Ask Siri to Open your Apps

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When I first got my iPhone (and then my iPad), I learned about the ‘search’ feature, and thought it was extremely silly and unnecessary. After all, I thought, all you have to do is just glance over your apps and touch the one you want to open. How hard is that?

Well, fast forward several years, and my devices are now LOADED with apps, folders full of apps and pages full of folders. I’ll admit that I’ve used the search feature many times to find a particular app that was hiding deep in some folder.

(if you need a refresher on how to search your device, just click here.)

But now I’ve found an even easier way to open an app that I can’t find……

I just ask Siri to do it! Easy, breezy.

Just ask her: “Open ‘name of app‘”. The device will close the black Siri screen, briefly flash a page of apps, and then open the particular app that you asked for. Like magic. :)

Try it!

Ask Siri to “Open Pandora” or “Open Words with Friends” or whatever other app you’d like to try.

Thank you, Siri. I’ll never have to hunt for anything on my iPhone or iPad, again. From Millan.Net

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New Year’s Resolutions? Streaks can help keep you motivated

Screen Shot 2014-01-01 at 6.47.23 PMDid you make any New Year’s Resolutions?

Among the most popular resolutions are exercising, eating right, and losing weight. But maybe you chose something else? Are you going to try to stop smoking? Are you starting a blog? Or maybe you are going to write a novel and have promised yourself some writing time every day?

One of the simplest things you can do …and the most motivating…. is to X off your successful days on a calendar.

Keep up a streak! And then track your streak with this app: Streaks – Motivational Calendar

You can have several calendars going at once. Just tap a day to mark it. You can easily toggle between calendars, take notes and keep track of your streaks.

It’s simple. And effective.

Please excuse my screen shots of their screen shots, but my personal streaks for 2014 are just getting started! :)

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I enjoy apps designed to help me improve myself, and this app has not been a disappointment (altho I think the price is just a tad too high).

Streaks for your iPhone or iPad is $1.99 in the iTunes store

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How to Clear out Stored Website Data on your iPhone with iOS7

Screen Shot 2013-12-15 at 8.03.49 AMWhenever you visit a website on your iPhone, data will be stored.

The purpose?

As I understand it, this is mostly done so that you have faster loading times when you visit that website again.

But storing data fills up space. I never, ever cleared this out before, but after reading about it I decided to give it a try and I was astounded at all the data that was sitting there. I did a full sweep and dumped it all.

How to Delete the Stored Website Data on your iPhone with iOS7:

Go to Settings > Safari

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Now go way way down to the bottom and click on Advanced

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At this point, you’ll see the option to tap on Website Data

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Now you get to see all the space that the stored data is taking up.

IF you want to delete it, just scroll all the way down to the bottom and “delete all website data.”

(Or you can delete them individually, as well, by sliding your finger from right to left.)

I was astounded at the length of my list. I emptied it. I probably won’t do it again for a long long time, because I don’t think it was causing any problems whatsoever.

But I’m glad I know how to do it IF I want to do it.

And now you do, too. :)

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Empty your Wallet with Key Ring

Screen shot 2013-12-01 at 3.45.01 PM Every once in an app comes along that can be really truly helpful to simplify your life. Yes …. Simplify. Your. Life. :)

This is one of those apps.

Let’s back up a bit. Do you have any reward cards? Loyalty cards? I sure do. It seems like every single store that I frequent is now using some kind of card system. These are the cards that sometimes offer you points toward merchandise, or discounts, or coupons based on your buying history.

Over the years, I have collected so many that they have become quite cumbersome. I’ve tried to manage them the best that I can. I have the ones that I use frequently dangling from my keyring, the ones I use often-ish in my wallet, and another set in their own zip pouch buried somewhere in my purse.

So many cards! I frequent three different pet stores which means three cards just for one dog. :shock:

Enter this app. Key Ring.

Simply download it (it’s FREE) and open up your wallet. Tap the “plus” sign in the upper right corner of the app and start scanning those cards. The scanner screen is very sensitive and your cards will scan easily.

Once they are scanned, each card will exist inside this app.

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When you arrive at the checkout, just tap the title and the bar code will appear on the screen of your phone. Show your phone to the cashier.

I’ve been using this for several weeks and trying it out in different stores.

I can report that in Lowe’s my loyalty card scanned right off this app. Perfect!
This was also true in two of my local grocery stores. Only one store was not able to scan it, but the cashier didn’t miss a beat. She just typed in the number that appeared above the bar code and I was good to go.

All cards have now been removed from my keyring, wallet and purse-pouch.

Very very handy!

Key Ring Reward Cards is FREE in the iTunes store (Note: you will need iOS 7 on your device to use this app.)

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Keep Your Receipts in Order with CamScanner

Screen shot 2013-11-19 at 8.08.38 AMOrganization means a lot to me. I like to know where I can find something if I need it. And household paperwork is no exception.

For years I’ve kept a “receipt drawer.” This is the place I stash receipts for (almost) everything I buy. Of course over time it gets a little unwieldy and the mish-mash of paper is a bear to sort through. Last month I did a purge and it took me most of the day. By the time I reached the bottom of the drawer (and receipts dating back YEARS), my shredder was objecting with moans and groans.

But since I’ve found CamScanner, I’m gradually changing my stashing-habit. With this app, I can take a quick picture of my receipt and it will be sorted, saved and easily available if I need it.

All you do it take a photo of your receipt (through the app) and it will automatically crop and enhance it. Really, truly … the receipts look great. Clear and sharp.

You can label them, and therefore easily retrieve them. Excellent document management.

Personally I only use this for bigger purchases. I mean, if we buy an appliance of some sort, I use this to save the receipt. I don’t scan receipts for odds and ends daily stuff unless I suspect that I may have some kind of issue with it. This way the app doesn’t get overwhelmed like that drawer of mine. Within the app the receipts are sorted, unlike the drawer where they are merely squashed. :shock:

CamScanner has great reviews and has won many awards.

Now …. here comes the “BUT” …..

I have the FREE version. I use it regularly and I’m very happy with the function it gives me. There are ads of course, but they are not terribly intrusive.

The PAID version gives you a lot more functionality, but the price is steep. Really steep. And not even a one-time price, but an on-going high subscription price of $5 a month or $50 a year. To me it makes it prohibitive for the average person. I’m sticking to FREE, and so far, so good.

That said …. there are those who love it, regardless of the expense. It is an excellent document-digitizer, and the following article explains fully how wonderful it can be. If you are truly dedicated to scanning all the documents in your life, then perhaps the price would suit you afterall.

This article explains it well: CamScanner Turns Any Smartphone Into a Scanner and Document Management System

But for me .. for now … I just use the free version to scan my receipts. Works well for me, and it’s FREE.
CamScanner, for your iPhone or iPad is Free in the iTunes store

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iOS 7 Folders: Now with Infinite Possibilities

Screen shot 2013-10-09 at 6.02.13 PM On this blog we will be exploring one feature of iOS 7 at a time, and so every few days I’ll toss another here on the blog to look at more closely.

Just ONE at a time.

Slow and steady.

That’s how we “everyday folks” can cope with all this stuff. :)

Finally!! Something about iOS 7 that makes me very happy.

Folders can now hold an infinite number of apps. This means less clutter on the screens.

I have a lot of apps, and this “infinity” approach will greatly help my organization.

Hurray for folders with NO limits. :)

(If you are brand new to your iPhone or iPad, you can learn how to make folders, here.)

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How to Access the New Control Center in iOS 7

Screen shot 2013-10-06 at 4.50.18 PMOn this blog we will be exploring one feature of iOS 7 at a time, and so every few days I’ll toss another here on the blog to look at more closely.

Just ONE at a time.

Slow and steady.

That’s how we “everyday folks” can cope with all this stuff. :)

The iOS 7 designers decided that it would be helpful to have an easily accessible Control Center with many frequently used functions …. and so they made one.

I guess this is one of those things that some people really love and can’t live without. I am not one of those people.

It’s ok. Maybe I’ll grow to love it. But for now, it’s just ok. I suppose if you are someone who needs to adjust many of these things frequently, then you’ll feel differently and will embrace this new feature.

The Control Panel enables you to access things quickly instead of navigating through a bunch of steps (like getting to Wifi, for example).

Here is how to access your new Control Center:

From any screen on your iPhone, swipe UP from the bottom of the screen. There it is! Your official Control Center.

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Take a careful look at the control center screen. From here you can quickly access all kinds of things: wifi, bluetooth, brightness, the clock, the camera, just to name a few. Just tap any of the representative symbols to do the deed.

The beauty of this is that you can call it up from where ever you are. If you have 9 pages of icons, for example, and you’re on page 9, you can bring up the control center in an instant and use the Camera that might be living way back on page one. I’ll admit, that’s kind of handy. You can even access it from the lock screen, and apps.

However, it may possibly interfere with some apps, so you might want to tweak this.  If you go to Settings > Control Center, you can disable access from the lock screen or from within apps.

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Creating a Bookmark aka Favorites Bar in iOS 7 and Deleting Unwanted Favorites

Recently a reader of this blog inquired about my directions (on an old blog post) for creating a bookmark bar and/or deleting unwanted favorites. Things are just a bit different now, with iOS 7, and I am grateful that he brought this to my attention. This post updates those old directions. :)

How to select Favorites: Keeping them and Deleting them

If you are browsing the internet in Safari, and you find a website that you would like to save as a favorite, just look to the top of your screen and find a box with an arrow aiming up.

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Tap on that arrow-up box, and you will see a pop up box full of choices. To make a Favorite, first tap on Bookmark, then select Favorite and save.

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If you change your mind, or if you want to delete some of the “favorites” that Apple chose for you, just look to the top of the screen and tap on the shape that resembles an open book. A list of your bookmarked favorites will drop down. To delete any of them, just touch it and slide your finger from right to left. A red “delete” button will appear. Just tap that, and …. whoosh!

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How to Make the Bookmark Bar (Favorites Bar) appear in Safari on your iPad:

Now that you have some favorite websites bookmarked, you might like to have them handy at the top of your Safari screen. This used to be called the Bookmark Bar, but it now appears to be called the Favorites Bar.

To activate the Favorites Bar, just go to Setting > Safari > Show Favorites Bar. Make sure the “Show Favorites Bar” is activated by sliding the button to the right so that it appears green.

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Once you have this activated, return to your Safari screen where your favorite bookmarks will be found across the top.

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Hurray! Kindle App Adds Collections

Screen shot 2013-09-24 at 4.27.44 PMI love how the Kindle app keeps getting better. With this new update, the Kindle app now adds Collections. Yay! It’s about time.

There has been lots of chatter about this for months forever :lol:. Many people feel this is long overdue, and are celebrating this new feature. Collections helps you organize and makes it MUCH easier to browse through your books in the Cloud.

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Once you have updated your app, you will discover that some Collections have been made for you. Just tap on the three lines on the upper left of your screen, and a menu will pop out from the side. You will see “Collections” on that list.

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Tap on Collections, and see all your books appear in default categories such as “free” or “reading now”.

Touch and hold any book, and you will have the opportunity to Add to Collection. Tap on a book within a collection and you can remove it from a collection and put it into another. It is very intuitive and easy to use.

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To create a new collection, just tap on the + sign on the Collections page.

I enjoy being organized, and this is a wonderful way to organize all of my Kindle books. I plan to spend the rest of the evening sorting through my library and placing books into Collections. :)

****** Creating Collections on your Kindle App will sync across other Kindle Apps (iPad to iPhone, for example), but will NOT sync to your Paperwhite or other Kindle device at this time.

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How to Automatically Update Apps in iOS 7 (or not)

Screen shot 2013-09-23 at 3.45.31 PMI have always been a lazy app updater, and my update badge was often an annoying reminder that I had to do the deed and update a bunch of apps.

There were times that it got as high as 80-something.
(yes, I’m THAT lazy, and as an app-junkie, it can get quite messy. :shock: ).

And so, one feature of iOS 7 that I think I will enjoy is the opportunity to now set your apps to automatically update.

Many people choose NOT to use this feature, because sometime app updates can be undesirable. (They might take away a feature that you enjoy, for example). But in my experience, I’ve only had a problem one time, back when I was updating regularly. So, considering those odds, I’ve decided to go ahead and activate the automatic update feature.

Here is how to automatically update your apps in iOS 7:

Navigate to Settings > iTunes & App Store > Automatic Downloads

Here you will find the switch for UPDATES.

If you DO want to have your apps update automatically, slide the switch to the right to make it green.

If you want to continue to do it yourself, slide to the left (off).

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For now, I’m automatically updating. We’ll see how it goes. :)

Important note: Just under the this automatic download area, there is a “cellular data” button. I have that turned OFF. I don’t want my apps updating using cellular data, that might run into $. I want them only to update over wifi. Therefore, I have this cellular button turned OFF.

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