Emergency Bypass Allows Important Calls To Get Through

screen-shot-2017-01-05-at-7-27-05-pmI know. I know. I’m slow. I take my time to update my devices. I prefer to let “others” discover bugs and issues.

But I finally pushed the update button, and my iPhone is now sporting a fresh new operating system, 10.2.

One of the first new things I learned was: the “Emergency Bypass” option. This is a feature that has been important to me all along. It allows selected phone numbers to break through even with the Do Not Disturb option actively on.

I use Do Not Disturb daily. I have it set to come on automatically each night. (This prevents notifications and phone calls during sleeping hours)

But this is concerning because there are certainly SOME numbers that I would absolutely want to get through no matter what time of night. Close family and close friends, of course.

Previously, in earlier iOS’s, you could achieve this by classifying a contact as a ‘favorite’. But now, in iOS 10.2, the opportunity to do this is much more direct.

Here is how to set up an Emergency Bypass in iOS 10.2:

Go to your Contact and tap Edit.

Tap on your ringtone choice.

You will see the screen below. Just toggle on “Emergency Bypass”


All done!

Now you have no worries. If your loved ones need to reach you during “do not disturb” time, their calls will bypass the setting, and ring through. Problem solved!

***** Important information: Thanks to an inquiry by KDKH, I looked a bit deeper into this option. To my, well, horror, if you have the Emergency Bypass option checked, that person’s call can get through even when your phone is on silent.

This does not seem like a good thing in many situations. There are times when you need to put your phone on silent and a call is simply unacceptable … a work meeting, a movie, a doctor visit… So it appears as though the Emergency Bypass is just that …to be used for EMERGENCIES. Maybe you’re in a meeting, but you want that call from the doctor. You can enable Emergency Bypass for the doctor’s number, and it will get through, even with your phone on silent mode. That’s a good thing. A great thing.

BUT ….Just because you want a call from Aunt Agnes to get through at 3 in the morning (because she would NEVER call then unless there is an emergency) …. you don’t want to accept a call from her during your promotion meeting. So Emergency Bypass would not be a good choice for her.

So use the Emergency Bypass with care and thought. A great feature when used wisely.

again, thank you KDKH!!

I double checked, and selecting contacts as Favorites will still let those calls break through your Do Not Disturb, but they will NOT break through the silent mode. So for now, I’ll use both as needed.

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Donate your old stuff in an Amazon Box …. it mails for FREE!

screen-shot-2016-12-25-at-4-19-22-pm Sometimes there are ideas and initiatives that are ok. Sometimes they’re good. And sometimes they’re GREAT. In my opinion, this is the latter. Simply GREAT!

You know those Amazon boxes that pile up at your house around the holidays? The ones you scratch your head to dispose of, or break down to save, or whatever?

Well, now you can put them to REALLY good use!

Once your box is empty, fill it full of things you want to donate to Goodwill. Just fill it up. Then, go the the website givebackbox.com, and print a FREE shipping label.

That’s it!
(except for the physically taking it to the post office part 🙂 )

What a super initiative. And Amazon is not the only participating retailer. There are quite a few others, as well. “Give Back Box® has also teamed up with some of the biggest retailers in the U.S., including Overstock, Amazon, Loft, REI, Levi’s, Asics, Ann Taylor, Uncommongoods, Bon-Ton, Viva Terra, Ecru, Bonobos, Scrubs & Beyond, eBags, Lou & Grey and Cherry Mad.”

I haven’t tried this yet, but I am anxious to give it a whirl, and I suspect I will become a regular user!

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screen-shot-2016-12-20-at-6-45-01-pmBecause I’ve been absent from this blog for so long (all’s well, thanks for the inquiries 🙂 )… I’ve missed posting Holiday things! So I’ll correct that now, by adding a little bit of this and a little bit of that.

There are so many Christmas apps! One favorite type, going strong for the last couple of years, can be summed up as: “Catch-Santa-in-your-Living-Room-to-prove-to-your-kids-that-he-is-real.” (Thanks to Kerry for reminding me of this one)

screen-shot-2016-12-20-at-7-10-29-pmThere are several of these available, and they are kind of fun. You just take a picture of your own tree, or fireplace or some other known-to-your-kids spot. Then use the app to place Santa right there. Through the magic of filters, it looks incredibly real.

One of these apps is: Snap Santa. It’s free, and the photos look quite good, but you’ll have to work your way around the ads. Just press the ‘x’ in the game ad to close it, and away you go. You’ll be presented with one Santa when you start, but you can scroll your way through quite a few others (also for free).


I know that many of you enjoy Simon’s Cat as much as I do. Happily we have a new one for Christmas this year. It’s called “Little Box.” Enjoy!


And, since this is a tech blog, I’ll include another video featuring the “Simon’s Cat” artist, Simon Tofield. You’ll catch a glimpse of the artist’s studio and watch as he sketches and colors in a Christmas picture using his computer. A little “behind the scenes” look at Simon’s … uhhh… Tech. Yes. Simon’s Tech. 🙂


And for all my friends who celebrate Hanukkah, this is a great video. I guarantee your feet will be tapping! (Thanks to Trudi for sharing this)

To all my friends in the Blog-o-sphere, Best wishes for a wonderful Holiday season and a most happy and healthy New Year! See you in 2017!

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Amazon Prime = Free Books and Magazines = Yay!

screen-shot-2016-11-04-at-6-13-23-pm Even though I’m not a big magazine reader, I do enjoy them when I have one in hand. However, I buy them rarely (sticker shock!).

But now, to my delight, with your Amazon Prime membership you can enjoy a good number of magazines … for free!

I just downloaded one of my favorites, Real Simple, to my iPad, and it is a wonderful experience. (I prefer the iPad over the Kindle for a magazine because of the color screen.) Easy to navigate, to read, to enjoy.

Only a few clicks!

Just sign into your Amazon account, and roll your cursor over “your account.”

You’ll see a drop down menu, and click on “your Prime membership.”

This will bring you to a page full of information, and there you will see “Prime Reading” and a link marked “learn more.”

screen-shot-2016-11-04-at-7-47-50-pmYes! Learn more! After that click you will see many magazines. Select one that interests you. At that point, the same window will pop up that you always use for buying Kindle books. Just select the device that you want to use to read your FREE magazine. These are CURRENT magazines, and you may read as many as you like!

Now here’s even BETTER news….

You can also select from many BOOKS … unlimited and also FREE.

and you don’t need a Kindle. A Kindle app will do.

Prime just got SO much better! Unlimited books and magazines. Wow.

From Amazon: “Prime members can now read as much as they want from over a thousand books, magazines, comics, Kindle singles and more. With fiction, non-fiction, children’s books, shorts works and magazines right off the newsstand, you’ll always find something to read.”

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Why is it called “Bluetooth”?

screen-shot-2016-10-22-at-8-54-30-pmBluetooth technology gives us a wireless connection within a short distance. Small speakers and many headsets, for example, often use Bluetooth to connect with our iPhones and iPads. But, think about it. This wireless technology isn’t blue. And it certainly doesn’t resemble a tooth ….. so …… ?????

The answer is that Bluetooth technology is named after a Scandinavian King.

Of course.


….. What????

Back in the 1990’s, the technology world was looking for a way to unite various devices with a wireless system. This meant uniting devices made by different companies.

(Note the key word: UNITE)

One of the inventors of this wireless technology just happened at the time to be reading a book about Vikings. He learned that the 10th century King of Denmark, King Harald Bluetooth, was famous for uniting Scandinavia.

Ahhh…… there we go. They were inventing a uniting technology. King Bluetooth was a famous uniter.

And so they cleverly called this new wireless connector “Bluetooth”.

One more thing: The Bluetooth symbol? It’s King Harald’s initials, in ancient Scandinavian Runes.


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Unwanted Phone Calls? Try this……

screen-shot-2016-10-08-at-9-09-01-am My daughter-in-law does a lot of her work through her iPhone. Unfortunately, she has recently been receiving a great number of spam calls and of course these are unwanted, annoying and distracting.

So …. what to do?

We found a work-around, and I think it’s good enough to share. (I’ll be sure to report back later to let you know if this actually works for her over time.)

The fix she tried is this:

Settings > Do Not Disturb > Allow Calls From > All Contacts

So, basically, she is using the Do Not Disturb function 24/7 on her iPhone, and this setting will only allow calls from numbers that are currently in her contacts list.

Problem solved?

We’ll see!

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No Earphone Jack in the New iPhones


You recognize the picture above as the bottom edge of your iPhone. Way over on the left is the place where you connect your earphones. But say goodbye to that spot ….. it’s gone in the newest model.

The rumor has been around for a long time. And now that rumor is confirmed. The newest iPhone (the 7) will be released with NO earphone jack. The iPhone 7 will be earphone-jack-less.

Huh? I am an earphone jack user. When I walk for exercise, I am connected to my iPhone with my earphones. I have not gone wireless (outside of the house) …. I still connect the old fashioned way.

Although I will not be getting the iPhone 7 (my 6 plus is a wonderful phone), and so I personally don’t have to fret about the change …… it did make me wonder about the whole switch to no-jack. What? How?

I realize that many folks connect to their phone through a wireless connection (bluetooth). So for them, this is a non-issue. But what to do for those of us who still go the “wired” route?

If you are getting the new iPhone, you should know that you will be getting new earphones packed with your phone. These will plug into your iPhone, but in a new connecting spot. You will plug these earphones into the CHARGING port of your phone. Obviously the connector end of these new earphones is specially made to fit into that spot.

Happily, you have another thing packaged with your new iPhone, and that is an ADAPTOR for your old earphones. If you have a set of earphones that are dear to you, you can still use them by plugging into the adaptor, and then plugging the adaptor into the charging port.

So it’s really ok…. but this is a change that will require you to bring that little adaptor with you for plugging in your favorite earphones.

And don’t lose it. A new one will cost you $9.00. 😯


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