Keeping Your Charge On vacation

One of the things you have to be very careful of when you use your iPad is the battery. Unlike mobile phones and laptops that have detachable power units that can be replaced quite easily, the battery of your tablet is built in. This means that when something happens to it, the technicians at Apple have to open it up and then replace the battery. Your device’s insides get exposed and may get further damage because it’s been opened.
Even if your battery giving out is inevitable, you can delay it from happening. Here are some tricks for you to save your battery juice and prolong its life:
1.Download a battery management app
Apps like Battery Doctor monitor your charging process and give you tips on how to charge your battery in the best way. These apps should be run when you’re charging your battery so it can protect your iPad from wrong charging habits. Some really great apps let you see how long your battery lasts with services like 3G, Wifi, reading, music and video running. You don’t have to get a paid app since the free ones usually do the trick. Just get one and make sure to follow its instructions.
2.Take your iPad out of the case when you’re charging
Since you’re charging the iPad heats up, and this heat can slowly damage the components inside the device over time. If you leave it in the case, more heat builds up. Taking it out of the case while you’re charging lessens the heat and can help the components inside last longer. If you don’t have a case for your device, make sure you set it down on a cool, flat surface when you charge and you don’t leave it on the bed where cloth can trap the heat in it anyway.
3.Close resource-heavy apps when you aren’t using them
Essentially, saving energy means closing the apps that you don’t use. Allowing notifications also means that some apps are always on standby mode and receive data regularly. Determine which apps are essential and should always be on, such as VoIP phone services with RingCentral and your email client with Google or Yahoo. But for apps that aren’t needed all the time such as games and writing or reading apps, make sure you close them. Double-press the Home button and a bar appears at the bottom where all the running apps are displayed. Press and hold then close the app icon by tapping on the red badge. Do this regularly so only the essential apps are open. Disable notifications through the Settings app as well.
4.Manage your brightness and volume
One of the battery-draining practices is full brightness all the time on your device. If your iPad has Retina Display, you usually don’t need the full setting since the screen is so sharp, especially if you use a clear screen protector. You can make your device last longer if you put the setting to the medium range.

Office 365 Arrives @ Apple – Sort Of

Timing is everything. We here at the Borough of West Chester have been in Microsoft’s (email) cloud for over 2 years now and in fact just a couple weeks ago we were upgraded to Microsoft 365. This week after more than a year of rumors, Microsoft has finally released a version of its Office suite for the iPhone (yes the iPhone). If you use an iPhone you can now access Office 365 from your smartphone.


However the app is currently only being offered for the iPhone, not the iPad. You can get around this somewhat by searching in the store for it on your iPad but selecting iPhone apps. Once downloaded you will need to increase the size (2x) to fill your screen. Until a true iPad app is available this is the only option if you want to access your Office 365 account on your iPad.

Here is How to Setup Office 365 on Your iPhone or iPad

1. Search for Office 365 in the app store. If you are using an iPad make sure to select “iPhone Apps” or you will not see it. The app is free so there is no reason not to install it – if you have an Office 365 account.

2. Once downloaded slide through the short tutorial and at the end you will be promoted to log into to your account. Select “I have an Office 365 subscription” and enter your email address to activate Office.

3. It will then ask you what type of account you have. Select “Organizational Account”.

4. Once completed you will have access to any documents you have saved in SkyDrive or SharePoint.

5. If you have an additional Skydrive account you can add it by selecting the “Open” folder and choosing Add a Place.

With Microsoft now selling Office 365 as a subscription service to consumers I am sure a true iPad app as well one for Android devices is around the corner as well. Stay tuned.

How to Set Up Multiple Email Signatures in iOS 6

Today I was asked if you can have multiple signatures on your IPhone & IPad. The good news is that yes you can, as long as you have upgraded your Apple device to iOS 6. This upgrade was made available earlier last year, so hopefully you have already completed the upgrade.

Before iOS 6, you were allowed only one common signature that appeared on each email account. Other then deleteing and adding a new email signature for each email message there was really no other way to deal with multiple email accounts.

With the new iOS each of your accounts can have it’s own distinct signature. Isn’t technology womderful! So, your work email can give all your professional information while you’re personal account can have more of a personal signature.

Here’s how to set it up:

Go to Settings on your home screen, select Mail, Contacts, Calendars. Scroll way down until you see the Signatureoption. Tap on it and you’ll see the options shows in the image below.

All Accounts will enable one signature to be sent from all your email accounts. Tap Per Account and each of your accounts will pop up, allowing you to create personalized signatures for each of them. (see image below)

Now, when you send an email, iOS 6 will automatically know which account it’s coming from and apply the correct signature.

Great New iOS6 Features

OK listen up if you have an iPhone. The recent upgrade to iOS6 brought with it over 200 additional features. I am going to describe 4 of my favorites here for you. All of the features I am going to talk about here are in the settings area of the phone and can really change the way you use your phone. So here we go.

“Do Not Disturb”– With this enabled not only will your phone be silenced but it will also keep your screen from lighting up when receiving alerts. Your incoming calls will be sent directly to voice mail. This will be especially helpful when you are in the movies are in an important meeting.

To enable or disable “Do Not Disturb” go to “Settings” and toggle it on or off. You can also schedule “Do Not Disturb” by opening “Notifications” tap “Do Not Disturb” and tap “On” to enable to the feature. You can then choose your times and also “Allow Calls from Favorites” if you would like. In addition you can turn on “Repeated Calls”. If you do this if someone calls you more than once. This is in case you do not want to miss an emergency.

“E-Mail Signatures” – This feature is very overdue and I am excited about it. Now you can assign signatures to different email accounts. What took so long for this one I will never know? But here it is and here is how to do it.

To set them up go to “Settings” than “Mail, Contacts, Calendars”. At the bottom tap “Signature” then select “Per Account”. Now you can create a unique email signature for each account! After this the unique signature will appear at the bottom of your new email message.

“Declining Calls” – If you are just too busy to talk there are 2 new ways to decline calls. When there is an incoming call you will see a new a new icon next to the slider. Drag it up and you will see and you will see the option to “Reply with Message” or you can set a time for the phone to remind you when to call that person back. If you choose to “Reply with Message” the person will be sent to voice mail and you can choose from 3 pre-recorded system messages or choose “Custom”. You can add or remove “canned responses” go to “Settings”, “Phone” and “Reply with Message”.

“Improved Privacy” – One of the best enhances with iOS6 is improved privacy integration. This means that you will have more control over which apps can access your personal or social networking information. To check this out go to “Settings”, “Privacy”. Taping any of the “categories” will enable or disable access for any given app. By clicking on these “categories” will display any app that is allowed to access that category. You can toggle access easily here by simply turning access on or off.

My exploration of iOS6 continues so be sure to stay tuned for more updates with the new features available for your iPhone. If you have not upgraded be sure to do so. There is an earlier article describing how to install the update. Other than the wireless connectivity issue I have not seen any other flaws with the upgrade.

Apple’s Lightening Strikes Again

Everyone here knows about my thoughts regarding Apple’s iPhone5 and the new “lightening cable” it sports. In addition to the limited supply of available cables some users are now reportably experiencing troubles getting the USB end of the cables to unplug from their computers and other devices. Now I myself have not experienced this but I only used mine for about 3 days before boxing it and going back to the 4S.

CNET reports that several people describe problems getting the cables out of the USB ports on their computers, with some going so far as to break out pliers and even take their machines into one of Apple’s retail stores to get the cable unplugged.

While USB is a standard spec, manufacturers can have design variations. I have seen this myself from time to time on USB devices.

AppleCare support reportably stated that “they were aware of the problem” and providing replacement cables to those with any issues. It’s unclear whether those cables differ from the ones available at launch.

As I reported in an earlier post “lightning” is Apple’s new plug technology, which replaces the 30-pin adapters that date back to early iPods. Its key benefit is the smaller iPhone connector, which is 80 percent smaller than the previous connector. Users can also plug it in with either side up. I have experienced this and it really is a nice advantage. No more trying to figure what is up and what is down. Despite these benefits, the new technology will present a costly change for people who have multiple cables just like me that they use in their car, home and at work. Apple includes one out of the box with its latest iPhone but additional cables are probably weeks out from being available.

In addition reports are being made that Apple has placed a “chip” in this cable which will either greatly reduce or remove the ability for outside manufactures to provide less expensive cables. I am not really happy about this and I am keeping hope alive that this report is untrue.

iPhone 5 in Storage

Why would anyone be lucky enough to have an iPhone 5 delivered on the first day available and then only switch back to the iPhone 4S? Here is why.

Apple blundered if you as me. Now don’t get me wrong. I loved the iPhone5 and I look forward to using it in the near future. However in my long IT career I have never seen this. A smartphone released with no ability to purchase powering accessories. That’s right. With the iPhone 5 you cannot presently purchase lightening cables (the new cable), car kits or even external power supplies. You get the one cable in the box and you are expected to carry that with you at all times if you want to charge your phone through the day.

I am not afraid to say this. Believe it or not. I am a very busy person and normally the battery on my smartphone is under 50% by lunch time. I need the ability to charge my phone at several places every day. One “lightening cable” is simply not enough. To make matters worse there is not a release date for these power accessories or cables until “sometime in October”.

With all this in mind, my very awesome iPhone 5 with 4G (LT) service, a bigger screen, faster processor and superior camera went back into it’s box until Apple decides to make available power and cabling accessories.

If you need powering options wait a bit until these accessories are available before upgrading to the new iPhone. Otherwise you may be sitting at home writing a silly somewhat angry blog article as opposed to watching the Monday Night Football pre-game show!

A Special Report from a Special Guest

iPhone Update Horror
“My iPhone Thinks I Don’t Have Friends”
As you are all well aware, yesterday was the much awaited iPhone iOS6 upgrade. And I must forewarn all of you…I have limited technological abilities, so I’m hoping that this is a quick and simple little upgrade – requiring little or no input from me. So, after having been advised repeatedly during the day by our resident IT Genius to update my phone, I eagerly began the update process…even though I was not happy that it could take an hour or more – essentially cutting me off from the world!

Lucky for me, the update went smoothly, took only 45 minutes and was relatively painless for me, unlike my husband – his update took almost 3 hours! Anxious to see what new features were added to my phone during the upgrade, I went through the finishing process, setting up iCloud and all that good stuff and everything was great. Until this morning…I went into my contacts to get a phone number….and that’s when it happened…my iPhone update horror…there were no contacts in my list!!! Not a single one…Just my lonely phone number at the top of the page. Apparently, I no longer had any friends according to my much beloved iPhone.

And then the overwhelming feeling of panic begins to set in…my heart started racing, the language being uttered by me would have made a sailor blush, I felt faint and the prospect of rebuilding my list of contacts made a tear come to my eye…because out of the hundred or so phone numbers and email addresses stored in my phone , I think I only know 3 of them by heart!!!

Ok, take a deep breath, this has got to be fixable, right? I mean isn’t this one of the great reasons behind “The Cloud” that we have all been hearing for the last year or so? “The Cloud” is supposed to be the almighty backup server! And with a little help (okay, a lot of help) from a little search engine called “Google” I discovered the answer to my prayers! My contacts COULD be recovered – so long as I hadn’t made a backup since they were lost…and this is how it’s done:

Go to “Settings”
– Choose “iCloud”
– Where it says “Contacts” it should be at this moment switched to the “ON” position.
– Swipe the switch to show “OFF”
– It will ask you “Keep on iPhone” – Choose this option
– Now Swipe the switch back to “ON”
– It will ask you if you want to “Merge Contacts” – Choose this option
– And that’s it! It is really that easy!!!

At this magical point in time my contacts are now restored to my phone…And the shaking has stopped, the cursing has subsided and the world is good again…I have friends!! 

The Smartphone War

OK I just had to take a couple of minutes to talk about the big smartphone battle of 2011 and how it’s shaping up (if you ask me). Don’t get me wrong. There is indeed a lot of hub bub about Verizon’s new iPhone. However mark my words. The Verizon iPhone is too late to do any real damage to Android. The iPhone landing at Verizon is big news and it surely gives Android more competition than it has ever had. In Android’s favor is about 2 years of development and enhancement of it’s OS while Apple danced exclusively with ATT. Now that Verizon and Apple have finally got together, ATT has started it’s own partnership with Android. Now both Verizon & ATT stores will be stocked to the ceilings with iPhones and Androids with smaller and smaller space dedicated to other smartphones.

Also never forget, for every Apple lover there is probably an Android dihard. I believe that most smartphone users who have been using Android phones are not about to jump ship for an inferior phone.

What is true in this smartphone war is that Blackberry (RIM) and the other shartphone developers are starting to eat dust. RIM is continuing to lose marketshare and with Android’s additional deal with ATT it is going to worsen. The only wildcard at this point is Windows Phone 7. However even here there are problems as most users seem to have a real problem of moving their Windows experience to their mobile phone.

It appears that as Android and Apple continue to take pot shots at each other for marketshare their competitors will continue to struggle for the measly remains.

A special thankyou to Staci King for the fine edits to this entry. I think I am going to have to add her to the Tech Blog staff!

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