Somehow, my sweet daughter-in-law must have offended Siri

I didn’t think it was possible. I thought Siri stood by you at all times.

Apparently not.

My daughter-in-law is running iOS 7.1.2 on her phone. That’s not so old. (my husband is still using 6)

Today she asked for Siri’s help in finding a location.

Did Siri jump to her rescue as usual? NO!!!

Siri (gasp!) REFUSED to help.

Yes. Refused.

Here is a screen shot of Siri’s snippy answer:

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Carmen tried asking again, and got the same answer. :shock:

She’s not sure what happened to their relationship, since Siri has always been so helpful to her.

(I think she’s planning to send Siri a picture of flowers to make up.)

I tried asking Siri a question on my husband’s iPhone running iOS 6. Siri answered me each time.

Anyone else having relationship issues with Siri?

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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.

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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.

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How to Make Lists in your Reminder App on your iPhone

Photo Skitch Document-13I use the Reminders app ALL the time. I depend on it. My own memory lets me down, but this app keeps me focused and spares me from making many “oops, I forgot” mistakes.

I often ask Siri to remind me to: write a note, pay a bill, pick something up at the store, etc etc etc …. And before I know it, my list is long. Really long. Silly long.

And it can get really messy if your personal reminders are woven among your work reminders. A quick look for your next crucial appointment time might be hard to find if it is wedged between ‘pick up milk’ and ‘stop at the post office’.

What to do?

Separate your reminders into lists.

Here is how you can make lists in your Reminders app:

Open Reminders and tap on the Menu in the upper left corner.

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Tap on “Create New List” and give it a title. Once you have made your title, tap “done”.

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You can make many lists. Perhaps a list specifically for your work, or a reminder list of books you plan to read. Whatever suits your life.

Just tap on the new title you created and begin to make your list.

Go back and forth between your lists by tapping the menu button.

Whew! So much easier than trying to store it all in my head. :)

Weekend Distraction: Read Short Stories on your iPad through the App called Paragraph Shorts

Screen shot 2013-01-25 at 4.38.28 PMI have no trouble finding books to read. My “waiting list” is very, very long, and gets added to almost daily.

But short stories? Hmmmm…. I have to think about that.

Honestly, I’m not that much of a short story fan. I like to get lost in the fiction I read, get swept up by the plot, and make friends with the characters. The longer the better. I like to fuss as I get closer to the end, because I don’t want the experience to be over. To me, it’s a great book when I regret turning the final page.

Can you feel all that with short stories? I don’t know. I did read an excellent collection a few years ago, but I found myself constantly feeling short-changed, left with one foot in the air, incomplete and wishing the stories were longer.

However I do know that there are many excellent short stories with awesome authors producing superb fodder for numerous outlets, including magazines such as The Atlantic and The New Yorker.

And now, with a new iPad app called Paragraph Shorts, you can read short stories gathered from these and many other sources (all for free!).

You can also save them to read offline (a lifesaver for traveling).

Now I am excited to give short stories a try.

Beautifully presented, once you download the app from the iTunes store, you will find it in your Newstand. With the app downloaded, you will regularly receive collections of short stories.

You can see here, I have so far received 4 copies full of short stories WITHIN the app. I have downloaded the two most recent copies and have not yet downloaded the first two. To download them, all I need to do is tap on the cover. This is how they appear within the Newstand App.

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Tapping on number 4 brings up the collection to full screen. Glancing through the author list, you can see there will be selections this time from Elizabeth Gilbert, Tobias Wolff, and Alice Munro among others.

Wow, huh?

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Tap on this cover image and the display opens as you see, below. Notice the symbols next to each story. Some are readable, some are to be listened to, and occasionally there is video, as well.

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Paragraph Shorts for the iPad is FREE in the iTunes store and is getting sensational ratings… 5 stars!

Taking a Blogging Break


I hate to interrupt this blog, but interrupt I must, and I’m hanging up the “be back soon” sign for now.

This break is not because I am tired, or have run out of things to talk about. (There is ALWAYS more stuff to talk about!) I must take a break because I will not have access to the internet for a while.

This also means that I will not be able to read blogs or to comment on the blogs that I so enjoy following. Please understand that lack of responses from me is only because, well, I’m not here. :)

In the meantime, if you are a new follower, this will give you a chance to catch up.

If you are a beginner, and just starting out with your new iPad or iPhone, you can spend some time with these links.

If you have an iPad or an iPhone, take a look through these links.

If you have a Kindle, or if you are thinking about getting a Kindle, there might be something of interest here.

And take a look at these posts, where a few new features of iOS6 are discussed .

How to Stop Annoying Game Center Pop-ups on the iPhone and iPad

Screen shot 2013-01-02 at 8.36.46 PMChances are you’ve seen it. You launch a game and before you can start, up jumps a green screen from “game center” asking you to sign in or invite friends or some other game-center-type thing.

Let’s be clear, here. I have NEVER used Game Center. I don’t know exactly what it does. I don’t want to know. I just don’t want to see it pop up all the time. It is annoying.

Over time, I tried several things to make it go away, but nothing worked and I resigned myself to tap-tapping that nasty little screen with ‘no’s’ and ‘disables’ until it vanished ….but only temporarily. It is a determined little fellow and it always popped back.

Now I think I have found something that works. At least it works for me. Perhaps it is dependent on other settings, I just don’t know.

But for me, for now, I am delighted to say that I have NO MORE game center pop ups popping up. :)

I hope it works for others, although I certainly can’t guarantee it. I can only hope it works for you as it has completely eliminated the pop ups on my iPhone and iPad.

Here is how I disabled the game center pop-up:

Go to Settings.

Tap on General.

Look down to Restrictions.

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Tap on Restrictions. You will be asked to enter a passcode. REMEMBER IT.

On the next screen, look all the way down at the bottom.

You’ll see a spot that says “game center” with two tabs that are set to “on”. Tap them, and turn them “off”.

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Go back out of the settings.

Re-boot your phone.

Hopefully …… I can’t promise ……. but hopefully, you won’t be bothered by the pop-ups anymore. :)

How to Update the Apps on Your iPhone and iPad: (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 2012-12-18 at 6.38.29 PMPart of the fun of having an iPhone or an iPad is gathering apps. All kinds of apps. Game apps, map apps, video apps, recipe apps, productivity apps, music apps.

And if you have good apps, (and you probably do), the developers keep working on them. They keep improving them. The developers tweak their work, making their apps better all the time. They update them so that they work best with the current operating system, to correct bugs that users uncover, and to add new features.

This is all great news for you, the user, because it means that the apps you use just keep getting better. The trick, however, is that you have to remember to update your apps. :)

There are two basic ways to update. One is through the computer and iTunes, the other is directly on your device.

For the purpose of this post, we are going to look at updating your apps directly on your device. (Syncing to iTunes will be a topic for another day.)

How to update your apps on your iPhone or iPad:

Find the App Store app on your iPhone or iPad.

If you have any updates, you will see a number on it. This tells you how many apps you have to update.

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Tap on the App store icon.

Now look down at the bottom of the screen, and you’ll see that number again, right beside the word “updates”.

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Tap on “Updates”

You will be shown a list of all the updates that are available to you.

Next to each one, there is an “update” spot to touch OR you can look to the top of the screen and tap on “update all”

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Gradually, one by one, your apps will update.

Try to remember to do this periodically.

If the number gets too high, you can overwhelm your device and it might freeze (it’s not supposed to freeze, but it has happened).

You are less likely to have a problem if you update the apps in smaller batches, every few days or so.

Google Maps is Back! Hurray! Google’s Map App is Available Now

Screen shot 2012-12-13 at 8.06.15 AMHappy Day!


Run, don’t walk, to the App Store and grab this free app.

Now you can have iOS6 AND Google Maps. Awesome.

I’ve just downloaded the app and it looks glorious.

All our happy features are back… traffic, public transportation directions, and street view.

Plus NEW voice turn by turn navigation!

I’ll return shortly with a post highlighting how to use all the features, but it is pretty intuitive.

I feel like Google just gave us all a Christmas present. Thank you, Google!
(I really missed those maps! :) )

Google Maps is available now for free in the iTunes store.

Apple Maps Endanger Lives in Australia

photo credit: CNN

photo credit: CNN

People continue to find many, many flaws with Apple maps. (My personal experience on local roads has resulted in numerous errors.)

But Australian authorities this week issued the strongest statement yet, calling the use of Apple maps “potentially life-threatening”.

Apparently, the Apple mapping service shows a city in Australia as being in the middle of a large, remote, and semi-arrid national park (instead of where it actually is).

The police have reported that several people have had to be rescued from this park, a place with no water and temperatures reaching 114 F. Thinking they were navigating their way to the nearby city of Mildura, these people ended up stranded in the middle of the very remote Murray-Sunset National Park.

The Mildura police say that “Some of the motorists located by police have been stranded for up to 24 hours without food or water and have walked long distances through dangerous terrain to get phone reception.”

I really don’t understand why Apple didn’t put Google maps back when they realized their major map mistake. This isn’t just sloppy design, this is, as the Australian police have stated, “potentially life-threatening.”

Make sure you double check your route with another service (google maps) before you head out on any long journey.

And let’s hope Santa isn’t depending on Apple maps this year. :)

How to Gift an App (or other iTunes goodies): Revisited for iOS6

photo credit: Francine Clouden via photopin cc

photo credit: Francine Clouden via photopin cc

I previously wrote a blog post about gifting apps, but as the proverb says, “All Things Change”, and so I must update the information.

Apple has made some changes in the procedure for gifting apps. If you have an iPhone or iPad and you have NOT updated to iOS6, then the old post will still be appropriate for you. You can find it here.

How to Buy an App as a Gift:
(I’ll use “app” for the description, but this also works for songs, albums, videos, books, all things iTunes)

In iOS6 you can no longer gift an app directly from your iPhone or iPad. You must do it through iTunes, on your computer. *** It changed again! Now you CAN gift directly from your iPhone or iPad, and you can learn how in this blog post.

Open iTunes, and go to the app that you would like to send as a gift.

Tap on the arrow that is next to the price.

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A drop down menu appears. Select “Gift this app”

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A new window will open, like the one I pasted below. Simply fill in the fields, and add your happy message to your recipient, and you’ve done the deed! You can send to one or multiple recipients, and you will be billed accordingly.

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