Identify the Autumn Leaves with Leafsnap

Screen Shot 2015-10-14 at 8.02.03 PMI love this time of year. Crisp mornings and long walks among colorful trees.

But as I walk, I wonder. What kind of a tree is that? The one that makes bright yellow leaves? and …… What kind of a tree is the one over there with bright red leaves?

This app, Leafsnap, helps answer those questions. It’s not perfect, but the price is right (FREE) and it’s not b-a-d, so……

This app was developed by Columbia University, the University of Maryland and the Smithsonian Institution. It contains a few games to help you learn (matching leaves to names of plants) and a pretty significant database of leaves (pictures of leaves and names of plants/trees).

It also gives you the opportunity to take a picture of a leaf (hence the name, “Leafsnap” :) ) and upload this picture to get the name of the tree. (This feature is not well-received, and I didn’t have any luck with it myself, but it’s a great idea that hopefully some day will be improved.)

I’ve primarily used this app to confirm what I think a leaf might be. But I’ve also played the game a few times and came away just a wee bit smarter.

Leafsnap for the iPhone or iPad 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”


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.


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.


All done! No more “oops”. :)

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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.



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.


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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How to Capture ACTION with your iPhone Camera

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I absolutely love this feature.

I remember (years and years) ago buying a digital camera specifically because it had this ability so that I could “catch” action shots at my son’s sporting events. And now, here it is, always available right in our pocket!

I’m guessing you might not know that you have this feature …. but once you do, you’ll be using it to get that PERFECT shot.

So how do you capture action with your iPhone?

Simply bring up your camera on your iPhone.

Aim, and HOLD DOWN THE CAPTURE BUTTON. Your iPhone will snap photos quickly. A Photo Burst.

From Skitch-13

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How to Enjoy a Slideshow on your iPad: (part of the) Very Beginner Series

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.

* 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 2014-06-05 at 8.54.04 AMRemember the digital picture frames that were so popular several years ago? If you have an iPad, you may choose to leave that digital frame in the drawer because your iPad is an awesome picture frame. Better, probably, than the dedicated version you have (had) and a LOT more fun.

When you first take your iPad out of the box, one of the Apps you will see on the home screen is called Photos and it shows on your screen as a daisy with colorful petals. We are going to make our slideshow with this native App (although there are lots of others available in the App Store).

Once you have about a dozen photos on your iPad, you are ready to enjoy the show. We will get it started, and look at several options along the way.

Touch the photos app to open it. Now tap any photo, from any collection. (Once you understand how to make a slideshow, you can group your photos accordingly.)

Look down at the bottom left of the screen. You’ll see a box with an arrow pointing up. This is your “action” box.

Tap on this action box, and you’ll be presented with several choices of “actions.” One of these choices will be: Slideshow.

From Skitch

Select “slideshow” and you will get a new menu with several choices.


Touch “transitions” and you will get several options: dissolve, cube, ripple, wipe across, wipe down and origami. Choose any one of these for now, you can come back and change it later.

Your next option is “Play Music”. Slide this to “on”. When you touch “music” you will be presented with all the music that you have on your iPad. Select something that you would like to listen to while you watch your pictures.

Once you have made these choices, touch “Start Slideshow” and sit back to enjoy the show. At any point if you want to stop it, just tap the screen.

But you’re not done yet! There are a few other tweaks that you can do. Open Settings > Photos. Notice there are several setting choices for your slideshow. You can change the number of seconds that each slide stays on the screen, choose to repeat photographs, and opt to have the photos shuffled as they are viewed.


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How to Save Web Images to your iPhone or iPad

Screen Shot 2014-04-23 at 9.13.26 PMOver 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 “how to” on Thursdays, for the benefit of the many new-device-users who have joined our blog.

Perhaps you’re wandering around the internet on your iPhone or on your iPad and you see a photo you would like to keep. Maybe you’ve just stumbled on a photo of a sailboat that is on your dream list, or a picture of an awesome cake that inspires you to bake and decorate.

How to Save a Web Image to your iPhone or iPad:

If you see a picture that you would like to keep, just touch the picture and wait a moment. A menu will appear with the option to SAVE the image. Touch SAVE.

You’re done. Yep. That’s all there is.

The image is now in your camera roll. To find it, go to your Photos app. Choose camera roll, and take a look at the last picture. There is your cake (or boat :) )


From Skitch

Another great way to grab what you see is to take a screenshot. This means that you will actually take a picture of the whole screen. Just put one finger on the on/off button, and your other finger on the home button. Push them both at once. Hold for just a second and then let go. Click! A picture of the screen is now in your camera roll. Now go to the Photos app > camera roll. You’ll find your screenshot waiting for you as the last picture in the camera roll.

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Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year for 2013 is …….

Screen shot 2013-11-20 at 6.56.12 PMWhat is the Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year (WOTY)?
The Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year is a word, or expression, that we can see has attracted a great deal of interest during the year to date. Every year, candidates for Word of the Year are debated and one is eventually chosen that is judged to reflect the ethos, mood, or preoccupations of that particular year and to have lasting potential as a word of cultural significance.

And so, this year’s Word of the Year was recently announced, and the winner is …….. drum roll, please ……. “selfie.”

Yes, that’s it. The International Word of the Year.


What is it? Here is the Oxford definition:

noun, informal
(also selfy; plural selfies)
a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website

The word Selfie can be traced back to an Australian online forum wayyy back in 2002.

Do you use this word? (I haven’t)

Do you take selfies? (I have, a few times when traveling, and quickly deleted the result. Clearly selfies are not a friendly form of photography for folks-of-a-certain-age :shock:)

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