Archives For iPhone tips

Tips for making your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch even more fun and useful. My iPhone tips cover business use, personal use and iPhone tips that apply to both areas.

That title is fancy way you can use Apple Podcasts to find audio to learn how to do things and how do use software.

Although you can probably generate a lot of the same results using Google, you can be more focused and therefore more efficient when you want audio learning by using Apple podcasts.

For example, I am interested in implementing Slack in to my small business. I’ve read a few articles about it and read the literature provided by the developer.

However, I’m not satisfied that I have the information I need to understand what caps lock is and how it could be implemented in my business. For that reason, my search for podcast and the Apple Podcast app to find short audio shows were people explain what Slack is and how to use it.
This is an example of the offerings I found:

 

 

I can listen to a few of these short podcast and come away with a much more complete and useful understanding how Slack. Next time you need to learn about a piece of software consider using Apple Podcast as a starting place.

Do you like simple, but cool tips for your Mac computer?

I came across two relatively simple and really neat Mac tips for managing colors and fonts in native Mac Apps (Mail, Calendar, MindNode Pro, etc. . .):

Font Preview Pane. From Tim Priebe of T&S Web Design in Edmond, Oklahoma.
See a preview of the font/typeface right above the selection window and before you have to choose for real.

Color Gather. From Andy Inhatko of the CWOB, the Chicago Sun Times and MacBreak Weekly.
Pick colors from Apple’s selection based on actual pictures you have taken. Import a picture and start matching colors.

I demonstrate the tips below in a screencast.
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Do you know how secure your iPhone is?

Are you using the four digit passcode and feel pretty good that it is protected?

Think again.  Read on to find out how to make your iPhone more secure.
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To be an iPhone user is nearly always to be an iPhone lover. The iPhone is what the personal computer should be without any of the hassels of the personal computer. The iPhone literally does thousands of different tasks. Below are three iPhone tips you might find interesting and useful including: Emoji keyboard on the iPhone; keyboard shortcuts and the music-regulating sleep timer.

1. Emoji keyboard on the iPhone.

You know all those neat little symbols, pictures, words that you can sometimes insert into email?  Those are called “emoji”.  Up until iOS 5, you had to jailbreak your iPhone or buy an app to get the iPhone Emoji keyboard. iPhone Emoji is now native to iOS 5 and it is easy to enable and use.  Here is how to do it:

On your iOS device go to – Settings → General → Keyboard → International Keyboards → Add New Keyboard→ Emoji — you’re done!  Enjoy and check out the pictures below:

 

 

 

 

 

2.  Keyboard Shortcuts.

One of the neat features in iOS 5 is the ability to shortcuts (which usually means a couple of letters) that the iPhone recognizes and inserts a longer phrase.  For instance, I added “drv” as a shortcut for the phrase “I’m driving, I will call you back when my vehicle is no longer in motion“.  The shortcuts have a lot of uses and quick text or email responses is but one.

You can find the settings for shortcuts by going:  Settings -> General -> Keyboard  -> Shortcuts (At the bottom of the page).  Check out some pictures below to see how the iPhone shortcuts work:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Sleep Timer

One feature I would like in iOS (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch) is a sensor that detects when I fall asleep listening to music or a podcast and shuts it off. While I haven’t seen this option yet, I discovered something close to as useful today: Use the Clock App on your iOS device to time your music or podcast to stop playing after a certain number of minutes.

It is really simple but has escaped my knowledge up to now.

1. Go into the Clock App and chose the “timer” at the far right on the bottom (see picture below).
2. Select “When timer ends” and at the bottom of list is “stop playing” – select it (see picture below)
3. Select how long you want it to play for and hit “Start”.

That is all you have to do. When the time runs out, the music, podcast or other media will stop itself.


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One feature I would like in iOS (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch) is a sensor that detects when I fall asleep listening to music or a podcast and shuts it off. While I haven’t seen this option yet, I discovered something close to as useful today: Use the Clock App on your iOS device to time your music or podcast to stop playing after a certain number of minutes.

It is really simple but has escaped my knowledge up to now.

1. Go into the Clock App and chose the “timer” at the far right on the bottom (see picture below).
2. Select “When timer ends” and at the bottom of list is “stop playing” – select it (see picture below)
3. Select how long you want it play for and hit “Start”.

That is all you have to do. When the time runs out, the music, podcast or other media will stop itself.


I’m not a social media expert, guru or ninja, but I have observed a few things which are common to people who are not paying attention when they join a social network (Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin etc. . .). Missing these items gives the impression you do not know what you are doing and do not care enough to find out. These things are simple to correct and are the starting point for anyone involved in social media:

1. Have a profile picture. People without a profile picture are automatically discounted (rightly or wrongly) as someone who doesn’t understand the basics of the service. Plus, it makes it easier for someone to know you and become comfortable with you if they can what you look like. Get a picture.

2. Know where your posts are going. There are many ways to push your posts on one social network (Linkedin, for example) automatically to another network (such as Twitter). There is nothing wrong with this conceptually but you need to be aware of where your posts are ending up. Are you sending posts from one network, completely out of context, to another network? This can be a bit annoying. Know and control the syndication of your content.

3. Respond when people talk to you. This is a fundamental principal of being decent in life: when someone talks to you, you talk back to them. To do otherwise, is to risk being considered rude. For the most part, the same rules apply in social media – when someone asks you question (with an @ message on Twitter for instance) or comments on a posts (on your Facebook wall for example) respond to them. Let them know you are alive and appreciate their interests. (FYI – you can adjust your basic settings on most networks to send you notifications when someone is speaking to you directly).

4. Fill out your bio. It’s your virtual resume but its even more important than that. It is all people know about you when they first find you. Fill in the details about what you do, where you live, what you like so people will understand you and see you as human.

5. Link to where you want people to go. So simple, far to often ignored: put a link to your website in your profile. Make it as easy as possible for people to visit your “online home” and learn about you. If it to hard to find someone’s site, sometimes people just quick trying.

What are some other basic things that everyone should be doing when they get started in social media?

A few years ago it ocurred to me that it would be good to work and be productive regardless of my physical location.

That meant being able to be away from my office and still work at a high level, without having to explain to everyone with whom I deal that I am “away from office.” For real efficiency reasons, family reasons and particular quirks of my personality and temparment, working away from the office is critical for me.

When I began considering my mobile strategy, the tools for doing this either existed or were quickly coming into existence. Today, I believe I have accomplished what I set out to do: I can work efficiently and effecitvely from just about any physical location. My analysis below assumes a person who is comfortable using email and browsing the Internet.

Below are the tools I use to essentially make my work location irrelevant:

1. Laptop Computer. For me it is the 15″ Apple MacBook Pro (mid-2010 version). But you don’t need an Apple laptop, any solid and reasonable sized PC Lapton (Dell, HP etc. . . take your pick) will work fine. This computer is your work station in your mobile office. The machine needs to be able to most of what any desktop computer can do.

2. Smartphone. Since I usually don’t have access to a landline, having a working telephone connection is a must. There are many options. My phone of choice is the iPhone 4 through Verizon. The smartphone has to work for voice calls (which are still at times a necessity). It also needs to provide quick and easy access to email, texts and any other regular forms of communication you use. Often, when I am working on the MacBook Pro, the phone is notifier when I have a new email or other message. I can also send quick replies to multiple messages easily, using the iPhone.

3. Mobile Internet Device. Free WiFi is ubiquitous but I still find it problematic. Coffee shops, restaurants, libraries and even the local automative parts store offer free WiFi. How secure is a free network that doesn’t require a password (not very)? Is the free WiFi fast enough to get anything done? Do you have the free WiFi everywhere you need it? For all of these reasons, I replaced free WiFi with my own personal Internet device. Originally, it AT&T USB modem, then it was Verizon’s MiFi and know it is Verizon’s Intelligent Mobile Hotpsot (like the MiFi but with 4G LTE). With the Hotspot, I have super fast Interent accesss whereever I am (I wrote about it here). No worries about security, whether there is a connection or how fast it is. From the car, the courthouse or the case, the Hotspot allows me to focus on getting my work done rather than on the quality or security of my Internet connection. As alternative to the dedicate device, many smartphones have a hotspot feature that for [quite] a few extra dollars, you can share your phone’s Internet connection with your computer.

4. Digital Documents. Maintaing and dragging around a bunch of paper is the arch enemy of making location irrelevant. If all the documents you need are in file folders in the file cabinet at your office, then you need to within walking distance of the file cabinet. I eliminated this issue by going most paperless for the documents with which I work. This means all correspondence, pleadings, memos, research and the like are maintained as digital files, accesible anywhere. I use Dropbox which is a seamless and simple solution regardless of what device you are on. Dropbox allows me maintain one file system for all digital documents across all my devices. I am always working on the “most recent version” of the document.

5. Browser-centric. The browser is the centerpiece of my work. Browser tabs are often how my tasks are organized. This means that most of my applications are web-based. While technically an application can be “web-based” but independent from a browser, I find an advantage in using applications within the browser. My browser of choice is Google’s Chrome on the Mac (and when it gets buggy I switch over to Safari). Google Chrome for Windows is an equally good if not superior choice. Many of the applications I used in my business and personal life (which are sometimes inextriablcy intertwined) run in a browser tab. For instance, Gmail, Google Reader, Bill4Time, Twitter, Westlaw (for legal research) all run through my browser. The advantage is that regardless of my location, I open the browser and see the same interface and have same experience with the service. This uniformity leads to efficiency.

6. Mobile Power. Nothing short circuits [pun intended] my productive like the laptop, Hotspot or phone dying from a lack of power. To combat this issue, I try to work within range of an outlet or charging source. If its at the libary or a cafe, the source is a wall outlet. If it is in the car, the with a car power adapter. The nice thing about my mobile devices is that they can all be charged through the MacBook Pro: the phone connects and so does the Hotspot with its USB adapter. If there is a plug in for the computer, everything else is good to go. One thought if you are working in your car or on the go: get power connector such as this one that fits into your drink holder and charges a computer, a phone and most other devices. You also avoid some car-cord-clutter with this setup.

7. IP-based phone management tool. To me, no mobile connection beats the quality and consistency of a good landline connection. Even the best cellphone is a bit flaky at times. However, if you are going to work mobile you need to be able to talk and manage call and messages remotely. There are several premium Internet-based phone options, but I use Google Voice. Google Voice is a complement to my landline phone system, it does not replace the phone (Read my review here). It is my go-to service for managing communications, both spoken and textual. Google Voice allows me to have one telephone number that can forward to multiple numbers and the ability to text from the same number. The ability to manage my Google Voice account to a granular level from the web (on a computer or smartphone) is also a plus. No more calling into the office to check messages, the messages are transcribed and on your phone and computer.

8. Head-Phones. This is only a requirement if you will not be working in a noise-insulated, sound and visually distraction-free environment! For rest of us who work in locations with some noise, it is nice to have heahphones to block out the distractions and through music and talk create the environment you need to be productive. I am not picky about what I have been using is the ear buds that come with almost every Apple mobile product. However, there are many higher quality options that will sound better and more effectively eliminate outside noise. I received a great set of Sony Headphones for Christmas.

 

You know all those neat little symbols, pictures, words that you can sometimes insert into email?  Those are called “emoji”.  Up until iOS 5, you had to jailbreak your iPhone or buy an app to get the iPhone Emoji keyboard. iPhone Emoji is now native to iOS 5 and it is easy to enable and use.  Here is how to do it:

On your iOS 5 device go – Settings -> General -> Keyboard -> International Keyboards -> Add New Keyboard -> Emoji — your done!  Enjoy and check out the pictures below:

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of the neat features in iOS 5 is the ability to shortcuts (which usually means a couple of letters) that the iPhone recognizes and inserts a longer phrase.  For instance, I added “drv” as a shortcut for the phrase “I’m driving, I will call you back when my vehicle is no longe in motion“.  The shortcuts have a lot of uses and quick text or email responses is but one.

You can find the settings for shortcuts by going:  Settings -> General -> Keyboard  -> Shortcuts (At the bottom of the page).  Check out some pictures below to see how the iPhone shortcuts work:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What other iOS 5 features have you found to be particularly helpful?

 

iPhone tips