iOS 8 will now SLOWLY come to this blog

Screen Shot 2014-10-14 at 8.24.52 AMReminder: This is a blog for EVERYDAY people. If you are a tech-person or have advanced skills, you are in the wrong place.

I find that when I read tech blogs or articles they are often filled with lots of things I don’t understand or need, and I have to sift down to get to the nitty gritty (dating myself with that term!). :shock: Often there is a nugget of precious info that can help me enjoy this word of tech-wonder, but I have to look for it.

Or …… sometimes info on a tech blog can be simply overwhelming with too much information. Too too too much at once. If I see too much at once, it jumbles together. That won’t happen here.

So, I am taking this opportunity to remind you that I GO SLOWLY.

I have placed a special link to an “iOS 8” page up at the top of this blog.

I will GRADUALLY start exploring iOS 8 features one at a time. And as I do, I will group them on that page, above.

One at a time. Slowly. Step by step. Bit by bit.

This approach helps this regular person understand what she’s learning, and I hope it helps you, too.

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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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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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You CAN wash and dry some wearable tech. But I wouldn’t do it on purpose.

Screen Shot 2014-10-01 at 8.12.11 PMLife has been a little busy in my house these past few days. (The excitement involved an ambulance ride, emergency room care and considerable discomfort ….for my spouse. )

My end of the deal was to caretake and do all the things that are usually shared by two.
But as we all know, when you’re very busy, and distracted, mistakes happen.

My mistake?

I washed (and dried!) my Fitbit. argh.

A Fitbit is a delightful piece of wearable tech that keeps track of your steps for each day. It’s wonderful, motivating, and I use it every day.

But because I was distracted, I did not remove it from a pocket before I threw some laundry into the machine. So my Fitbit was washed. Then rinsed and spun.

And then, adding insult to injury, it went in the dryer. :shock:

This morning I looked for my Fitbit and with a sudden shock I realized …… uh oh. Did I? (you know that feeling. A moment of weak-in-the-knees)

I went to the dryer and there it was. Nestled among the fluffy socks and warm towels was my Fitbit. I reached into the dryer, and pulled it out.

I expected to find a soggy mess, water inside the screen, and maybe a frozen display.

But nope.

It’s perfect!

It looks fine. Every screen is clear and sharp. It’s working perfectly.

wow. Washable tech. Who knew?

Have you ever had a similar accident? Or (gasp) washed your phone?

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A New Word for you to Learn: Phablet

Screen Shot 2014-09-17 at 8.00.26 PMIf you haven’t heard it yet, you’ll hear it soon.

Phablet

Phablet – a phone that’s big enough to be (almost) considered a tablet.

Samsung has produced a phablet for years with it’s Galaxy Note. And do people like it? They seem to love it. So Apple is now jumping on that bandwagon with the iPhone 6 Plus.

iPhone 6 Plus = the newest phablet on the market.

There was a great review of the iPhone 6 Plus in the New York Times today. Written by a bona-fide big-phone hater, he talks about the time he spent with this new phablet, pros and cons.

I think he surprised himself.

He finds many pluses to make up for the lack of pocketability.

Read the whole article, here:

With Apple’s iPhone 6 Plus, Phablets Get Serious.

Now I’m starting to get excited to get my hands on one.

I’ll not be in line at the Apple stores on Friday (I’m not THAT crazy ambitious :) )

But …

I placed my order! And I should get my iPhone 6 Plus (aka Phablet) in about 3 weeks.

If you are considering the iPhone 6 Plus, I would suggest you take a few minutes and read the NY Times review.

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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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Upgrading your iPhone? Time to start thinking about selling your old one….

Screen Shot 2014-08-30 at 8.09.10 AMIt won’t be long now until Apple unveils the iPhone 6. The event is scheduled for September 9.

And so ….. if you are planning to get a new iPhone, you’ll want to get rid of your old one. Of course you can always sell it on your own to a friend, or through CraigsList or eBay, but I prefer the no-hassle-to-me way, through Amazon or Gazelle.

It was two years ago that I sold two iPhone 4’s, as my husband and I upgraded at that time to the 5.

For comparison, I sold one phone to Amazon, and the other to Gazelle.

I am a BIG fan of Gazelle. Just last week, I sold an old iPad 2 to them. The experience was every bit as easy as it was two years ago when I sold my iPhone to Gazelle.

I clicked through their website to my model of iPad and indicated its condition. Then Gazelle did the rest. They sent me a box. I slipped my iPad in the provided amazingly-designed safety sleeve. I sealed the box. I sent it back (pre-paid by Gazelle). Several days later I had an email from Gazelle that my iPad arrived. Hours later the $$$$ appeared as an Amazon gift card (my choice. You can also get a check, or a deposit into a paypal account).

So easy. So well done. I got $145 for a very-well used iPad 2.

Of course, as easy and professional as Gazelle is, it is still wise to shop around. Amazon’s trade in program is also excellent. You might want to check with both to see where you get the most $$. One happy point to me with Gazelle is that I did not need to send back an original box OR any cords. That was a plus as far as I was concerned. Extra plugs are handy, so I was happy to keep mine.

Once the new iPhones are released, the price for the older phones will probably drop a bit. Gazelle is currently offering the opportunity to lock in the price (until October 10) of your iPhone, now. This is useful if you absolutely know that you are getting a new phone, soon.

I won’t be locking in my price now, though, because I’m just not SURE about a new iPhone, yet. I’m interested in the larger screen, and it is not clear whether Apple will be releasing such a phone at this time. I’ll have to wait and see.

I checked through Gazelle to see what I would get if I sold my iPhone to them. Answer: $160. That would be a nice chunk of change to apply toward the new iPhone 6. :)

note that the “locked” and “unlocked” refers to a carrier service, not locking in your price. Two different “locks”! :shock:

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Although I am only talking Apple products, here, Gazelle will buy all kinds of devices. If you’re not using it, this is an easy way to clear it out and make a few $, too.

This literally only takes minutes. Minutes-to-$. That’s a good thing.

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Heads Up! New iPhones are a-coming, soon

Screen Shot 2014-08-11 at 8.51.33 AMIt seems like yesterday that I gushed with glee over the new iPhone 5. Some of my “bad” concerns never panned out (battery has been fine, and I love the power cord). I have thoroughly enjoyed my last two years with my iPhone 5.

Enter the iPhone 6. It’s coming. In about a month.

The biggest rumor news about this new phone is the size. It looks like the iPhone 6 will come in several sizes. It’s growing larger.

One very popular phone, the Samsung Galaxy, has a significantly larger screen than an iPhone. And that larger screen has been a huge success. I know several closely related folks :) who have “strayed” and are loving their Galaxy phones.

So, it looks like Apple is playing a little catch-up here, coming out with a larger iPhone, providing consumers with a choice (and hopefully keeping people in the Apple universe).

Below is a great illustration from MacRumors, showing the comparison of the device sizes: Notice that the largest iPhone is actually approaching iPad mini size!

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Oh, the choices!!! The chatter about these new sizes is quite interesting. Some folks enjoy the size just as it is, and want no changes at all. Others are looking forward to a new, larger screen. My daughter-in-law and I just had this conversation yesterday…. she wants to keep her trusty iPhone small, while I am quite sure I’ll be pursuing the new (biggest) model.

So, if you are in the market for upgrading your iPhone, start thinking about size.
It matters. :)

Your thoughts? Is bigger = better?

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It’s 7 – 11, and that means it’s Free Slurpee Day! More FREE STUFF, all week, with the App

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Stop in today, Friday, 7/11, between the hours of 11 am to 7 pm at your local, participating 7-Eleven to get a free Slurpee. No coupon necessary. This is the 12th year that the chain has given away Slurpees to celebrate its birthday.

And then …..

If you have the 7-Eleven App, you get more freebees all birthday-week long!

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That’s quite a haul of FREE stuff for a FREE app.

7-Eleven App is FREE in the iTunes store

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New Survey: Cellphones ONLY for 2 out of 5 in the US

Screen Shot 2014-07-08 at 5.33.04 PMThe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been watching the evolution of cell phones vs landlines for the last several years in the US.

They recently released a new report which boils down to the news that 2 out of 5 homes in the US have ditched the landline and are cellphone only.

That’s twice what it was 5 years ago, but in spite of that, the trend seems to be slowing down.

You can read more about this report from several links I will put at the end of this post.

But …..

This made me wonder about those of us here in the blogosphere … worldwide, not just in the USA.

So let’s weigh in!

Here at my house, we have both. However, we don’t use the landline anymore. It’s there, and it collects all the telemarketer calls (and a lot of dust), but we don’t use it as our phone. I would dump it, but it comes “bundled” with cable TV service and internet, and basically costs nothing, so…… we keep it and let the answering machine pick up any stray calls that come through there.

My children, however, are all adults with homes of their own, and there are no landlines for them. Cell phones only in those households.

How about you? Are you a cell phone-only house?

Or do you have a cell-phone(s) AND a landline?

4 in 10 US Homes Are Cellphone Only, Skip Landline

Two in five U.S. homes have only cellphones: survey

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