Turn off your iPhone Flashlight with One Tap

Screen Shot 2015-10-07 at 9.19.44 PMI really enjoy finding “new” things on my phone. Some things are worthless and silly, and some things are quite helpful. This action falls somewhere in between.

It is a shortcut-way to turn OFF the flashlight. But, let’s back up……

I use the flashlight on my iPhone a LOT.

I love having a flashlight in my pocket.

To refresh your memory, to turn on your flashlight, you just slide your finger up from the bottom of the screen. It doesn’t matter if you are on the home screen or lock screen. Just slide UP and you’ll have access to the flashlight. Tap the flashlight icon to turn the flashlight ON.

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To turn the flashlight off, again, you repeat. Bring up the control center and tap the flashlight OFF.

The new shortcut trick lets you turn off your flashlight with one tap instead of two. (Yes, there are those people who crave this kind of efficiency.) I’ll probably use this, myself.

How to turn off your flashlight with ONE tap:

When your flashlight is on, and you want to turn it off, just look down at the bottom of your lock screen to the CAMERA icon. Put your finger on it, and slide up. This action puts the camera on, and turns your flashlight off.

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Of course, now your phone is in camera-ready mode. Which would mean, if you are going to continue using your iPhone, you would have to go back to the home screen, anyway.

BUT … for me, (and I assume others as well), when I finish using my flashlight, I am usually in the middle of some sort of task (looking at the circuit breaker, finding something in the back of a closet, etc) and so I am NOT in a position to tap about my phone. This single tap-flip, will actually be a(n) (arguable) convenience.

In any case, useful or not, this just makes us a little smarter about our smart phone. :)

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iPhone Trick: Shake away your Mistakes

Screen Shot 2014-08-15 at 5.56.43 PM You’ve typed some text, but you don’t like what you’ve written.

You’ve made a mistake.

You’re in a hurry, and touching that little text-delete button is taking so LONG…..

Have no fear.

Just give your iPhone a shake. Grip it as though you were talking on it and give it a good shake, as though you were mixing up a delicious martini milkshake.

Poof! A box appears on your screen. Just tap “undo” and the unwanted text is gone.

Give it a try :)

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How to Change the Number of Preview Lines in your Email on your iPhone or 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 2014-07-09 at 8.10.11 PMWhen you bought your iPhone and/or iPad, the preview setting for your email was pre-set at 2. This means that before you open your individual emails on either device, you see not only the heading of the mail, but also the first two lines of text.

Consider your needs…. perhaps you want more privacy for your email? Then you can set it so that no lines preview at all. (As an added bonus, by setting your preview lines to zero, this frees up space so that more emails show on a single screen at once.)

Or perhaps you get a lot of email from a variety of sources and want more visible lines. When you see more lines, you can decide with a glance if you want to open a particular email, or just delete it. Poof! No opening necessary.

You can set these preview lines anywhere from 0 to 5. Out-of-the-box is set at 2, so if you haven’t changed it, your device is currently set at 2.

Here is how to change the number of visible preview lines: (Directions are the same for both the iPhone and the iPad)

Go to Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars

Now select “Preview”

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You will be shown a screen with the choices: None, 1 Line, 2 Lines, 3 Lines, 4 Lines, 5 Lines.

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Select the number of lines you would like to see, and you’re done.

Return to your Mail, to see if you like your new choice. :)

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iPad Slowing Down? Try this Simple Fix, First

Screen Shot 2014-07-06 at 8.28.31 PMLast week my dear friend Mona had a sluggish iPad.

Really sluggish.

I watched as she tried to load a map, and it took
f o r e v e r.


She did the housekeeping thing, and closed all the running apps. No difference. Sluggish, still.

So the next day she made an appointment with a Mac Genius.

They had the solution, and her iPad is speedy, once again.

What was the magic?

They told her to turn it off. Then on (of course :) ). Yes, that’s it.

Actually, the Genius suggested turning it off at least 3 times a week to improve and/or maintain the speed.

That was it. On and off. Remember this if your iPad gets sluggish (and iPhone, as well). It may not solve all your issues, but it can’t hurt.

Thanks, Mona!

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How to Assign a Unique Tone to a Particular Person’s Incoming Text Messages

Screen Shot 2014-07-01 at 6.25.38 PMOne of the first things most people do when they get their first smart phone is to link up special ringtones for certain people. You might have a particular ringtone to recognize (without looking) that it is your spouse calling, or any other special person.

But did you know that you can also do this for text messages?

Usually most of the text messages that arrive on my phone sound the same. I don’t necessarily look at my phone right away, so some messages might sit for a while before I respond to them.

Recently, though, I was having some work done on my house, and I needed to see the text messages from the contractor as they came in. The best way to do this was to assign a particularly loud and annoying sound specifically to the contractor so that when a message come in from that number, I would be sure to look at it.

This worked beautifully, and I never missed a message. :)

Here is how to assign a sound to a particular texting person:

Go to your Contacts and select the person you want to customize.

Tap on EDIT and scroll down… you will see “text tone” as a choice. Tap on that.

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Now scroll through the sound choices, pick the one you want, and tap “done.”

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That’s all there is to it!

From now on, a text message from your special contact will be identified with your uniquely assigned tone.

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Tip to Save your iPhone battery on a Road Trip

Screen Shot 2014-04-13 at 8.53.06 AMI’ve been gone for a while, and part of that time was spent on the road.

I’m not a happy driver, so I chose to be the navigator for this adventure, which required some driving on unfamiliar roads.

I love love love the way you can follow your own car with the little blue dot as it travels the highways and byways. Watching us travel I was able to let my driver-friend know that we were getting closer to the turn we had to make, or even that there was a lot of traffic up ahead (google maps/traffic gives you red lines when the going gets tough.)

All this is wonderful, BUT it is a big huge battery drain. Since we were going to be in the car for a good number of hours, and I knew I’d be using these maps a great deal (draining the battery), I brought along a handy dandy car charger to keep the juice flowing.

I was happy with that, and it worked just fine.

Discussing this with daughter-in-law Carmen, she suggested that I turn off my wifi and bluetooth in the car.

Duh. Why didn’t I think of that? There was no reason to have wifi on in the car, and since I wasn’t in my own car, the bluetooth was needless, also.

But I wondered …. would it really make any difference?

I decided to test this.

So on the way home, I turned off both the wifi and the bluetooth ….and used my iPhone to navigate just as much as I did on the way out.

But THIS time, instead of draining the battery, I arrived home with an iPhone still over 50% “full”. This was a huge difference.

With wifi and bluetooth “on”, I drained the phone in hours and needed the car-cable to keep it powered.

With wifi and bluetooth “off”, I ended the road trip with an iPhone still holding a significant charge.

Wow. I never knew it would make THAT much of a difference! (thanks, Carmen!)

How to turn off your wifi and bluetooth on your iPhone:

Just run your finger UP on your iPhone screen to bring up your control center.

There you will see them both….the wifi icon and the bluetooth option. Just tap them to turn them on or off. In this screenshot, my wifi is “on” and my bluetooth is “off”.

Remember this when you want to prolong your battery life! The control center makes it easy to do (as opposed to drilling-down in the settings).


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How to Find the Umlauts, Accents, etc. on your iPhone or iPad keyboard

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 “how to” on Thursdays, for the benefit of the many new-device-users who have joined our blog.

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It might not happen often, but when you need to find an umlaut (or a similar something), you want it NOW. But where is it on your keyboard?

Here is how you find umlauts and accents on your iPad or iPhone keyboard:

Let’s say you want an “e” with a little accent mark above it. Simply hold your finger on the “e” key, and you will see that several “e” choices appear. Want an umlaut? Touch and hold the “u” and it will be right there. Need an “n” with a tilde? Touch and hold the “n” to see your choices.

Try it. Just stroll through the keyboard, touching each key in turn so you can browse the options. Not every letter has options, of course, but I’m sure you’ll find some surprising ones. Some symbols also have options (try the $ sign for example :) )
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