How to Name that Tune with iOS8

Screen Shot 2014-10-19 at 7.32.44 AMI remember having great fun several years ago when my son introduced me to Shazam, an app that let’s you identify music that you hear playing. We sat there testing it with all sorts of tunes and found ourselves amazed at the capability of the (then) new and extraordinary app.

I never installed that app (it went from “free” to a pretty hefty charge) and I didn’t really see the need. It was fun, but not worth the $$$.

In iOS8, Apple has just given us that fun… for free!!

Siri has been been teamed up with Shazam and can now identify songs for you …….. and it’s pretty darn awesome I think. (I continue to be blown away with all the things that new tech can do.)

If you hear a song playing from ANY source (a cd, the radio, the television, a speaker in an elevator) just ask Siri: “What song is playing?”

Siri will ask to be left alone for a moment while she listens … and then she’ll name that tune.

Yesterday I spent a lot of time :shock: a little while testing Siri’s new abilities. (in my defense….it’s fun!)

I pulled up songs on my computer and asked Siri to identify the song. I was selecting pretty common stuff, so I decided to go deeper into my library. Trick her, I would!

I found a soundtrack from a very limited run Broadway show from 1962. I looked through the songs, and selected a random basically-unknown song. I was sure I got her on this. After all…an obscure song from an obscure show from 52 years ago? Ha!

“What song is playing?” I asked with devilish glee. Seconds later …… Siri named the tune AND the singer. Whoa!

I NEVER “got” her. She named the tune 100% of the time. Even classical music.

I can’t help it. I find this amazing.

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Weekend Distraction: Jimmy Kimmel tests Siri on iOS8

I do believe this will cause a giggle or two …. :)

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Real Time Dictation in iOS8

Screen Shot 2014-10-16 at 7.47.05 AMThis was a pleasant surprise.

Before iOS8, I would dictate notes, emails and text messages, BUT this process often resulted in frustration for me.

I could dictate, but after every few sentences I would have to click on “done” in order for the dictation-gremlins to catch up. And then I would proof-read to fix errors. I used it, but it was buggy.

iOS8 has changed this …. significantly for the better.

Now, when you dictate, you will see your words appear as you speak them. Now you can speak your entire text, and not have to hit ‘done’ until you actually are (done!).

For those who are new to the iPhone/iPad, or for those who have never used dictation before, here is …..

How to dictate text in iOS 8:

Tap the spot where you plan to type (in notes, email, texts, etc) and a keyboard will appear.

Touch the microphone that is next to the space bar.

From Skitch-22

Start talking. Speak clearly and watch your words appear as you talk.

When you are done, (REALLY done) hit “done.” :)

REAL TIME!!!

MUCH better. I’ll now be doing a whole lot more talking-to-text rather than finger tapping the keyboard.
(however……. typing on the iPhone 6 Plus is a WHOLE lot easier with the bigger everything keyboard!)

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My thoughts after 24 hours with my iPhone 6+

Screen Shot 2014-10-11 at 7.44.17 PMSo it’s been 24 hours since I have started using the iPhone 6+ as my phone.

My first thought … it’s BIG.

Second thought …. it’s BIG.

Third thought … it’s really really REALLY BIG.

I knew it was going to be big, so this shouldn’t have been a surprise to me, but yet somehow it was.

Holding it in my hand as MY phone, it just felt awfully, uhhhh …. big.

I’ll admit to some concerning thoughts. Did I make a mistake? Should I return this?

But I think it wasn’t just the size that was throwing me off a bit. Whenever we get something new, and it’s a bit different from our old-and-familiar, I think we always need a little time to adjust. I needed some adjusting time.

My first wacky moment came when I tried to put it to sleep. I have a habit of clicking the top of my iPhone and sending it to sleep (dark) before putting it in my pocket. To my surprise, there is NO sleep button on the top of this phone. They moved it to the side.

So, once I learned that the button was on the side, I noticed that my case maker had left one of the side buttons exposed. Without giving it a thought, I pushed it. Nothing happened. Pushed it again. Nothing. This is when I realized that I was pushing the mute button and that the sleep button was on the OTHER side. Sigh. (This experience should once and forever squash the rumor that I know what I’m doing. :) )

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As I worked through some of my apps today, I was once again pleased with my decision to update through iTunes. So far, every single app with “data” moved over without any problem whatsoever. Passwords, lists, a weight tracker and a grocery list all arrived on my new phone in perfect order.

The only app that gave me trouble was the Overdrive app. On my iPhone 5, I was in the middle of listening to an audio book from my library through this app. I needed to put the same book on my new phone. Let me be clear: this is an app issue, NOT a phone issue. Nevertheless, this was an inconvenience albeit something you have to expect when changing phones. On my last attempt, I managed to download the book again from my library, and now all is well. Yay!

The size of the phone makes the screen a wonderful sight to behold. Texting is a pleasure with more room and some additional perks (which are part of iOS 8 and will also be addressed later). The screen has room for photos of your texting friends, and it looks very nice.

The iPhone+ turns to landscape, and the icons move with you, just like on an iPad. This is a delightful option, and I like it! The ‘tray’ icons, the ones you leave at the bottom, move to the side in landscape. Nice! Your mail and texting appear as they do on the iPad. All good. There is plenty of room on the screen for these extra arrangements.

The phone I just gave up was a 5, which was “before” the Touch id, so I had no previous experience with this fingerprint technology. It was another thing I had to get used to. It was easy to set up. The phone took me through the process by having me tap my finger on the home button several times. I did this with my thumb. Half a day later I realized that I rarely use my thumb, and I kept having to awkwardly unlock my phone with an odd posture (for me). So I easily added an extra fingerprint (my index finger). I was also mildly annoyed that the phone locked “immediately” and I had no ability to change that. BUT with just a tiny bit of practice I learned that a mere tap with my finger now unlocks the phone in a fraction of a second, and so all in well once again. I guess I adapt quickly. This morning I found the touch annoying, but this evening, I love it.

Battery life is not something I can address, yet. Apple claims that the battery life of this phone is quite good. I can tell you that I’ve run through most of it on Day One. :shock: However …. I’ve been using the phone constantly today. If I haven’t been exploring it, I’ve been listening to an audio book or music, so it has been “running” all day. That said ….. I was hoping for a better battery life than a single day. We’ll see.

The Kindle app looks gorgeous on this iPhone. Yes indeed, this will be an awesome device to carry for all-reasons. You can call, text, play (you can SEE the solitaire cards!), listen and READ all on the same piece of equipment. I frequently carried my Kindle AND my phone. Now the phone will often be enough.

Overall … I am happy with the iPhone 6+. I do think that if you are a tight-pants wearer you will find this phone a bit large. My mom-jeans are fine for the phone, but other carrying-places might be tight.

(Message to my friend who carries her phone in her bra: this phone is not for you. :) )

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I did it! I set up my own new iPhone 6 Plus

Screen Shot 2014-10-10 at 9.21.16 PMAlthough the new iPhone arrived yesterday, it came late in the afternoon, and that was not a good time for me to start. I wanted to do it when I could give it ALL of my attention and since I am a morning person, that meant today. I was going to get to it first thing this morning.

I woke with the best intentions, but of course, as usual, Life gets in the way. When I could finally turn my attention to the phone, I panicked big time just a bit, and chose, instead, to go to the store to get a case. :) I convinced myself that I couldn’t possibly set up the phone without a case. So off I went to Best Buy. (Of course, you really don’t need a case to set up your phone.)

Home again, with no more excuses, I began the deed.

The first thing I had to decide was how I wanted to do this. You have several choices.

You can set up the phone as a new device (the easiest).

You can set it up from a Cloud backup.

You can set it up through an iTunes backup.

The “new device” approach was not an option for me. I wanted to bring all my settings, contacts, etc, to the new phone. (However, there are those who prefer a “fresh” phone set up. If you are thinking of that, read this.)

Since I wanted to transfer all my old phone stuff to my new phone, I had a choice between the other two options. I could do it through the Cloud, or I could do it through iTunes. Since I only use the Cloud in a limited way, this was not a hard decision at all. I knew I would be using iTunes to set up my new phone.

Once I made sure that my iTunes was current and up to date, it was time to BEGIN!

The first thing I did was plug in my OLD phone into iTunes so that I could have a current backup. I hadn’t done that in quite a while, so it took some time. iTunes wanted to update the software from 7 to 8, but I declined that since that phone was about to be retired.

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When the backup was complete, I disconnected my old phone from iTunes. At this point I felt a little panic rising again, but I proceeded with few deep breaths and a lot of self-talk.

I am happy to report …..It was incredibly easy. :)

I turned on the new iPhone. It comes already charged, so you don’t have to worry about that.

And after it lights up…….

you simply follow the messages on the screen. The phone will greet you and ask you a few questions (such as your country and choice of language).

And then, to my surprise, it gave me a screen with my phone number. It asked me to confirm. I did…. and …. poof! Through the magic of I-don’t-know-what, my OLD phone suddenly showed “no service” and the NEW phone was activated with my phone number.

At that point, I was instructed to plug it into iTunes (after selecting that as my choice of set up).

And so, plug it in, I did.

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There was nothing more for me to do for a while but wait. The iPhone and iTunes communicated perfectly and moved everything onto my new device. At first I was surprised how quickly things were going, but there were also software updates involved, and so I’m guessing the whole thing took about 40 minutes.

Most interesting, is that while the NEW phone was syncing, it rang! Remember, it ‘activated’ with my phone number in the very beginning of the process. And so, I got a call in the middle of the transferring of all the everything :) and I answered it! And had a conversation during the process. Seamless. Flawless. I wasn’t even “out of reach” for any time at all.

The phone does a lot of rebooting and installing with the Apple logo and the long white line. I saw that several times during the process.

I would keep an eye on the phone during the process so that you are SURE it is done, and you don’t disconnect prematurely.

When I was sure it was done, I disconnected.

Almost everything was exactly as I had it set up on the other phone. One or two ringtones were mixed up, but that was all.

My notes, my calendar, my contacts, my music, my pictures …. all transferred perfectly.

I’m happy with my choice to use iTunes to do the deed.

The iPhone 6 Plus is BIG. I knew it was big, but it really is. BIG. Look at this picture. It’s almost as big as my iPad Mini!

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My feelings about this bigness and several other observations (and a few glitches) coming soon…… (I just thought it was too much to load into just one blog post!)

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It’s here! My new iPhone 6 Plus!

It’s here. It was scheduled to come today…. and it did. Right on time.

I’m excited that it’s here, but a bit anxious about setting it up. :shock:

So, tomorrow’s the day. I’ll open the box and begin. I’m determined to set it up myself.

Just me.

At least that’s my plan. Without the help of Apple or ATT. (fingers crossed!)

stay tuned……

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uh oh. The iPhone 6 Plus can BEND in your pocket! ** gasp **

This is not good news.

Oh, my.

And so begins a new chapter in Apple’s history: #bendgate

The iPhone 6 Plus bends, but not by design.

Some iPhone 6 Plus owners accidentally bending their phones in their pockets.

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Weekend Distraction: An Apple Giggle

This bit of Jimmy Kimmel was filmed during the summer, when Apple’s Watch was still only a rumor.

But the Kimmel crew took to the street with a plain old cheap Casio watch (with an APPLE logo pasted on the back) and asked what people thought.

Silly people.

Enjoy this weekend giggle!

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Upgrading? Comparing the size of the iPhone 6 vs iPhone 6 Plus

Screen Shot 2014-09-11 at 4.23.28 PMI’ve decided.

Yes, indeed.

I’ve positively decided that I can’t decide which phone I want until I can test them out in my hand. :shock:

I’ve read a lot of “stuff” on the internet over the past few days, and the opinion seems pretty much split down the middle.

The iPhone 6 Plus is a LOT of phone. But it has some extra features that the iPhone 6 does not have, basically acting as a mini-iPad. (This phone would make reading books on the iPhone a real happy possibility. A 6 Plus just might mean that only one device gets lugged along on short trips.)

The iPhone 6 is MUCH more pocket-friendly than the iPhone 6 Plus. Although I like to keep my phone in my pocket, this is not a deal breaker for me.

I’m including, here, two short hands-on videos that I think are helpful to give you an idea of the iPhone 6 vs the iPhone 6 Plus.

The next video talks a little more about the phone overall, but I’m including it here because the young woman clearly does NOT like the bigger size.

And if you have 5 minutes to spare, and are really interested in this whole size thing, the two guys in the video below are kind of fun. They don’t have the real phones, but made mock-ups, and they test them out in their pockets.

These guys also point out that the iPhone 6 Plus is not at all single-hand useable. With an iPhone 5, for example, you can hold the phone in one hand and reach any button with your thumb. You’ll find that this is not possible with the iPhone 6 Plus. You’ll need two hands.

Aging eyes will welcome the larger screens, but the one-handed subway commuters will not. That’s why variety is a good thing. Different phone sizes will suit different lifestyles. In my experience, one size does not usually fit all. So, hurrah for choice!

I know that even though I say I’m undecided, I’m probably going to get the iPhone 6 Plus. My husband is sure about his upgrade. He wants the 6, NOT the Plus. Pocket-abiility is very important to him.

Decisions, decisions.

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You now have a choice: iPhone 6 Plus or iPhone 6

Screen Shot 2014-09-09 at 3.22.32 PMIt’s now official.

Apple is releasing the iPhone 6 in TWO sizes.

The iPhone 6 will have a 4.7 screen.

The iPhone 6 Plus will have a 5.5 screen (yes!).

(To be clear…. both models are LARGER than the iPhone 5)

While there are positive tweaks (such as better battery life, Retina HD display), a disappointment is that the camera will remain at 8 megapixels (rival Android phones are doing better). They have made several other improvements to the camera, however, including a new sensor and video features.

Preorders for the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus begin this Friday, with the phones shipping on September 19 (in the US).

Prices and capacity for the iPhone 6 Plus:

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Prices and capacity for the iPhone 6:

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This will bump back the prices for the older models. A 16 GB 5S will now cost you $99, and you can have a 8GB 5C for free.

Also announced:

The iWatch leaves the rumor mill and is now a reality. This smartwatch will not be called “iWatch” (as everyone was guessing). It is officially called the Apple Watch.

It will come in two sizes, and have a dial (digital crown) that will be used to interact with the watch. In other words, the screen would be too small to use your finger, so this dial will allow you to do whatever it is that you need to do (zoom in or out, etc).

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This Apple Watch won’t be released until 2015 and will need an iPhone (models 5 and up). It’s also pretty pricey at $349. I don’t really get this one… but then again, I didn’t “get” the whole internet idea back in the 90’s, so I’ll sit back and let others explore this new watch. I’ll wait to be impressed.

Also announced:

Apple Pay. This is a new mobile payment system for the iPhone. Other companies have tried it but so far it just hasn’t seemed to catch on. Whole Foods, Disney, Walgreens and Macy’s are among the retailers who are going to accept this new system, where you pay via your credit card after taking a photo of it with your iPhone.

I know people are concerned about security for things like this, and I certainly am, too. However I also find that if I can only use it here and there, it’s hardly worthwhile. Personally, before I would jump in the mobile payment water, I would want it to be around for a while and something that is commonly accepted everywhere. I don’t care to be a trailblazer.

And finally….

iOS 8. This new operating system will not only be appearing on the new iPhones, but will be available to current iPhone and iPad users as an upgrade.

As soon as I have the iOS 8 up and running, I will gradually cover the new features …. slowly …. on this blog. One feature at a time. Just for us regular folks. :)

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