am going to be down the Valley visiting Uncle Ernie soon– I wonder if there is a Macy’s near him.” So you drag the map around with your finger until it is showing Uncle Ernie’s neighborhood, and THEN you touch up in the search box, where it still says “Macy’s”, and THEN you touch the blue Search button at the lower right to do the search. Get it?

You can “pinch” to show more map on the screen, and “reverse pinch” to show less map (but more detail). You will want to get good at this pinching and reverse pinching with the Maps app, even though you know how to triple-tap to zoom in. Triple-tapping is a little on the coarse side for this application.

There is more– a lot more– to the Maps app but this is enough for now. If you want to read more, here’s a link to a write-up I did on the Maps app two years ago. Interestingly, I was looking for coffee two years ago too.

That’s seven.


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