Tip to Save your iPhone battery on a Road Trip

Screen Shot 2014-04-13 at 8.53.06 AMI’ve been gone for a while, and part of that time was spent on the road.

I’m not a happy driver, so I chose to be the navigator for this adventure, which required some driving on unfamiliar roads.

I love love love the way you can follow your own car with the little blue dot as it travels the highways and byways. Watching us travel I was able to let my driver-friend know that we were getting closer to the turn we had to make, or even that there was a lot of traffic up ahead (google maps/traffic gives you red lines when the going gets tough.)

All this is wonderful, BUT it is a big huge battery drain. Since we were going to be in the car for a good number of hours, and I knew I’d be using these maps a great deal (draining the battery), I brought along a handy dandy car charger to keep the juice flowing.

I was happy with that, and it worked just fine.

Discussing this with daughter-in-law Carmen, she suggested that I turn off my wifi and bluetooth in the car.

Duh. Why didn’t I think of that? There was no reason to have wifi on in the car, and since I wasn’t in my own car, the bluetooth was needless, also.

But I wondered …. would it really make any difference?

I decided to test this.

So on the way home, I turned off both the wifi and the bluetooth ….and used my iPhone to navigate just as much as I did on the way out.

But THIS time, instead of draining the battery, I arrived home with an iPhone still over 50% “full”. This was a huge difference.

With wifi and bluetooth “on”, I drained the phone in hours and needed the car-cable to keep it powered.

With wifi and bluetooth “off”, I ended the road trip with an iPhone still holding a significant charge.

Wow. I never knew it would make THAT much of a difference! (thanks, Carmen!)

How to turn off your wifi and bluetooth on your iPhone:

Just run your finger UP on your iPhone screen to bring up your control center.

There you will see them both….the wifi icon and the bluetooth option. Just tap them to turn them on or off. In this screenshot, my wifi is “on” and my bluetooth is “off”.

Remember this when you want to prolong your battery life! The control center makes it easy to do (as opposed to drilling-down in the settings).


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How to Find the Umlauts, Accents, etc. on your iPhone or iPad keyboard

Over the last several years, “throwback Thursday” has become quite popular.

Although it is really supposed to be about nostalgia (like old photos), I thought I’d stretch the point, and occasionally post an old “how to” on Thursdays, for the benefit of the many new-device-users who have joined our blog.

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It might not happen often, but when you need to find an umlaut (or a similar something), you want it NOW. But where is it on your keyboard?

Here is how you find umlauts and accents on your iPad or iPhone keyboard:

Let’s say you want an “e” with a little accent mark above it. Simply hold your finger on the “e” key, and you will see that several “e” choices appear. Want an umlaut? Touch and hold the “u” and it will be right there. Need an “n” with a tilde? Touch and hold the “n” to see your choices.

Try it. Just stroll through the keyboard, touching each key in turn so you can browse the options. Not every letter has options, of course, but I’m sure you’ll find some surprising ones. Some symbols also have options (try the $ sign for example :) )
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Typing in Caps (part of the) Very Beginner 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.

Screen Shot 2014-03-13 at 5.55.01 PMOver the last several years, “throwback Thursday” has become quite popular.

Although it is really supposed to be about nostalgia (like old photos), I thought I’d stretch the point, and occasionally post an old “how to” on Thursdays, for the benefit of the many new-device-users who have joined our blog.

How to type in Caps:

When you first get your new iPhone or iPad, one of the first things you’ll do is spend some time typing on the keyboard. You’ll quickly learn to tap the up-arrow when you want a capital letter.


But what if you want to type in ALL caps? You do not need to tap the arrow every single time ….

Just DOUBLE-TAP the up-arrow, and it will darken. Now every letter you type will BE A CAPITAL LETTER.


When you are done cap-typing, just touch the up-arrow again, and you’ll turn off your caps.

(remember to use your caps responsibly. It isn’t polite to shout. :) )

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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.)


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Careful! The infamous Polar Vortex can hurt your phone!

Screen Shot 2014-01-07 at 8.14.37 PMMy goodness ….. it has been COLD around here, today. I live in the eastern US, and the term “polar vortex” has been on everyone’s (frozen) lips.

When I glanced at my iPhone during the night, one of my apps had thoughtfully left a chilly notification on the screen “temperature has gone below 0.” :shock:

Schools were closed and reporters were on the streets, tweeting pictures of bank-temperature signs announcing numbers like -7 and -3.

Made me wonder: Can iPhones work in that kind of cold?

Turns out that the answer is: Nope. Your iPhone will fail in sub-zero temps.

Apparently the screen display and the battery can not handle these extreme temperatures. Apple tells us that the iPhone battery functions best between 32 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit. (-2 is a long way from 32!). When the phone starts getting sluggish, it’s your signal to warm it up. Put it in your pocket or tuck it in somewhere against your body for warmth.

Screen Shot 2014-01-07 at 8.16.41 PMIn 2012, the Mikro PC (PC World Finland) put some phones to the temperature test. They started in a room of 32 degrees and started lowering it in steps of 9 degrees until eventually all phones stopped working.

The iPhone 4s that they tested started acting odd at 23 degrees and and at 9 degrees it stopped working altogether. Some other phones kept functioning as the temps continued to drop. Non smartphones made it all the way to -40, but that was the limit for any phone. You can read all about this test by clicking here.

I heard one newsperson announce that compared to being outside, you would be warmer if you climbed into your freezer. Yep, it’s pretty cold.

When you venture out, remember to bundle up … good advice for both you AND your iPhone.

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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. :)

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Soon You Can “Watch” Your Luggage as You Fly

Screen shot 2013-11-14 at 8.41.19 PMEvery once in a while an idea comes along and you say …. yay!

This is that kind of idea.

If you have done even a fair amount of flying in your life, you have probably experienced the dreaded “lost luggage.” You can recall that awful feeling you get when you stand at the luggage carousel and watch the bags go round and round. But not yours. And gradually the crowd around you thins out until you are the only one standing and waiting for your luggage to appear. And it doesn’t. No luggage for you. (Been there, done that). :shock:

But next year, this experience might be a thing of the past.

Beginning in 2014, airlines are going to introduce electronic tags for your luggage. With your Smartphone you will be able to track the exact location of your bags at any point during your travels.

If your bag misses your connection, you’ll know it, and you can let the airline know immediately where to send it. (and you won’t waste time standing at the dreaded carousel.)

I really like this idea. No more “surprises” at the airport!

Lost Luggage? Airlines Have Got A Brand New (Electronic) Tag

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Yes, you DO have a Flashlight on your iPhone: iOS 7

Screen shot 2013-11-07 at 8.07.39 AMI use the flashlight on my iPhone often. It is so handy. I use it in places where I wouldn’t ordinarily use a flashlight simply because my big old household flashlight is always someplace else. :shock:

But my iPhone is in my pocket and so a flashlight is always handy.

Before iOS 7 you needed a Flashlight app. There were many, and I loved the one I had.

But if you are new to the iPhone, or never had/used a Flashlight app before, you should know that you now have a Flashlight on your iPhone ….. it came WITH iOS 7.

So where is it??

How to access the Flashlight in iOS7:

To find your Flashlight, bring up your “Control Center” by simply swiping UP on your iPhone.

Look at the bottom left area of your screen…… there is your Flashlight.

Just tap the icon to turn it on.


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Using your iPhone or iPad in the Dark: How to Invert Colors on your Device



When I sit in a movie theatre, I usually spend the “movie-preview” time reading on the Kindle app on my iPhone.  You probably know that within the Kindle app, we have the option to change the screen to black, which works well in a dark theatre.

But did you know that you can invert the colors for your whole iPhone and iPad? (this is NOT just for iOS 7. This feature works on any phone using iOS4 or later)

Inverting colors makes it easier to use your phone in the dark …. especially in a crowded place where the glare of the bright phone might bother others.

It is also helpful for some visual impairments, making the iPhone/iPad screens easier to see.

How to invert the colors on your iPhone:

Setting > General > Accessibility > Invert Colors

Try it! Just tap “invert colors” and watch the screen instantly change. Then just tap again to bring it back to normal. (Someday you’ll be sitting in a dark and crowded place and you’ll be glad you know this.) :)

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How to BLOCK CALLS on your iPhone w iOS 7

Screen shot 2013-10-16 at 6.35.19 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. :)

Yes! You can now block any pesky calls that come your way.

I’m delighted with this feature since a local pharmacy robo-calls me regularly, and I have been unable to get them to stop. This feature has solved the problem for me. I  blocked them. No more annoying calls.  :)

So if you have iOS 7 on your phone, and a telemarketer or a “whoever” is troubling you, the power is now in YOUR hands.  You can block their calls.

Here is how to block a call:

Tap on your phone icon and select “recents.”

Look for the offending phone number.

Tap on the “i” on the far right side of the number. This will take you to an information screen.


Scroll down the information screen, and you will see the option to “block this caller“. Yay! No more pesky calls. :)


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