See what apps are draining your Battery Life in iOS8

Screen Shot 2014-12-12 at 7.15.22 PMI’ve been pretty happy with the battery life of my iPhone 6 Plus.

Although I keep the brightness turned down a bit, I’ve made no special adjustments other than that. I have bluetooth turned ON all the time (so when I get in the car it pairs up right away), and I keep wifi ON all the time, as well.

I usually plug my phone in each night, and start the day with 100% power.

I’m a text-er, not a talker, but I do have my phone working a LOT during the day, playing podcasts or audio books or music for long periods of time.

If you are finding that your battery is draining too quickly, you can now see which apps are doing the damage.

Here is how to check on your battery usage:

Go to Settings > General > Usage > Battery Usage

By tapping the tabs, you can see which apps have used the most battery power for the last 24 hours or for the last 7 days.

Here is a screenshot of my battery usage for the last 7 days. There is nothing surprising, and I’m not having any troubles, so the information is merely interesting to me.

BUT … if I was having a big battery drainage issue, this would be awesome information, because I could see the offending app and delete it.

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This is a good thing to remember in case your battery starts to take a dive! Screen Shot 2014-12-12 at 7.22.15 PM

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App Bundles Save $$$

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With iOS8, you can now download a bundle of apps from the same developer at a bargain price.

They have apps bundles, games bundles and kids bundles. Simply put, a group of cookbooks is cheaper than buying them each separately.

Here is a screen shot of the “Where’s My Puzzle Pack” bundle.

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To take a look at all the bundles that are available, just head over to the app store, where you will find “Bundles” featured on their front page.

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Weekend Distraction: Peggle

Screen Shot 2014-11-07 at 6.46.24 AMI can’t believe that I’ve been blogging for several years now, and have never mentioned Peggle!

Peggle is a wonderful mix of “fun” plus “addictive-enjoyment” plus “challenging-but-not-too-challenging” plus (again) “fun”.

Not much of a learning curve. The basic premise: you release a ball and it bounces around on the screen, bumping into dots of various colors. Your job is to aim that ball as it is released in a way that will maximize its collision with orange dots. Your main goal is to clear the screen of orange dots before you run out of balls.

There will be a few obstacles tossed your way (of course). But you’ll learn as you go.

When you start, you have a choice of several different “modes” of play. I recommend “Adventure” as this will move you along gradually, screen to screen, learning as you go.

It really is addictive fun. There is something rather hypnotic watching that ball bounce around on the screen.

Here are two random screen shots. The arrangement of dots will change with each screen, and sometimes some of them are moving targets.

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Peggle is 99¢ in the iTunes store

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Spotlight improved in iOS 8

Screen Shot 2014-11-05 at 9.05.08 AMThere are so many new features in iOS 8, it will take us a long time with our one-at-a-time approach to work our way through them all! But honestly, when I read articles like “35 things you need to know RIGHT NOW” or “100 little known features…blah blah blah”, well, I get overwhelmed.

So I’m keeping my turtle pace, even tho we have a lot of territory to cover. Baby steps.

Next up: Spotlight.

Spotlight USED to be a feature where you could do a search on your device (only). I originally thought that was silly, but over time, I’ve found it useful to find an app buried in a folder. (I created those folders to organize and find stuff easily, but that seems to have backfired.)

In iOS 8, Spotlight has been improved. It will now not only search your device, but also the internet. And so … if I search “Enya” on my phone, the search will turn up music that lives on my phone and also a link to a Wikipedia article about her (which is NOT on my phone… that’s on the internet.)

To access Spotlight, go to your home screen (a page full of icons). Now, pull down on your screen from the top of your device. Stay ON THE SCREEN as you pull down. If your finger goes higher onto the white or black surface of your phone, you’ll get a different delight. Put your finger between some icons near the top and pull down.

You’ll see a screen that looks like this. The new Spotlight.

From Skitch-30

Below is a screen grab of the results after I searched for the word “card”, looking for the card game I use to play Free Cell. Notice here that not only did it find the app for me, but it also found “card” in my contacts for a cardiology doc, it suggested the St Louis Cardinals as something I might find interesting (that’s a stretch…. I don’t live anywhere near there, so ..?? ) and the search also brought up emails and messages that included the word “card.”

From Skitch-31

Now, all of this is rather useless information if I’m just looking for an app, but I can certainly understand that situations arise where this broader search is necessary.

So if you are a person who wants all this extra stuff, you’re in luck. But if you DON’T (and that means me), you have the option to turn it all off.

Go to General > Spotlight Search

There you will see a screen like the one below. Notice all of the things that are checked to search!!! That happens by default, so if you don’t want them, you have to deselect them.

As soon as I publish this post, I have some “de-selecting” to do. :)

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How to Send a Voice Message in iOS 8

Screen Shot 2014-10-27 at 6.11.49 AM iOS8 has brought lots of changes. Several of these changes improvements are to the Messages app.

We have already discussed the new answer-from-the-banner ability.

Another new feature is Voice-messaging to other iMessage users. In other words, this feature is an iOS to iOS ability only. If anyone learns that it works from iPhone to Android, please let me know.

Notice that next to the typing space, the “send” has been replaced by a little microphone.

From Skitch-28

Here is how to send a VOICE message in iOS8:

When you get ready to compose your message, instead of typing, put your finger on the microphone to the right of the message space.

As you press the icon (keep your finger on it) you can record your message.

When you are done, lift your finger up to listen to the recording. To send it, tap on the arrow. To delete it, tap on the X.

From Skitch-27

If you want to use this feature, I suggest you practice a little bit. It sends quickly and if you make an error, you can’t get it back…… so use with caution. :shock: :)

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Weekend Distraction: Spooky Box

Screen Shot 2014-10-24 at 7.33.17 AM Halloween is fast approaching and if you participate in all the spookiness, you might find this app to be very helpful.

It is FREE and full of creepy scary noises.

There are lots of haunting favorites, including cackling witches, deep ghostly laughs, spooky forests, roaring monsters and creepy organ music.

You get three pages of … eeeek! (and advertisements at the top to ignore)

And you can play with these sounds, a bit, too. You can press a single button for a brief scary-something, or you can choose to LOOP the noise and keep it going. By doing this you can customize the creepiness. :shock:

For instance, I played a little of the “horror organ” and added a “female scream”. A recipe for: GASP!

Hooked up to a speaker, these noises could be a lot of fun for a party or just plain fun. You never know when you might need a ghostly wail. :) This brings back memories of setting up a spooky house for tricker-treaters oh-so-long-ago and getting scolded for being “too scary” (remember that, Trudi?)

Spooky Box is FREE in the iTunes store.

From Skitch-2

From Skitch-3

From Skitch-4

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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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Relaxing Puzzle Game: Block x 3

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Sometimes “life” gets in the way of blogging. :shock:

This is one of those times.

and so….

as I take an unexpected blogging break, I leave you with a nice, relaxing puzzle game to keep you busy until my return…..

Block x 3 is FREE in the iTunes store.

No need for advice from me about how to approach this game. As you start from the beginning, they take you slow and easy and you learn as you go.

Be back soon….

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Downloading Books and Audiobooks FREE directly to your iPhone or iPad

Screen Shot 2014-09-25 at 7.07.12 PMPreviously on this blog, I gushed about borrowing books from your local library for your Kindle. That post was over a year ago, and I still find it wonderfully exciting to sit in my home, browse through library books, and have them magically appear on my Kindle.

Recently, I tried another bit of library borrowing….. and I’m equally thrilled.

With the Overdrive app, you can download AUDIO books from your local library directly to your iPhone or iPad. Then you can take that audio book with you for a walk or to the gym. Wonderful! And all this is FREE.

It is quite easy to do.

First, of course, you must determine whether or not your local library participates with Overdrive. I’m guessing they do …. it seems quite popular. You can call and ask, or go to your library’s website and hunt around a bit. Chances are there will be an “ebooks” section, and you can see if they use the word “overdrive.”

Once you know your library participates, download the app.

You’ll be asked to “add a library.” I typed in my zip code, and my library magically appeared.

Sign in to your local library (probably with your library card number and a pin).

Find the book you want to download, and tap it to start the process.

All done! Your audio book is now on your iPhone and you are good to go.

From Skitch-19

From my experience, it is MUCH easier to browse books from my computer (rather than the phone). Once I’ve made my choice, I just “search” for it on the app on the iPhone, and tap it to download.

And so now…. from my local library, I can get books to read on my Kindle, and books to listen to on my iPhone. It’s a kid-in-a-candy-shop kind of experience to get books like this from the comfort of your own home.

It’s just as easy to download books to read to your iPhone and iPad with this app. I chose an audiobook because I don’t really enjoy reading on the small screen of the phone. (However…my iPhone 6 Plus …when it arrives… may change all that!).

Just to be clear: you can directly download books to read OR to listen to through this app.

Overdrive is free in the iTunes store

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Weekend Distraction: Word Solitaire

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Do you have a favorite chair? A favorite spot to curl up with a good book? I have an enclosed porch with lots and lots of windows, plants, and breezes, and a great big old comfy chair. In the summer I find myself spending probably too much a lot of time in that chair, curled up with a good book. And sometimes I put the Kindle down, and fire up the iPad for a leisurely game of ….. whatever strikes my fancy.

Recently I found a new goodie. A word game that is relaxing and fun. And free. Relaxing, fun and free. A trifecta! :)

Word Solitaire is a klondike-type solitaire game. Each card has a letter, and it’s your job to move them under each other to form words-in-columns.

There is a delightfully clear tutorial for you to use when you first open the app, and I would suggest that you use it. Don’t skip it. Once you complete the tutorial, you’ll be good to go.

Here you can see one of my earliest (winning!) attempts. You turn over cards, just like in Klondike, and put them under other letters to make words.

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There are some expansion packs available to purchase if you want more more more.

It’s just challenging enough to keep you interested….

but relaxing enough for a lazy afternoon in that favorite chair of yours. :) Enjoy!

Word Solitaire is free in the iTunes store for iPhone and iPad

also

Word Solitaire HD is free in the iTunes store for iPad, only

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