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.

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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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Amazon’s Mayday Button will be a BIG help for “Everyday Folks”

Screen shot 2013-11-13 at 7.17.37 PMI think probably everyone has experienced a tech-support-horror-story.

I do believe that many people who avoid getting smart phones or tablets stay away because they are afraid that if they run into trouble, they won’t know where to turn.

Amazon seems to really understand “support.” They have always had an outstanding reputation for help-calls.

However, even when support is excellent, following directions can sometimes be difficult, especially if your device is new to you. The tech person might use vocabulary or refer to functions and buttons that simply sound like jibberish to a newbie.

Enter the Mayday button on Amazon’s new Kindle Fire HDX. This makes support for the “everyday person” completely ….. well, close to perfect.

Let’s say, for example, you have a new Kindle Fire HDX and you want to set up your email on the device, but you have no clue how to do it.

Just tap the Mayday button and a tech support person appears on the screen. And, even better, they can actually SEE your device screen, and access your controls. They can teach you how to do whatever it is that you need to do. They can circle the button, draw arrows and explain while they show you exactly what to do. Imagine that!

And… this Mayday person will be available to you 24/7, 365 days a year. You need help, help is always right there.

Amazon is promising that the Mayday person will show up on your screen within 15 seconds (wow, huh). They must be planning a full house for Christmas because I can just imagine all the new Kindle Fires being opened on Christmas morning and a deluge of people pushing that Mayday button (if for no other reason than just to see how it works).

I have an old Fire (no Mayday button), and I can tell you that there have been many times where assistance would have been wonderful. Not major issues, mind you, or I would have called the regular suppport line, but just a “I wonder if I can…or how do I…” How nice it would have been to tap a button and get an instant answer!

Here is a video with a few short commercials showing the Mayday button in action.

(fyi ….when you push the Mayday button, you will see the person, and they will see your Kindle Fire’s screen, but they will not see you.:) )

The Mayday button may actually convince you to get a new Kindle Fire HDX

Amazon adds ‘Mayday’ button tech support to new Kindle Fire HDX tablets

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How to Lock your Screen Orientation in iOS 7

Screen shot 2013-10-01 at 7.46.47 AMOn 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. :)

When you flip your iPhone or iPad from portrait mode (home button on the bottom) to landscape mode (home button) on the right or the left, usually your screen will change with you. (Some apps don’t allow the switch). If you look at a photo, you’ll get a good idea of the flip. Just twist your device and watch the photo change orientation.

Some people prefer using their device one way or the other. (Personally, I prefer to use my iPad in landscape, and my iPhone in portrait. Why? I have no idea. Just do. :lol: )

If you have NOT updated to iOS 7, then you can find your method(s) of locking the screen in this old blog post: Flipping Your iPad: How to Lock Your Screen in Landscape or in Portrait

For those of us who have updated, or perhaps got a brand new iPhone :), iOS 7 has changed the way to access the screen “lock”.

Here is how to LOCK your screen on your iPad or iPhone in iOS 7:

From ANY screen (even if your phone is locked), swipe UP from the bottom.

This is the new Control Center. (More on this, later…)

Tap on the lock screen button. It will be black, but it will turn white once you turn it “on”.

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To “undo”, just tap the button, again. Easy, breezy.

For iPad users: you can also use your mute button to lock the screen by going to Settings > General > Lock Rotation

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Hurray! Kindle App Adds Collections

Screen shot 2013-09-24 at 4.27.44 PMI love how the Kindle app keeps getting better. With this new update, the Kindle app now adds Collections. Yay! It’s about time.

There has been lots of chatter about this for months forever :lol:. Many people feel this is long overdue, and are celebrating this new feature. Collections helps you organize and makes it MUCH easier to browse through your books in the Cloud.

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Once you have updated your app, you will discover that some Collections have been made for you. Just tap on the three lines on the upper left of your screen, and a menu will pop out from the side. You will see “Collections” on that list.

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Tap on Collections, and see all your books appear in default categories such as “free” or “reading now”.

Touch and hold any book, and you will have the opportunity to Add to Collection. Tap on a book within a collection and you can remove it from a collection and put it into another. It is very intuitive and easy to use.

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To create a new collection, just tap on the + sign on the Collections page.

I enjoy being organized, and this is a wonderful way to organize all of my Kindle books. I plan to spend the rest of the evening sorting through my library and placing books into Collections. :)

****** Creating Collections on your Kindle App will sync across other Kindle Apps (iPad to iPhone, for example), but will NOT sync to your Paperwhite or other Kindle device at this time.

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How to Automatically Update Apps in iOS 7 (or not)

Screen shot 2013-09-23 at 3.45.31 PMI have always been a lazy app updater, and my update badge was often an annoying reminder that I had to do the deed and update a bunch of apps.

There were times that it got as high as 80-something.
(yes, I’m THAT lazy, and as an app-junkie, it can get quite messy. :shock: ).

And so, one feature of iOS 7 that I think I will enjoy is the opportunity to now set your apps to automatically update.

Many people choose NOT to use this feature, because sometime app updates can be undesirable. (They might take away a feature that you enjoy, for example). But in my experience, I’ve only had a problem one time, back when I was updating regularly. So, considering those odds, I’ve decided to go ahead and activate the automatic update feature.

Here is how to automatically update your apps in iOS 7:

Navigate to Settings > iTunes & App Store > Automatic Downloads

Here you will find the switch for UPDATES.

If you DO want to have your apps update automatically, slide the switch to the right to make it green.

If you want to continue to do it yourself, slide to the left (off).

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For now, I’m automatically updating. We’ll see how it goes. :)

Important note: Just under the this automatic download area, there is a “cellular data” button. I have that turned OFF. I don’t want my apps updating using cellular data, that might run into $. I want them only to update over wifi. Therefore, I have this cellular button turned OFF.

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Apple Announces New iPhones and Release Date for iOS7

Screen shot 2013-09-11 at 7.36.50 AMYesterday Apple announced it’s newest phone, but as rumors had predicted, there wasn’t just one… there were two.

One is an upgrade to the iPhone 5 and this phone includes a home button that acts as a fingerprint sensor.

The other is a cheaper version of the iPhone 5, with plastic cases in a variety of colors.

If you are interested in getting a new phone, you can click on this link to compare the models now available, including prices and features: Compare iPhone models

Other news is that we now know the release date for the new operating system. It will be ready for downloading on September 18.

I think that iOS7 is MUCH bigger news than the new phones.

You will be able to download iOS7 if you have any of the following devices: an iPhone 4 or later, the iPad 2 or later, 5th generation iPod touch or the mini iPad.

Among the changes coming: new alerts and ringtones, improvements to Siri, a new control center, new icons, and many of the best Apple apps will be free such as iPhoto, iMovie, Pages, Numbers and Keynote.

The design has been referred to as “radically different”, so…..

Once the new operating system releases, I’ll be going through it s-l-o-w-l-y, and addressing each new function on this blog.

Since they are promising new features AND new design, there is a lot to swallow. Remember, this is a blog for regular people, and us regular folks need to take our time so that we (me ! ) don’t get overwhelmed. :lol:

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How to Add Assorted Smiley Faces to Your WordPress Blog or Comments

Screen shot 2013-03-06 at 7.22.22 PMWhen commenting on a WordPress blog, you can enhance your words with smiley faces. As I read through comments, I see the ‘typical’ smiley face used a lot. But did you know that you can ALSO add lots of other expressive faces to punctuate your comment? :shock:

Here are SOME of the codes that you can use to add a variety of faces to your words. I’m putting the actual code in quotes, but when you use it, don’t use the quotes. (if I didn’t use the quotes for this post, they would simply show up as the smiley faces themselves). Also, when writing, remember to leave a space between your words and the codes.

Feel free to try these out in the comment section of this post.

:) This is the typical smiley face made by typing: “:)” or “:-)” or “:smile:”

:D Grinning face: “:D” or “:-D” or “:grin:”

:( Sad face: “:(” or “:-(” or “:sad:”

:o Eek! face: “:o” or “:-o” or “:eek:” (this is made with a small case letter “o”)

:shock: Shocked face: “8O” or “8-O” or “:shock:” (this is made with a capital letter “O”)

:? Questioning face: “:?” or “:-?” or “:???:”

:cool: Cool dude face: “:cool:”

:x Mad or angry face: “:x” or “:-x” or “:mad:”

:neutral: Plain, neutral face: “:neutral:”

;) Winking face: “;)” or “;-)” or “:wink:”

:cry: Crying face: “:cry:”

:evil: Evil face: “:evil:”

:lol: Laughing face: “:lol:”

:oops: Embarrassed face: “:oops:”

And last but not least, my favorite, the Rolling Eyes: :roll: “:roll:”

Have fun!

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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.

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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.

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Taking a Short Blogging Break

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While I’m gone, please take some time to look through some old posts, especially if you are a few user/follower :)

How to’s

Very Beginner Series

All Things Kindle

And for those of you in the Southern Hemisphere, as you move your way toward your winter months, don’t forget this easy way to make your gloves touch-screen friendly!

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