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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A Very Useful App… and it’s Free! Tymer

Screen Shot 2015-01-30 at 7.10.59 AMOne of the reasons I love my smartphone is that it makes my life easier.

And whenever I can add another helpful app, I just get happier.

Tymer is one of those apps, and (at this moment in time) it is FREE in the iTunes store.

This app is beautiful in its simplicity. It is a multiple – timer app, allowing you to set numerous timers at once. Obviously wonderful for cooking, but also good for all sorts of multi-tasking.

It is very easy to use, with a minimalist design. When you first open it, you will see …. nothing. Nothing but a black screen with the word “tymer” on the top left and a plus sign on the top right.

Tap the plus sign to add a timer. Swipe the timeline to set the time.

Tap the plus sign again to add another.

and again…. you get the idea.

To delete a timer, you just swipe to the left.

This app has earned a permanent place on my iPhone.

Tymer is FREE in the iTunes store. (this may change, so if you are interested…. hurry!)

a screenshot of their screenshot:

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Are you in the path of the Blizzard? Power-Up!

Preparing for a Blizzard means lots of things….

But from the perspective of this blog…. Charge your devices! Wind + snow = power outages. So start the storm with fully charged batteries.

One of the other rituals of snowstorm preparation is the bread and milk run to the grocery store. I joined the fray this afternoon and I can personally report …. the stores were mobbed.

I came across this short video which pretty much sums up the sentiment thoughout the Northeast US today….. :)

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Weekend Distraction: Crosswords for your iPad and iPhone

Screen Shot 2015-01-23 at 7.42.38 PMIt’s looking as though this is going to be a snowy stay-in kind of weekend here in the Northeast US.

Snow + ice = slippery roads. No thank you.

It’s been a while since I looked through the App store for a new game.

But with the snowstorm looming, it seemed like a good time to find some kind of something to play with in between the many movies and oodles of comfort food that come together to make up a cozy stay-at-home snow day.

I didn’t have to browse the store for long. I downloaded Crosswords, and I’m not disappointed.

Basically, I am a Crossword-doer-Wannabe. I’m just not very good at them. But I’m always willing to try.

This Crosswords app is made by a company that has been producing crossword books for years (Dell Magazine and Penny Press). Now these are not New York Times quality puzzles, but for a Wannabe like me, this is all I can handle. :)

You get to download this app for free, and you get a nice bunch of puzzles for free, too. If, after completing them all, you want more, those are available through an in-app purchase system.

The board is large enough to easily see the squares and the clues. There is no learning curve. Just tap anywhere to type in your word. Or delete. It’s very intuitive …. you’ll be playing within minutes of downloading it.

This screen (from my iPad) shows you all the free puzzles you get with your download.

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And here is the game screen (also on the iPad). Easy-peasy to use.

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Crosswords is FREE in the iTunes store

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Are Your Passwords on this List?

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Every year, Splashdata publishes a list of the “worst passwords,” and this year’s list was announced a few days ago.

The number ONE worst password? “123456”

The word “password” has topped the chart for a while, but was unseated last year by “123456.” The very-bad-choice-of-a-password……. “password” …… remains at number 2 for this list.

I assume no one reading this blog is using either of these two passwords (am I right?)
BUT…..
are you guilty of using any of the others on this list?

Take a look…. and give a thought to your own password safety. A safe password should have a mix of numbers, letters, and symbols. It should not contain personal information. You should have unique passwords for different accounts. And, you should change your password often.

Worst Passwords 2014

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Real Time Translation on your iPhone with Google Translate

Screen Shot 2015-01-14 at 7.50.12 PMThis is the kind of technology thing that makes me go “WOW.”

Google Translate just updated their app today to allow REAL TIME translation.

Imagine that.

You can now speak into the app, and it translates whatever you said into the chosen language. The other person can then talk back in that language, and you will hear a translation that you can understand. Although you tap the button in the beginning, once the conversation gets going the app will learn that a conversation is happening and no more tapping is necessary.

So …. am I right? Wow.

AND….

Google bought Word Lens, and its technology is also built into this app.

Just tap the camera icon and point it at any text (a street sign, a menu…) and it will translate the text onto the screen for you. And apparently it will work even without a data connection. More WOW. (Please pardon the screenshot of their screenshot)

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This Word Lens translation is so awesome, that even if you don’t need it, you should download it just to try it! :)

Google Translate is FREE in the iTunes store.

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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 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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A Fun New Year’s Resolution for you and your iPhone or iPad: Photo365

Screen Shot 2014-12-30 at 6.15.40 PMEvery year it rolls around. New Year’s day. And with it comes the promises we make to ourselves … our Resolutions.

Here’s a great one! It’ll cost you ($1.99), but I think you’ll find it’s well worth the price.

It’s simple to use. It weds photos and a calendar. Choose or take a photo each day to represent your day. The photos appear in the calendar on the day you assign it. You have the option to add a note to any picture (or add more than one picture).

Bring up the calendar and you see all of the pictures that you chose to represent each day. Tap on any photo to see a larger version.

As time goes on, you create a visual diary of your life. It’s very VERY easy to use.

It’s kind of nice and reflective to look back through a month or so and recall something special from each day.

Of course you can adapt this in other ways, as well. Instead of a daily photo memory, perhaps you might choose to take a picture a day of yourself or a loved one. Or perhaps make it into a visual gratitude journal.

Pardon my screen shot of their screen shot, but I’m sure you understand the personal nature of a diary. :)

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Just tap on any photo to see a larger version, and with that tap comes the opportunity to add a note, edit, share or delete the photo.

Photo365 is fun, and it’s a New Year’s resolution that I think I can keep. :)

Best wishes to all for a happy and healthy New Year!

Photo365 is $1.99 in the iTunes store.

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