How to Switch your Camera on your iPhone for a Selfie: (part of the) Very Beginner Series

Screen Shot 2014-02-03 at 8.36.40 AMOccasional posts will contain how-tos and/or hints for VERY new users of iPads, iPhones or Kindles. All new users welcome! Non-tech speak, not terribly detailed, just basic device-enhancing goodness. All part of this Very Beginner Series. Please share with any beginners (Mom? Dad? Grandma?) in your life.

Recently one of the readers of this blog asked me about this, and I realized that there are probably other new users who also are unaware of how to switch the perspective for your camera. After all, when you FIRST get a new device, everything is new to you, even the most basic. And THAT is the purpose of this VERY Beginner series….. :)

How to switch the perspective of your camera, so that you can take a picture of yourself (a selfie) :

Open your Camera app

Look to the TOP of the screen. You will see an icon that looks like the outline of a camera with two whirly arrows in it.

Tap that icon, and the camera will switch it’s direction, and take a picture of you. Just tap the same icon to switch it back.


Screen Shot 2014-01-28 at 6.01.13 PM

Weekend Distraction: Card Shark Collection

Screen Shot 2014-01-17 at 6.55.04 PM Sometimes the best distraction is a good old game of Solitaire, and so for this Weekend Distraction we go back to the basics: card games. Lately this app has been my #1 go-to for card playing goodness.

Card Shark works flawlessly, and looks very nice on the iPad.

You can change the look of the cards, and customize the background. Within the app they give you some nice options, but you can also use a photo of your own for the background (my choice).

I have a few other card games on my iPad, but Card Shark seems to be the one I use the most.

There is a free version (9 games), and a Deluxe version. I am using the Deluxe version, which delivers over 70 games.

Tap on any game for a menu that includes the rules. There are so many games in this app that most are completely new to me, and it is fun to give them a try in between playing the old standbys.

Screen Shot 2014-01-17 at 7.49.04 PMIncluded in the Deluxe version are: Klondike (Classic Solitaire), FreeCell, Cassino, Canfield, Basic Rummy, Gin Rummy, Rummy 500, Spider Solitaire, Cruel Solitaire, Beleaguered Castle, Spiderette, Bristol Solitaire, Hearts, Memory Match (Concentration), Speed Match, Calculation, Forty Thieves, Euchre (US), Deuces Wild and Jacks or Better Draw Poker, Aces Up, Spades (non-partnership variant), Limit Texas Hold ‘Em, Speed, Batsford Solitaire, Josephine, Red & Black, Sea Towers, Crazy Eights, Tripeaks, Golf, Eagle Wing, Pyramid, Old Maid, War, Go Fish, 13 Packs (aka Grandma’s Game), Royal Cotillion, Blackjack (21), Royal Parade, Thieves of Egypt, Scorpion, Pile On, Montana, Canfield, Clock Solitaire, Kings Corner, Russian Cell, Yukon, I Doubt It, Four Seasons, Crescent, Osmosis (aka Treasure Trove), Canasta, La Belle Lucie, Australian Solitaire, Egyptian Ratscrew, SheepsHead(new), Kings in the Corner, Eight Off

(Lately I’ve been playing FreeCell …. a lot. Did you know that almost ALL FreeCell games are solvable? This has made the game a real challenge for me. When I can’t solve a game, I restart it. Again and again. Trying to approach it differently each time …. and, yes! eventually I have solved each and every one. :) )

Card Shark Collection™ (Deluxe) for the iPhone and iPad in the iTunes store $2.99

Free version: Card Shark Solitaire

Screen shot 2013-09-09 at 9.35.25 PM

How to Quickly Silence an Incoming Call on your iPhone: (part of the) Very Beginner Series

Screen Shot 2014-01-15 at 9.43.21 AMOccasional posts will contain how-tos and/or hints for VERY new users of iPads, iPhones or Kindles. All new users welcome! Non-tech speak, not terribly detailed, just basic device-enhancing goodness. All part of this Very Beginner Series. Please share with any beginners (Mom? Dad? Grandma?) in your life.


It has happened to all of us.

You are in an inconvenient place to receive a call.

Suddenly your phone rings, you can’t answer it, and you want that ring tone to stop, NOW.

My story: I was in a packed elevator when my phone went off, blaring a peppy obnoxious tune. So embarrassed was I. :oops:

How to quickly silence an incoming call:

Just press the wake/sleep button at the top of your phone. The ringer stops. With the ringer silenced, you can still answer the call, OR you can just let it go to voice mail.

(pressing one of the volume buttons will also do the same thing, but I find the wake/sleep button on the top of the phone easier to hit quickly.)


Screen shot 2013-09-09 at 9.35.25 PM

How to Increase (or Decrease) your Text sizes on your iPhone and/or iPad

Screen Shot 2013-12-08 at 6.01.26 PMI can read anything on my iPhone. I just got new glasses, and I’m good to go.

However …. recently I tweaked my text size just a bit bigger.

By making my text size just a tad larger, it is now perfect for me and my eyes. :)

Increasing your text size is particularly helpful for those with vision issues.

(Or … perhaps the opposite would be better for you, and you would like to make your text smaller. The process is the same.)

How to make your text larger (or smaller) on your iPhone or iPad:

Go to Settings > General > Text Size

You will see a slider, and you can move that slider so that your text size increases (or decreases).


And if this still isn’t big enough for you?

You can make the text even larger!

Go to Settings > General > Accessibility > Larger Type

Turn ON “larger dynamic type.”

Once you do that, the slider will arrange itself to allow you to make your text even larger.


Remember, you can also add BOLD to your text as well.

Big and Bold. A winning combination for aging eyes. :)

Screen shot 2013-09-09 at 9.35.25 PM

Macro Photography on your iPhone: How to Lock the Focus

Photo Skitch Document-5Although the iPhone isn’t a replacement for a “real” camera, it can take excellent photos.

In addition to general photography, it can do an amazing job on close-up (macro) photos.

Just hold the iPhone about 4 inches from your subject, and you will be surprised at the detail you can capture.

However, while you are trying to get your subject into focus, you may be frustrated because every time you move a bit to recompose the shot, (even ever so slightly), the iPhone camera adjusts and refocuses. Argh!

There is a way to “lock” the focus in place and solve this problem, but the feature is a little hard to find.

Here is how to lock your macro focus on your iPhone:

Move your iPhone to within about 4 inches from your subject.

Put your finger on the screen on top of the subject of your photo.

You will see a square appear under your finger. Hold your finger in place against the screen and the square will start pulsating. Take your finger off the screen.

As you lift your finger, you will see the words “AE/AF Lock” appear at the bottom of the screen. This means that the focus is now locked and you can make your small adjustments to the photographic composition without the camera shifting out of focus, again.

Photo Skitch Document-6

The lock is ‘released’ after you take a shot, so if you are going to take more photos, you will have to put your finger on the screen each time to enable the lock.

Photo Skitch Document-7

Screen shot 2013-03-06 at 7.27.02 PM

How to Let Siri Help You Remember Birthdays

photo credit: freakgirl via photopin cc

photo credit: freakgirl via photopin cc

When you filled out the contact pages on your iPhone, you put in names, addresses, phone numbers, etc.

You most likely know that you can add birthdays, too. (Just look way down at the bottom of the contact page (in edit mode), and tap on “+ field”. This will give you a whole list of possibilities, one of which is “Birthday”.)

And so assuming that you have birthdays recorded for your contacts, you can let Siri tell you when they are.

Just ask her.

Here is how to let Siri help you remember birthdays:

Push and hold the home button to activate Siri.

Ask: “When is _____’s birthday?”

That’s all you do. Now just wait for Siri’s answer. :)

Screen shot 2013-03-06 at 7.27.02 PM

How to Lock the View Mode in your Kindle App on your iPhone

Screen shot 2013-03-11 at 5.06.49 PMIt is so wonderfully handy to be able to pick up my iPhone and read. So many times, I find myself waiting (unexpectedly) and it is less painful when I can whip out the iPhone and read the time away. With the Kindle app, it automatically puts me on the page where I left off the night before on my regular Kindle.

You can view the text of your book in either portrait or in landscape mode, merely by rotating your iPhone.

Photo Skitch Document-3

Photo Skitch Document-4

The tricky part comes when you recline or find yourself turning in some way. The text bounces back and forth. Landscape, portrait. Portrait, landscape.

It is easy to LOCK the screen so the text does not shift.

Here is how you lock the screen on your iPhone:

Hold the phone in the manner that you would like to read.

Then tap on the lower right corner of the screen. This can be on any page in your book. You won’t SEE a lock, but tap anyway … and….

Poof! A lock appears. Tap on that lock icon to lock or unlock your favorite view mode.

Photo Skitch Document-5

Photo Skitch Document-6

I Got Stung by the Kindle Bug. Ouch.

Screen shot 2013-02-28 at 6.32.11 PMIt is important to keep your apps updated. Developers keep fine-tuning their apps, adding new things, or improving the old stuff.

If you are new to your iPhone or iPad, or if you need a refresher, you can read “How to Update the Apps on Your iPhone and iPad”.

Since I practice what I preach, I update. I probably push the update button every 3 or 4 days.

Unfortunately, this time my habit led to me being stung by a bug. Ouch. If I had delayed, even by just one day, I’d be fine. But no. I updated at just the wrong moment.

I use my Kindle app ALL the time. It is on both my iPhone and my iPad. If you are not familiar with it, please read more about it, here and here. (Remember, you don’t need a Kindle to read Kindle books. The Kindle app on your device is all that is necessary.)

Here is what happened:

The other day, I pushed the update button on my iPhone. Never gave it another thought.

The next day, when I went to open my Kindle App on my iPhone, I was met with a “register this app” screen. This was odd, because obviously I had registered it a long long time ago. This was my first signal that something was not right.

I registered (again) and it treated me as though I was a new user. In other words, there were no books on my iPhone. My on-phone library had been wiped clean. (I always keep about a half-dozen books on it.)

Now … this really and truly is not a big deal. All of your Kindle books are kept in the Cloud, and it is only a matter of tapping them to have them download back onto the phone. So this was absolutely nothing to be upset about. But it wasn’t right. An error. A mistake. A bug.

As soon as Amazon realized the bug, they quickly corrected it and put out a new update.

And so, I’m sharing this information with you for 2 reasons.

1. Just in case you updated your Kindle app during the “bug hours”, you’ll understand what happened and know there is no need for any hair-pulling.

2. Know that even when ‘stuff’ happens in an app, a responsible company will usually fix it quickly, and so a “wait and see” approach is often all that is needed on your part. No troubleshooting, just wait.

I updated my iPad after this fix was done (not during the bug hours), and I experienced no problems, whatsoever. So all is well, once again, in the world of the Kindle app. If you didn’t update during that short window of time, you’ll never know that something was amiss. :)

How to Find a Buried App on your iPhone and iPad

photo credit: Daniel Y. Go via photopin cc

photo credit: Daniel Y. Go via photopin cc

I have so many apps, that most of my icons are folders. Folders full of apps. (Good thing you can’t put folders inside of folders. :) )

I could stop here and look up the count to share with you, but I won’t, because it’s embarrassing. Just know… there are lots of apps on my iPhone and iPad.

But before I beat myself up too much, I will point out that I know I am NOT alone. I know that there are many other people (not just me!) who have oodles of apps. And folders too.

Oodles of folders full of apps.

If this describes you, you may have discovered that sometimes it is hard to find an app. No matter how you try to organize your screens, no matter how many folders you make, somehow you just can’t find the app you need.

Here is a quick way to find that needed app:

Put your finger on the left side of your home screen and swipe to the right.

This will bring you to this blank screen with a search box on the top.

Photo Skitch Document

Start to type in the app you are looking for. You can see here that as I started to type “Bookworm”, I didn’t get very far until it appeared right at the top of the list. Once the elusive app appears, just tap on it and it will open.

Photo Skitch Document-1

How to Save a Photo that You Receive in a Text Message: (part of the) Very Beginners Series

* Occasional posts will contain how-tos and/or hints for VERY new users of iPads, iPhones or Kindles. All new users welcome! Non-tech speak, not terribly detailed, just basic device-enhancing goodness. All part of this Very Beginner Series.

Please share with any beginners (Mom? Dad? Grandma?) in your life.*

DSC00005The other evening I was having dinner with a friend, a new iPhone user, and she wanted to show me a few pictures …. but she had to find them first. These photos had been sent to her in text messages, and she was going back through the messages to find the photos.

And so, as I watched her scroll back through her messages, the blogging bell went off in my head. “This should be a beginner post!” So here we go.

Here is how you save a photo that you receive in a text message:

Tap on the photo or the arrow area to make the photo larger.

Photo Skitch Document-14

Once you see the larger photo, tap the action arrow up at the top of the phone.

Photo Skitch Document-17

A new screen will pop up with all sorts of choices. Select “save to camera roll”.

Photo Skitch Document-18

That’s all there is.

Now when you want to look back at the photos that you received, just go to your Photos app (the sunflower) and select “camera roll”. The newly saved photos will be there at the end of the photo page.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 653 other followers