A Better Way to Look back at your Browsing history on your iPhone and iPad

Screen Shot 2015-02-03 at 8.23.54 AM I only recently found this “better way” to look back at my safari searches on my iPhone and iPad. But it’s SO much better, I will use it exclusively.

Before this discovery, when I wanted to return to a web page that I had previously viewed, I would tap on the ‘back button’ on the bottom left side of the screen. This ‘back button’ would scroll back through the web pages that I had viewed recently, one at a time.

I would tap, tap, tap.

Nope, nope, nope…. yes.

Tap tap tapping to find the elusive webpage of yore.

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The “better way” is this:

Put your finger on that back arrow and HOLD IT.

A LIST of your recently viewed web pages will appear, and to return to any, just touch it.

SO much better!!!

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How to UN-delete a Photo on your iPhone or iPad with iOS8

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Did you ever do an “oops” and delete a photo that you didn’t mean to delete? Or maybe you deleted one and regretted it later?

In iOS8, this problem can be fixed.

You CAN recover a deleted photo.

How to recover a deleted photo:

Open your Photos app.

Tap on Albums.

Scroll to find “Recently Deleted”

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Open that album and you will see all the photos that you have deleted over the last (approximately) 30 days.
Each photo will have a number under it, telling you how many days are left until it is permanently deleted.

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Choose the photo you want to un-delete, and look down at the bottom of the screen. Tap “Recover” to bring your photo back to your photo stash.

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All done! No more “oops”. :)

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How to Change Your Email Signature on your iPhone and iPad

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 (but updated!) “how to” on Thursdays, for the benefit of the many new-device-users who have joined our blog. (or to refresh the memories for those of us who forget!)

Screen Shot 2015-01-07 at 8.48.41 PMWhen you send an email from your device, it has a little “stamped” message at the bottom of your text, either “sent from my iPhone” or “sent from my iPad”. If you are a relatively new user, you may have wondered if you can change this message.

The simple answer is…… yes, indeed.

You can customize it however you would like, or you can choose to have no message at all.

You can also select a different signature for each of your email accounts, clearly separating your personal and professional life.

Before you make any changes, give it a little thought. For example, “future rock star” would be a poor choice for a professional signature. :shock: Make absolutely sure that you pay attention as you assign a signature to your email accounts. Determine if messages will be personal or professional, and create accordingly.

Personal signatures vary from the simple “regards” or “cheers” to a comedy choice (“sent from my Atari 2600”) to inspirational quotes or lines from literature.

The directions to make a change are the same for both the iPad and the iPhone.

Here is how to change your email signature:

Go to your settings and select “Mail, Contacts, Calendars”. Then scroll down and tap “Signature”.

You can now make the choice of “All Accounts” or “Per Account.” You can see, here, that on my iPhone, the message “sent from my iPhone” goes out on all my emails, from any account.

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Under the “accounts” choice, you see a text box, with the current message in it.

Replace “sent from my iPhone” with your name, or whatever else you would like to appear at the bottom of every email that you send.

Once you have made your changes (you can just make it blank), you are done. There is no “save” button, it just works.

To go back, touch the “Mail, Contacts..” arrow at the TOP of your screen, and this will take you back to Settings. Give your Home Button a push, and you are back to a screen full of your icons.

All done. The next email you send will contain your new signature (or no signature at all if you made it blank).

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How to Loan a Kindle Book

Screen Shot 2015-01-04 at 7.22.24 PMWhen we read a great book, it’s natural to want to share it with others. Unfortunately, this is the one big drawback with digital books. Sigh. :(

There are a few work arounds. You can form a “group.” And recently Amazon introduced “family sharing” which also involves linking accounts.

But what if you want to simply lend a book to a friend?

You can share a Kindle book ….if the publisher allows it. (note: the recipient does not have to own a Kindle. The Kindle app on their iPhone or iPad will work just fine.)

How to loan a Kindle book:

Bring up your Amazon account, and select “Manage Your Content and Devices.” There are several ways to navigate to that page, but I think that the easiest way is to go to a page with a Kindle book(s) and look across the top of the page, just below your search bar. On the far right, you’ll see “Manage Your Content and Devices.”

Click on “Manage Your Content and Devices” and you’ll be brought to a page that has tabs marked “content,” “devices” and “settings.” Click on “Content” and you will see all the books that you own … and the opportunity to do things with them. One of those things …. if the publisher allows it…. is to lend your Kindle book to anyone at all.

To the left of each book, you’ll see a little gray box with dots, under the column marked “actions.” Click on that box, and the possible actions (for that book) appear.

Here I have clicked on one of those boxes, and you can see all the choices, including “Loan This Title.”

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If the publisher does NOT allow lending, the option will simply not be there. So if you SEE the option, you can loan the book.

Click on “Loan This Title,” and you will bring up the screen, below.

From Skitch-2

As you can see, to loan the book, just enter the email address of your recipient (and a message if you would like).

When the receiver-of-your-book (the loan-ee? :) ) gets the email, all they have to do is follow the instructions to download the book to the device of their choice.

That’s all there is to it! (One note… you cannot read the book while it is loaned out.)

I wish that this option was available for ALL books, but for now, it’s not. It should be, (grumble, grumble) but it’s not. Maybe someday….

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How to Turn Off (the evil) In-App Purchases

Screen Shot 2015-01-02 at 6.49.05 PMAlmost two years ago, I blogged about turning off in-app purchases, after a child in the UK racked up a whopping bill of $2500.

Since many folks have recently subscribed to this blog after (probably) getting a new device for the holidays, I think it’s time to talk about this again.

First, my rant. Bluntly, I think in-app purchases are (usually) evil. It’s a model designed to get you to pay more and more just to finish whatever it is you are doing. In-app purchases often appear in games, encouraging you to acquire extra powers or lives or turns or whatevers. In the heat of the moment, many normally-sane people find themselves wracking up charges for…… well, lots of nothing.

It just seems to me that the vast majority of in-app purchases are simply designed to, uh, ‘get’ you.

If you have children using your devices, you should absolutely positively turn OFF the ability to buy these extras.

Screen Shot 2015-01-02 at 7.00.17 PMBut I’d like to take this a step further and suggest that all of us boomers do the same. Those in-app purchases are pretty darn sneaky (and getting sneakier all the time). They can pop up and be confusing, and you might find yourself buying something you never intended to buy at all.

I recently downloaded a well-reviewed match 3 game, a Disney product, and was flabbergasted at all the “do you want to buy an extra turn/power/etc” that the game kept throwing at me. I’d MUCH rather pay for a game, and use it cleanly without any hidden costly surprises.

Here is how to turn off your in-app purchases on your iPhone or iPad:

Go to your Settings > General > Restrictions.

To enable restrictions, you’ll have to enter a passcode. Be sure to remember this, because you will need it if you want to change it later.

Once you have enabled restrictions, just slide on down and find “In-app purchases.” Slide the switch to off (not green) and you’ll be all set.

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Take Better Selfies with the new Timer in iOS8

Screen Shot 2014-12-18 at 7.16.27 AMYour Holiday Selfies just got more interesting. Unless you have REALLY long arms, you may find that your Selfies are often not very flattering ….. a little TOO close for comfort.

Now you can prop up your iPhone, and using the timer, step back a bit. This will allow you to include MORE folks in the photos, and you can include that backdrop for the holiday or travel. (What good is your selfie in front of the Colosseum if all you can see are your teeth? :shock: )

How to use the timer on your iPhone camera:

To use your timer, bring up your camera and tap on the clock icon which is up at the top of your screen. Once you tap on the clock you have options to use either a 3 second or a 10 second timer.

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After you have selected either the 3 or 10 second option, tap your photo button. You’ll see a countdown on your screen… 10 .. 9 .. 8 .. 7 .. 6 .. 5 ..4 ..3 ..2 ..1…. and then your photo happens.

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Your photo(s) will occur in a burst. This is set by default to give you a burst of photos when you use the timer. (A great idea, I think. You get to choose your no-blinking best.)

When you are done, make sure you turn the timer-selection off by tapping “off” at the top of your screen (otherwise the next time you go to take a photo, it will still be set to timer mode.)

Have fun!

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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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Let your iPhone or iPad read to you (part one)

Screen Shot 2014-12-07 at 7.45.56 PMThere are so many things that you can tweak on your iPhone (and iPad). But, we all don’t need everything. For example, some people love the flashing light notifications (an old post, but still generally accurate), while other people don’t need that flashing feature and don’t care one bit that it is available.

Today we are going to explore another one of those “extra” things. For some people this will be a life-saver. For others ….. it’s just a curiosity (but kind of fun to fool around with!)

Let’s look at turning on Speak Selection on your device.

By turning on “Speak Selection”, you can have your phone read selected text to you.

To turn on “Speak Selection”, go to Settings > General > Accessibility > Speech > Speak Selection

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Once you have turned it on, select any text, and the choice to “speak” it will appear as an option when it is highlighted. Tap on “speak” and your phone will read the text to you.

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And now that you know how to do this, I can’t wait to post “part two”. Stay tuned!

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Saving some memory in iOS 8

Screen Shot 2014-12-03 at 7.27.21 AMSaving memory is a big issue for some people, especially if you have a 16GB phone. Memory gets eaten up by all kinds of things.

One of those “things” is the collection of photo-messages, video-messages and voice messages that you acquire over time.

I never realized this until doing the research for this post, but apparently your messages are saved for… well….. forever. :shock: (that’s a long time!)
And if you get a lot of pictures, etc, via the messaging app, your memory could be taking a serious hit.

iOS8 gives us the opportunity to have a little control over that.

Here is how to make your own choice about message-saving:

Go to Settings > Messages

Slide down, and you will see a place for “message history.” The default is to keep messages FOREVER.

From Skitch

Tap on “forever” and you will be given two additional choices: 30 days or 1 year.

From Skitch

By nixing the “forever” choice, you’ll be saving memory that would otherwise be lost. Every little bit helps!

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Is Your Blog Snowing?

Screen Shot 2014-12-02 at 6.47.28 AMIf you have added snow to your Blog here on WordPress anytime in the past, you might have noticed that WordPress remembered this …. and it has recently started snowing on your blog without you doing a thing to get it going.

And if you leave it alone, it will automatically stop on January 4.

If you are new to WordPress and you would like to make it snow on your blog, here is what you do:

Go to Settings > General and scroll ALL the way down to the bottom. There you will find the box that you can check to make it snow on your blog (or UNcheck if you do not want the snow).

This snow is harmless. It won’t accumulate, and you don’t have to shovel it. :)

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