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 :wink: )

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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Need Inspiration to Spruce Up your Home? Enjoy Houzz

Screen Shot 2015-02-09 at 8.35.13 AM This is the time of year that many people use to fuss around the inside of their homes.

A little paint … or little renovation … or maybe more. Walls, floors, kitchens, bathrooms, bedrooms, windows, they all need attention. Sometimes a little. Sometimes a lot.

We Boomers know that in years gone by, when we needed inspiration, our only source was magazines and decorating books borrowed from the library.

But today, the internet offers vast opportunities to explore.

Enter HOUZZ. A website where you can explore in one place …. and save those ideas for later. (Giving a little order to the chaos of the internet.)

This website allows you to search for photos of the rooms you are interested in viewing, or for windows, or flooring, or basically anything home related. I have a 1959 bathroom covered in bright yellow tile, and when I searched for “yellow bathrooms” I was treated to pages and pages and pages of inspiration to update and alter the look.

You can search for anything at all ….. and if you register (free), you can create albums of the photos that interest you. This is your own “idea book,” where you save the photos that you like in one place so that you can refer back, later. Very, very nice!

If you are doing anything at all to your home, and need a bit of inspiration, give HOUZZ a try.

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Saving Favorites in Safari with iOS 8

Screen Shot 2014-11-20 at 7.07.56 PM Safari changed a bit in iOS7 and a bit more in iOS8. Not a lot, but enough to mention, here.

When you bring up a web page on Safari, and you would like to save it as a favorite, there is a really easy (visual) way to do this…… but it’s kind of hidden.

So let’s go and find it. :)

Let’s start by using Safari to bring up a website that you would like to save.

Here I have summoned the website for one of my favorite podcasts, A Way with Words.


To save it as a favorite, just touch the search bar, again. Suddenly, you will see several “squares” representing the websites that your iPhone thought you might like favorited, like Disney and ESPN.


Now, pull DOWN on the page. Two hidden buttons appear, “Add to Favorites” and “Request Desktop Site.”


Tap on “Add to Favorites” and your website will be saved with its own little square icon, as you can see, here.


(The other option allows you to view the regular desktop site instead of the abbreviated mobile one.)

If you need to delete a “Favorite” in the future (or delete the “favorites” that Apple chose for you), just tap and hold a square. “Delete” will appear above the square as an action-option. Now touch “delete” and the square-favorite vanishes. Poof! Gone!

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Spotlight improved in iOS 8

Screen Shot 2014-11-05 at 9.05.08 AMThere are so many new features in iOS 8, it will take us a long time with our one-at-a-time approach to work our way through them all! But honestly, when I read articles like “35 things you need to know RIGHT NOW” or “100 little known features…blah blah blah”, well, I get overwhelmed.

So I’m keeping my turtle pace, even tho we have a lot of territory to cover. Baby steps.

Next up: Spotlight.

Spotlight USED to be a feature where you could do a search on your device (only). I originally thought that was silly, but over time, I’ve found it useful to find an app buried in a folder. (I created those folders to organize and find stuff easily, but that seems to have backfired.)

In iOS 8, Spotlight has been improved. It will now not only search your device, but also the internet. And so … if I search “Enya” on my phone, the search will turn up music that lives on my phone and also a link to a Wikipedia article about her (which is NOT on my phone… that’s on the internet.)

To access Spotlight, go to your home screen (a page full of icons). Now, pull down on your screen from the top of your device. Stay ON THE SCREEN as you pull down. If your finger goes higher onto the white or black surface of your phone, you’ll get a different delight. Put your finger between some icons near the top and pull down.

You’ll see a screen that looks like this. The new Spotlight.

From Skitch-30

Below is a screen grab of the results after I searched for the word “card”, looking for the card game I use to play Free Cell. Notice here that not only did it find the app for me, but it also found “card” in my contacts for a cardiology doc, it suggested the St Louis Cardinals as something I might find interesting (that’s a stretch…. I don’t live anywhere near there, so ..?? ) and the search also brought up emails and messages that included the word “card.”

From Skitch-31

Now, all of this is rather useless information if I’m just looking for an app, but I can certainly understand that situations arise where this broader search is necessary.

So if you are a person who wants all this extra stuff, you’re in luck. But if you DON’T (and that means me), you have the option to turn it all off.

Go to General > Spotlight Search

There you will see a screen like the one below. Notice all of the things that are checked to search!!! That happens by default, so if you don’t want them, you have to deselect them.

As soon as I publish this post, I have some “de-selecting” to do. :)


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How to Narrow your Google Image Searches

Screen Shot 2014-09-14 at 7.54.12 PMI am always amazed at the power of Google. Type in almost anything and you have your answer in seconds.

I took an online course last year on Google searching. My purpose in taking the course was to experience an on-line course….NOT to learn how to search on Google. Oh, no. I thought I knew that. Silly, silly, me. There is SO much more to google searching than meets the eye. It is truly astounding. Much of what I learned I’ll never use, but some things are quite helpful. (Gradually I’ll include some of these things on this blog… like today. :) )

Almost anything you search for can be refined. Let’s look at a search for Astronauts.

If you google “astronauts,” and click on “Images”, you get a page that looks like this:

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Now click on “search tools.” A new row of options appear.

Select “type,” and a drop down menu unfolds.

Tap “faces,” and your images are suddenly limited to just the faces of astronauts.

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Perhaps you would like to see some clip art of astronauts?

Simply select “clip art,” and this is what you get:

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another choice is “line drawing”

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Narrowing your choices can save you a lot of time sorting through unwanted images.

Try it yourself with a search or two.

You’ll feel magically powerful in your image-searching ability. :)

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How to Make an Icon for your Most-Used Bookmarks on your iPad or iPhone

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.

Screen Shot 2014-05-08 at 9.39.32 AMI have LOTS of bookmarks on Safari, but it isn’t that easy to access them. You have to drill down a bit to get to what you want to see.

So, for those websites that I visit often, I skip the whole book-mark thing, and make icons for my home screen, instead.

This way, when I want to visit a favorite website, all I have to do is tap the icon.

How to Make an Icon for your Most-Used Bookmarks

Just go to the site of your choice, like “”. Look to the upper left hand corner and tap on the ‘action’ box.

From Skitch-6


After tapping the arrow-box, you will see several choices. Select “add to home screen”.


From Skitch-7


Finally, select “add”.


From Skitch-8

All done!!

You now have a new icon on your home screen. Just tap it whenever you want to go to your favorite website. Enjoy this quick and handy option (instead of drilling down through your bookmarks).

From Skitch-9

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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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