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.

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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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Watch Colbert and Stewart for Free on your iPhone or iPad

Screen Shot 2014-04-02 at 6.52.59 AMWith more and more people dropping their cable subscriptions, it is great to be able to turn to your iPad or iPhone and catch the programming you miss.

Even better when it’s FREE.

Just yesterday, Comedy Central released their new app. Now you can watch full episodes of the Daily Show with Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report on your iPad or iPhone.

The app does include other programming as well, however, in order to see those, you must sign in with a cable subscription. BUT…. for Stewart and Colbert, no cable subscription required. Just download the free app, and enjoy. 🙂

Comedy Central for iPhone or iPad is FREE in the iTunes store.

Note: iOS7 is required

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Banish a Text from your Screen with a single Swipe

Sometimes when you are using your iPhone, a text message pops in.

And when the text message appears at the top of your screen, as a banner notification, you want it gone … immediately.

You can wait for it to go away, but it will sit there for a few seconds, and there are times when those few seconds are just too long. For example, the banner completely covers the search box when you are using a map, so you could be in the middle of typing when a text pops in.

It’s good to know that you can banish that text from your screen with a single swipe.

If you have iOS7, just swipe UP.
(earlier versions of iOS, swipe right to left)

Gone! Swish!

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New Weather App is now my Favorite for the iPhone: BeWeather

Screen Shot 2014-01-20 at 7.17.07 AMI’m a bit of a weather geek, I think. I have 6 weather apps on my iPhone, and today I bought another. 😯

(It’s always nice to have a new visual, and when it also works so perfectly, pulls together the info that you want/need, well then, …. yay!)

Former Blackberry users may recognize this, as it was a favorite on that device.

There is a free version, but I quickly upgraded to the full version. (You download the free version, and if you want to upgrade, you are given the opportunity within the app.)

First of all, it looks beautiful. You get to select the screen that you would like to see when you open the app. You can choose a still photo, or an animated scene that matches your weather, or a radar map.

I chose the animated scene and it is stunning. Day’s have light, night is dark. The clouds move, the fog rolls….it’s just plain pretty. These screenshots are still for this blog, but on the iPhone, they are active and moving.

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It is very easy to use, and full of information. Slide the screen left or right to view your other locations. If the location has a severe alert, a red icon appears at the bottom of the screen. A tap on that red triangle brings up the special news that is relevant to your area. Slide the screen UP to see both an hourly forecast and a 7 day forecast. Tap any hour and see the forecast by the minute. Touch the radar symbol at the bottom of the screen to see your local radar.

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And see those three little dots on the bottom right? Tap that to see a boatload of webcams in the area.

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It’s intuitive and stunning, and is now my go-to weather app.

The free version will limit your options within the app. You will only have the ability to save 2 locations, you won’t get the ‘minute’ forecast and the temp badge will not appear on your home screen. Other options are missing as well. I’m delighted with the upgrade, as the extra features make it just plain wonderful, but the free version is still worth the download.

BeWeather for your iPhone is FREE in the iTunes store. The upgrade is $2.99. You must have iOS7 on your iPhone to run this app.

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How to Quickly Silence an Incoming Call on your iPhone: (part of the) Very Beginner Series

Screen Shot 2014-01-15 at 9.43.21 AMOccasional 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.

*

It has happened to all of us.

You are in an inconvenient place to receive a call.

Suddenly your phone rings, you can’t answer it, and you want that ring tone to stop, NOW.

My story: I was in a packed elevator when my phone went off, blaring a peppy obnoxious tune. So embarrassed was I. 😳

How to quickly silence an incoming call:

Just press the wake/sleep button at the top of your phone. The ringer stops. With the ringer silenced, you can still answer the call, OR you can just let it go to voice mail.

(pressing one of the volume buttons will also do the same thing, but I find the wake/sleep button on the top of the phone easier to hit quickly.)

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Ask Siri to Open your Apps

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When I first got my iPhone (and then my iPad), I learned about the ‘search’ feature, and thought it was extremely silly and unnecessary. After all, I thought, all you have to do is just glance over your apps and touch the one you want to open. How hard is that?

Well, fast forward several years, and my devices are now LOADED with apps, folders full of apps and pages full of folders. I’ll admit that I’ve used the search feature many times to find a particular app that was hiding deep in some folder.

(if you need a refresher on how to search your device, just click here.)

But now I’ve found an even easier way to open an app that I can’t find……

I just ask Siri to do it! Easy, breezy.

Just ask her: “Open ‘name of app‘”. The device will close the black Siri screen, briefly flash a page of apps, and then open the particular app that you asked for. Like magic. 🙂

Try it!

Ask Siri to “Open Pandora” or “Open Words with Friends” or whatever other app you’d like to try.

Thank you, Siri. I’ll never have to hunt for anything on my iPhone or iPad, again. From Millan.Net

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How to Clear out Stored Website Data on your iPhone with iOS7

Screen Shot 2013-12-15 at 8.03.49 AMWhenever you visit a website on your iPhone, data will be stored.

The purpose?

As I understand it, this is mostly done so that you have faster loading times when you visit that website again.

But storing data fills up space. I never, ever cleared this out before, but after reading about it I decided to give it a try and I was astounded at all the data that was sitting there. I did a full sweep and dumped it all.

How to Delete the Stored Website Data on your iPhone with iOS7:

Go to Settings > Safari

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Now go way way down to the bottom and click on Advanced

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At this point, you’ll see the option to tap on Website Data

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Now you get to see all the space that the stored data is taking up.

IF you want to delete it, just scroll all the way down to the bottom and “delete all website data.”

(Or you can delete them individually, as well, by sliding your finger from right to left.)

I was astounded at the length of my list. I emptied it. I probably won’t do it again for a long long time, because I don’t think it was causing any problems whatsoever.

But I’m glad I know how to do it IF I want to do it.

And now you do, too. 🙂

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12 Days of Gifts for You from Apple

Screen Shot 2013-12-12 at 5.08.11 PMApple is giving away stuff!

From December 26 to January 6, you get to download a free gift each day. Movies, apps, books, songs …. something different every day.

This is the first time this has been offered in the US. (Last year only Canada and Europe got to be part of the fun.)

You must have iOS7 to participate.

You can download the app, now, and you will see a countdown. The countdown will continue until it is time to download your first free gift!

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All you need to do after downloading the app is … wait.

When the gifts become available, they will only be available to download for 24 hours.

It will be fun to see what surprises are in store for us. 🙂 (It is possible that the content will be different depending on your country.)

12 Days of Gifts is free and can be downloaded, now.

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How to Increase (or Decrease) your Text sizes on your iPhone and/or iPad

Screen Shot 2013-12-08 at 6.01.26 PMI can read anything on my iPhone. I just got new glasses, and I’m good to go.

However …. recently I tweaked my text size just a bit bigger.

By making my text size just a tad larger, it is now perfect for me and my eyes. 🙂

Increasing your text size is particularly helpful for those with vision issues.

(Or … perhaps the opposite would be better for you, and you would like to make your text smaller. The process is the same.)

How to make your text larger (or smaller) on your iPhone or iPad:

Go to Settings > General > Text Size

You will see a slider, and you can move that slider so that your text size increases (or decreases).

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And if this still isn’t big enough for you?

You can make the text even larger!

Go to Settings > General > Accessibility > Larger Type

Turn ON “larger dynamic type.”

Once you do that, the slider will arrange itself to allow you to make your text even larger.

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Remember, you can also add BOLD to your text as well.

Big and Bold. A winning combination for aging eyes. 🙂

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Empty your Wallet with Key Ring

Screen shot 2013-12-01 at 3.45.01 PM Every once in an app comes along that can be really truly helpful to simplify your life. Yes …. Simplify. Your. Life. 🙂

This is one of those apps.

Let’s back up a bit. Do you have any reward cards? Loyalty cards? I sure do. It seems like every single store that I frequent is now using some kind of card system. These are the cards that sometimes offer you points toward merchandise, or discounts, or coupons based on your buying history.

Over the years, I have collected so many that they have become quite cumbersome. I’ve tried to manage them the best that I can. I have the ones that I use frequently dangling from my keyring, the ones I use often-ish in my wallet, and another set in their own zip pouch buried somewhere in my purse.

So many cards! I frequent three different pet stores which means three cards just for one dog. 😯

Enter this app. Key Ring.

Simply download it (it’s FREE) and open up your wallet. Tap the “plus” sign in the upper right corner of the app and start scanning those cards. The scanner screen is very sensitive and your cards will scan easily.

Once they are scanned, each card will exist inside this app.

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When you arrive at the checkout, just tap the title and the bar code will appear on the screen of your phone. Show your phone to the cashier.

I’ve been using this for several weeks and trying it out in different stores.

I can report that in Lowe’s my loyalty card scanned right off this app. Perfect!
This was also true in two of my local grocery stores. Only one store was not able to scan it, but the cashier didn’t miss a beat. She just typed in the number that appeared above the bar code and I was good to go.

All cards have now been removed from my keyring, wallet and purse-pouch.

Very very handy!

Key Ring Reward Cards is FREE in the iTunes store (Note: you will need iOS 7 on your device to use this app.)

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