Future Tech to make Smaller Screens Practical: SkinTrack

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I’ve never been good at “seeing” the future.

80’s me: (to my son, sitting at his Commodore 64) “What are you doing?”

Son: “Leaving a message on a computer bulletin board. If another computer dials in, they can read the message … and then leave one for me!!”

80’s me: “What’s the use of that?”

Duh.

Yes, that was me, dissing the whole possibility of the internet. I just didn’t get it. I didn’t see it.

So, it is with open eyes from that lesson learned that I look at this new fangled invention: SkinTrack.

SkinTrack is a way of using your skin as a touch screen.

So, if “future you” has an Apple watch on your wrist, and the screen is just too darned small to tap on things, with SkinTrack you’ll just use your skin as the touch screen.

Small screens can be difficult to tap on, yet small devices are popular. Obviously the inventors of SkinTrack see this as a way of solving the small screen problem.

It boils down to this: The user wears a ring. The ring communicates with the device as you move your finger around on your arm. It even works if your arm is covered with clothing.

So will this become a real thing? A common thing? Don’t ask me. I didn’t see the whole internet brouhaha as any more than a curiosity.

(if you’d like to learn more, here’s a link with a detailed video: SkinTrack Turns Your Arm Into a Touch Screen )

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How to Answer a Text without Unlocking your iPhone

Screen Shot 2016-02-23 at 7.47.47 AMThanks to my sweet daughter-in-law for bringing this tip to my attention. It’s a way to answer a text WITHOUT unlocking your phone.

This could be very handy.
In spite of fingerprint-recognition, I find myself tap tap tapping my lock code many times each day, usually just to answer a text message. This little hint shows us a way to answer without the unlock.

However...… old habits are hard to break. I think it’s going to take some conscious effort for me to make this change. The first few times I’ve done this, it has actually slowed me down🙂 . I guess time will tell if I adopt this method, or continue on tap tapping my code.

How to answer a text without unlocking your iPhone: (iOS8 and up)

When the text comes in on your locked iPhone, it appears like this:

From Skitch

Put your finger on the text and slide the text to the LEFT ……

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Tap reply and type your message.

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Old habits are hard to break. But it’s always fun to learn something new.

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iPhone 7 (coming in 2016) rumored to have NO earphone jack

Screen Shot 2016-01-19 at 7.37.35 PMTime goes so fast. (At least it feels like it)

Our gadgets keep changing. They are never “cooked.” They are never “done.”

Just when I get comfortable, the tech gadget world jumps forward another few steps. We have to keep moving along so we don’t fall too far behind. In my mind it’s like an old cartoon, where the poor mouse wants the cheese, but the cat has rigged that cheese on a string and keeps moving it JUST out of the mouse’s reach. With every step, the goal moves further away. 😯

A while back, we all had to adapt to the new lightning cord. There was lots of grumbling, because we all owned so many of the ‘old’ cords, which were quickly relegated to the garbage pile. That hurt.

Well, now, looking ahead at the iPhone 7 …… it is rumored that the earphone jack will be gone. This improvement will make the phone lighter and thinner. (Yay) But what about our earphones? (Boo)

Again, speaking RUMOR only, the thought is that Apple will be presenting us with new earphones, earphones that connect with a lightning jack instead of the standard earphone plug we are all so familiar with.

This begs the question: Will our favorite earphones be useless with the new phone? I hope not. I hope they at least make an adaptor…. of course, an adaptor means more $$, and I’m not happy about that…

And, if the earphone goes in the charging port, does that mean we can’t charge and listen-via-earphones at the same time? They would never do that, so….. Hmmmm…. could this mean wireless charging is on the horizon?

Rumors. Rumors.

I know. Change is good. But sometimes it just seems that it comes so fast

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Apple’s App Store Adds a New Category …… Shopping!

Screen Shot 2015-11-11 at 6.19.21 AMI’m actually surprised it took so long for Apple to make “shopping” its own category. Until now, any shopping app was buried within the Lifestyle group….. but no longer.

I’m pleased. There are actually several of these apps that I wanted to try (but I forgot) and now, with their own category, I see them and I’ll be downloading a few before the day is over. (And of course, if I find something share-able, I’ll post it, here.)

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When I look at myself as an ordinary-person example, I would have to say that on-line shopping has greatly increased over the last decade. Last year, when the holiday season was over, I surprised myself when I realized that a major portion of my shopping was on-line. A quick google search this morning showed me that the e-commerce continues to gain traction year after year, all over the world.

On-line retailers continue to make the deliveries quicker and the returns easier. Someday it’s likely that this trend of on-line shopping will level off, but for now, it continues to grow. Many of these retailers offer special perks, such as free one-day shipping, percentages off your purchase and/or free merchandise.

I use Amazon a lot, but there are many other sites that I enjoy using, as well. I’ll share a few over the next several weeks. How about you? Do you have any favorites? I’d love to know.🙂

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Google Keep is now available for iPhones and iPads

Screen Shot 2015-09-27 at 7.44.21 PMI love my iPhone and iPad, but I’m not a person who is wed to Apple-only devices. I’m a Kindle person (never liked the whole i-Books thing). And I enjoy Google, too. I prefer Google maps to Apple maps, and I use a Google calendar to run my life. Fortunately, Apple, Google and Amazon seem to be playing together nicely because somehow it all just works.

And now … another treat from Google! They have recently made their Google Keep app available for our Apple devices. Yay! (It’s been around for a while on those (boo!) Android thingys 😉 )

Google Keep is a note-taking app that lets you keep everything in one place ….. and syncs flawlessly across your devices. (My Google Calendar has never let me down, and I’m expecting the same performance from Google Keep.)

I installed it on my iPhone, and added a few notes (both typed and verbal). Then I installed the app on my iPad. When I opened the app on my iPad, everything that I had done on the iPhone was there waiting for me. Synced. Flawlessly.

And it’s beautiful. I love the way the notes appear on the page (notes can be color-coded). You can also set reminders with this app by both time and/or location. You can make lists, add photos … it’s really all around goodness.

Please excuse my screenshot of this app’s screenshot, but I was so excited I have already filled my Google Keep app with far too many personal items to share the screenshots on this blog!

Google Keep is FREE in the iTunes store

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“Words of Astonishment” don’t cut it for the new Apple sales numbers

Screen Shot 2015-01-28 at 3.15.47 PMI tried to think of “words of astonishment” to adequately express my …. uh …. astonishment at one of the numbers that Apple released this week.

“Holy Cow!” << not strong enough

“Holy Mackerel!” << sounds like a flashback to decades ago

“Good Heavens!” << too tame

“Holy Smokes!” << ( interesting sidebar: lots of these phrases contain the word “holy”.)

“Great Caesar’s Ghost!” << I think this comes from Perry White of Superman fame

“Goodness Gracious” << wayyyyyy too calm

I give up.

I can’t find a phrase to adequately express my astonishment.

For what, you ask?

For this astounding fact that Apple released a few days ago:

(read slowly, now, to digest this, fully)

For the last quarter (that’s THREE MONTHS), Apple sold 34,000 iPhones an HOUR.

EACH DAY, 24 HOURS A DAY, 7 DAYS A WEEK, FOR THREE MONTHS ……

That’s 34 THOUSAND iPhones EVERY HOUR!!!

I just can’t get my head around that number.😯

If you have any words of astonishment that suits …. I would appreciate it.🙂

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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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