Tag: ipad

Backups Don’t Have to Be Hard or Confusing

diagram of cloud and mobile devices

Image courtesy of Pixabay

I love articles by How To Geek because they often cover basic information that my clients should know.  The articles are written very clearly but sometimes I make them even simpler by providing a shorter version and definitions of technical terminology.

I’ve talked about backups many times, so I think most of you will be able to understand this article as it is:  What’s the Best Way to Back Up My

If you know me at all, you will know that I recommend Chromebooks and Google Drive as the best solution for most people.  My second choice for simple and secure would be an Apple iPad and iCloud backup.

As they say in the article: “Everyone loses data at some point in their lives. Your computer’s hard drive could fail tomorrow, ransomware could hold your files hostage, or a software bug could delete your important files. If you’re not regularly backing up your computer, you could lose those files forever.  Backups don’t have to be hard or confusing.”

Please just make a decision and do it!  And check monthly to be sure it’s working.

If you need help, you can make an appointment here or call 760-348-8867.

Let us know what you use for backups in the comments below.

Thanks for reading and for sharing with others. 🙂

Enjoy!

Mardi

 

 

My Bad….I Should Have Warned You!

Never let your computer know that you are in a hurry. Computers can smell fear.

Recent Microsoft and Apple Updates – Causing Stress And Confusion

I’ve had a rash of calls from people complaining that Windows Update is tying up their computers for hours and hours, or that their iPads or iPhones are suddenly looking and acting very differently. Don’t feel bad, I’ve had the same issues!

I knew changes were coming but I didn’t anticipate the upset they would cause. It might have been easier if I had warned you beforehand. You still would have had to deal with the inconvenience but it might have been less shocking. Next time I will give you a heads up.

The Windows 10 Anniversary Update

Microsoft

The Windows 10 Anniversary Update stalled and locked up my computer on two different days. I had to “pull the plug” so I could reboot. On the third try, it tied up my computer for more than six hours! It took over my PC at 6:00 PM, wasn’t finished when I went to bed at 11:00 PM. Fortunately, my main computer is a Chromebook!

Window Update Locking Up Your Computer?

If the Windows update gremlins have taken over your computer and it seems to be all locked up, check to see if the hard drive light is blinking. If it’s blinking, the update is working and you just need to be patient. If it’s not blinking, the system is locked up. You will need to hold down the power button to turn it off. Then turn it back on.

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PC Running Slow?

If your PC is running slow, be sure you are up to date on your maintenance tasks.  If you are using Windows 10, you can turn off the “live tiles”, and disable Cortana. (Use right click on your mouse to see the options.)

Windows 10

New Features in Windows 10

I didn’t find any of the Windows 10 “new features” to be particularly exciting, but I like things simple.
Microsoft is trying to be more like Apple and Google products. This started with the Windows 8 debacle. Big Mistake! They are way behind and don’t do it well.   Let me know what you think in the comments below.

The Edge web browser still isn’t as good as Google Chrome or Firefox.

On the positive side, Windows 10 is a more stable and secure operating system.

If you need help with the update, new features or maintenance, just let me know.

The Apple iOS 10 update (A much better experience than with Microsoft)  photo.apple vs. windows

A message appered, letting me know that an update was available and giving me choices of “install now” or “remind me later.” (I always wait a couple of weeks, until I’m sure that any glitches have been fixed.)

In the software update screen, above the “Install Now” button, there was a brief introduction with an explanation of the reason for the update and a complete list of all the new features–in plain English!

I agreed to the terms of service and the update screen showed me a brightly lit screen with the Apple logo and a bar indicating the progress of the update. (No wondering what’s going on, no locking up.)

Things look a little different but there are some very practical and useful new features. The best one is that my fingerprint on the button works much better and I don’t have to swipe to get past the lock screen. I have to laugh because I’m still swiping after several days. Old habits die hard don’t

Let me know what you think in the comments below. I’ll tell you my faves if you’ll tell me yours….

Why are there fewer problems with Apple?

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One main reasons there are fewer problems with Apple products, is that Apple controls both the hardware and the software, whereas Microsoft is in control of only the software.

Microsoft’s new operating system has to be compatible with hardware from many different manufacturers, machines that are very old, and machines that have software from other companies that can cause conflicts.

When Apple’s operating system becomes a problem for their old hardware, they just let you know that your device has become obsolete and you’ll have to buy a new one. This is not good news, but it prevents you from limping along and being constantly frustrated.

It’s not your fault

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These issues are not the result of anything you have done. Technology is a full time job for me and I can barely keep up myself! My mission is to keep things simple, easy and fun for you in spite of the constant changes. Please let me know if you are having trouble.  If you have any questions, need tech support or moral support, I’m here for you.

You Can Help Others

Please share this to others so they can get help too.

If you received this from a friend and would like to receive all my Techie Tips directly, you can sign up here.

Journey together PictureLooking forward to knowing what you think.

Enjoy!

Mardi Boettcher

760 3 4tutor

 

​Do You Use Skype or Face Time?

Why Use Skype?

Skype is an app that lets you connect with people using the video camera on your computer or mobile device.

Face Time does the same thing, but only works with Apple products. Even if you use Face Time, it’s a good idea to know how to use Skype as well. They are both very simple and easy to use and they are truly one of the best benefits of modern technology.

A friend of mine uses Skype to play checkers with her 9 yr. old grandson who lives out of state.

Parents use it to stay in touch with their children when they have to be away on business trips or vacations. They can read the children a bedtime story, watch them get tucked into bed, and throw them a kiss goodnight.

Several clients have had me show them how to use Skype for important job interviews. We practiced calling each other, chose the most flattering camera angle, picked the most attractive background, and discussed what to wear. It is so rewarding to see people gain confidence and be optimistic about getting the job!

Video chat is great for online dating and long-distance relationships too.

Businesses use Skype for video conferencing because they can have multiple people on a video call. They save a lot of money on air travel, hotels and meals.

On an internet enabled big screen TV, it can feel like you’re actually in the room with distant family members. You can even watch each other open Christmas presents!

On mobile phones, you can only use audio for group calls, but on your computer or internet enabled TV you can do video conference calls.

Skype also supports audio calls to traditional phones. Using Skype on your tablet or smartphone, you can call somebody on a regular telephone. This is really handy if you are traveling and don’t have access to phone service but do have access to wifi.

One of my clients who is retired from the Foreign Service, learned how to use Skype so he could stay in touch with his friends all over the world for free.

All of the features of Skype are free, except calling people on regular telephones. However, Skype phone calls are a lot less expensive than traditional long distance calls.

How to Use Skype

Skype is a free download from the iOS App Store and the Google Play Store and is already installed with Windows 10 and Window phones. (It’s owned by Microsoft.)

You need to have an account to use Skype. You can set up a free account or, if you already have a Microsoft account, you can just log in with that.

On iPads, iPhones, Android phones, and Android tablets, each version of Skype will look a little different but the functionality is the same. There are just a few minor differences on each device

When you login you will see three screens

  1. RECENT- shows the most list of people most recently talked to
  2. FAVORITES – shows the contacts you have marked as favorites
  3. PEOPLE – is your list of people you can call on Skype. They have to have an account also and they have to agree to be connected with you.

To Add a Contact

Search for the person in the Skype database. There are millions of people in the Skype database and lots of people with the same name…even unusual names. It’s amazing!

Therefore, the quickest and easiest way to find people is to search for their unique Skype name. Email address work sometimes too because there aren’t duplicates of those but it’s really easier to ask your person for their skype name.

When you find them, tap the button that says “add people.” Then tap “send a contact request.”

The person’s name will show up on your contact list but, they will not show up as online and accessible until they have accepted your request.

After they accept your request, you will be able to see their status next to their name, which lets you know when they are online for you to call them.

Note: some people leave the Skype app open all the time to receive calls. Other people text or email each other to set a time and then open the app. It depends on how often they use it.

To make a call

Select a contact and you will see buttons at the bottom of the screen. You can choose to do a video call or an audio call. They both work pretty much the same. Tap on the button for audio or video. The camera starts running right away so you can frame up your shot while you wait for the other person to pick up.

After you start talking, the buttons at the bottom of the screen will fade out of the way, but when you tap on the screen, they’ll pop up again.

You can mute and unmute your audio by hitting the mute button.

You can disable the camera by hitting the camera button if you want to talk and see them without them seeing you.

When you’re done, just hit the red hang up button.

To receive an incoming call

The app will make a sound and you will see a choice of buttons.

If you don’t want to answer a call, you can just hit the red button.

If you want to answer but only want to use audio, then hit the green button in the middle.

To see video and hear audio, hit the camera button.

To hang up, tap on the screen to bring up the controls and hit the red button

You can also use Skype to have a text chat.

On the screen, with a contact’s information, tap on the field that says “type a message”. Type and then hit the Send button. When he responds, you’ll see his response pop up.

Calling regular telephones

This feature is particularly useful when you’re traveling to a place where you won’t have a cellular phone connection, but you will have wifi.

This is called Voice Over IP, or VOIP. Using this feature, you can call a regular phone as long as you can connect to Skype on your mobile device.

This is the one feature that is not free but Skype is much less expensive than traditional long distance rates. To get an idea of the pricing options, check out their website. http://www.skype.com/en/

You can login to your Skype account on the website and add Skype credit to your account.

Or in the app on your mobile device, you can hit the “my account” button (top right), and there’s an option for “Skype credit”. This way, it’s an “in-app” purchase and it will be charged to your iTunes account or Play Store account. It will ask for your password for confirmation. Then hit “Buy”.

To make a call to a regular phone

At the bottom of the screen, there’s a dialer button and you can just dial a regular phone number. Also, there’s a button at the top that links directly to the address book on your device so you can find the person and tap on the number. When you hit the phone button at the bottom, it will dial. When he answers, you will be having a conversation just as if you were using a regular telephone. To hang up, just hit the red button at the bottom

Skype is a great app for video and audio calls because it runs on all mobile devices and computers no matter what platform. Group video calls are not available on mobile devices but video calls to individuals work.

I hope you will try this and enjoy it. If you need help, just let me know.

Please share this with your friends and relatives. Your referrals are the heart of my business and my mission is to help people more fully enjoy the many benefits of modern technology.

Thanks,

Mardi

Good News – Phones Unlocked!

Good News – Phones Unlocked!

The government has agreed to the unlocking of devices in the United States  This means you can now unlock your mobile phone or tablet (iPhones, iPads, Android smartphones and tablets) and use it with a different wireless network carrier. All major service providers like Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint and U.S cellular are now allowing the unlocking of devices so you can switch to the carrier service that is best for you.  Previously, if you wanted to change your network provider you had to buy a new phone.

Wireless carriers you can see if you allow images in your email app

The unlocking policy and methods vary according to the network provider. The unlocking process is free if you fit into the rules set by the provider.  Before making your request to unlock the device, check the company policy and make sure you are eligible.

Please forward this to everyone you know so they can be safe and feel relaxed, happy and confident with their computers and techie gadgets.

Thoughts or comments about this topic?
Please comment below.

Thanks!

Microsoft And Apple Finally Playing Together Nice? Not!

I always love hearing from my clients and friends when they have an idea or a question.  It keeps me up to speed with your needs and concerns and provides me with the opportunity help others as well.  I enjoy doing the research and making the mistakes, so you don’t have to.

Recently I received this email,

office 365You should check out this offer of free software from Microsoft and Apple.  It really works, though it is available from the “Cloud” and is likely a bit slow.  I have their version for PC’s on my computer, and I pay $99.00 per year to use it!  This version, being free, and downloadable from the Apple App Store, looks worth a shot!

 

I was aware of this new service and have been meaning to try it.  This week I finally had the opportunity.  I was very disappointed.

I’m helping a client format his auto biography for self publishing on CreateSpace.com. He wrote it entirely on his iPad! (No, he didn’t write it using the touch screen keyboard.  LOL  He has a wireless keyboard for it.)
At first I thought we could collaborate on the document using the new iPages for iCloud service but it was sorely lacking in editing tools. (It’s in Beta, or test version.)

pages on cloudEver the “Queen of the Work-around”, I copied and pasted the doc into my Microsoft Word app.  Next, I signed up for the free month trial of Office 365 online so we could collaborate on the cloud.

MS-Office-for-iPad

 

Then, I  directed my client to download the free Microsoft Office app for iPad. Alas, it only gave him the ability to read the doc!

Microsoft, doesn’t say a word about that in the promotional information online! You have to subscribe to Office 365 and pay a monthly fee in order to have editing capabilities.

computer-frustration-815492-m
My client could have signed up for the free month trial but you know what it’s like to set up a new account with password and credit card info, and you have to put it on your calendar to cancel the service in 30 days before you get billed on auto-pay.  I wasn’t going to suggest that he go through all that for one project.  So much for “the boys” collaborating on the cloud!  We are back to emailing attachments.

It’s a challenge to keep up with all the changes but somebody has to do it. I enjoy doing it and always appreciate your help. Hopefully, sharing my experiences in the field will spare you from wasted time, money and frustration.

victory-1095383-mKeep those questions and ideas coming. Remember to consult with me about what you want to accomplish before deciding on what to buy (apps as well as gadgets).

Let me give you an orientation on how to use your new products and services so you can get your work done quickly, easily and efficiently.

Whom do you know that could use my help?  I promise to take good care of them.  Call me today!

FYI for Current Users of Apple iPhone, iPad and iPod

FYI:  For Current Owners of Apple Gadgets:

Ipad And Iphone

The iOS 8 update is available now for users of iPhone 4 and later, iPad 2 and later, iPad mini and later, and iPod touch (fifth generation).

You may have to delete some things in order to have enough memory to install the update.  It can take quite a bit of time to look at your apps’ usage and decide what to delete.  (Go to Settings > General > Usage)

I had to dump 2 GB on my iPhone 4s.  I chose to keep my music for my workouts and dump a lot of photos. I also dumped a bunch of apps I wasn’t using very often.  I didn’t care about them anyway so it was a good incentive for me to do some clean up. I will run the update and report back in next week’s Techie Tip.

iPhone VS Android — “The Boys Slug It Out For Another Round”

iPhone Vs Android
“The Boys” Slug It Out For Another Round

Apple and Google went for another round in the competition for market dominance this week as Apple launched it’s larger iPhone 6 models and its iOS 8 operating system for all its gadgets.

iOS 8 has has some very cool new features and I noticed that many of them are features that Android phones have had for a long time.  (I have used both and currently use an iPhone.)  My son, Jason, who is convinced Android is far better than iPhone and hated to see me switch, sent me this hilarious joke about the news.

Reaction to the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus has been lukewarm. Many have accused Apple of playing catch up with rivals such as Samsung, rather than leading the way. An image titled 'Dear iPhone 6 users: Welcome to 2012' has gone viral, (pictured) which lists new Apple features that have existed on Android phones for years

I asked Jason if he thought I should wait to install the update until the bugs are worked out and the app developers have more time to fix their apps to work with it, and he said,

Jason Griswold's profile photo

“Nah, that’s for normal people, we are in tech…we live to have our world turned upside down.”

He’s so funny!  But it’s true.  I love the challenge, the adventure and being able to make your transitions easier by sharing my experience.

Who do you know that…

  • Is trying to decide whether to buy an Android gadget or an Apple gadget
  • Needs help with updating to iOS 8
  • Wants a tutorial on the changes and new features or
  • Wants to learn more about their Android phone

Please let me know so I can help them “make peace with the ups and downs of computer technology.” 

Back Up Your Smart Phone and Tablets

 

Please Check This Now!

Is your smart phone or tablet doing backups?
Did you even know that it’s supposed to?
Do you realize that if your phone or tablet breaks or is stolen, you might lose your photos, music, address book and notes?
Apparently none of the people who sell phones are setting it up or explaining it to their customers because most of the phones I examine are not doing back ups.  This issue has come up so many times in the past two weeks that I decided I’d better give you a heads up.

Please check your gadget’s settings and make sure backups are set up and operating. (It will show you the last date a backup occurred.)
This is especially important if you are going to be traveling on vacation this month!

com.alienmanfc6.wheresmyandroid_banner-450x220

 
Also, it’s important for you to know that there are really neat apps that enable you to locate your gadget if it is lost or stolen.  They even enable you to delete your data and lock the gadget so it will be useless to a thief.  (Even if you don’t get it back, you will have the satisfaction of knowing the thief didn’t get your stuff and couldn’t use it.)

If you have an iPhone or iPad you may have noticed the “Find My Phone” or “Find My iPad” icon and assumed that it would help you in an emergency. It won’t unless it is enabled in settings. I’m amazed how many iPhones and iPads I see that don’t have this feature activated!

screen568x568

A related issue that comes up frequently is people want to know if they can see their phone or tablet photos on their computers.  Yes you can!  It’s just a matter of getting things set up properly.

I hope these Techie Tips will ensure that you are protected and enable you to take advantages of these neat things that technology can do for you.

As always, if you, and your friends and relatives, need help with any of these things, just call me to set up an appointment.

In Joy,

Mardi Boettcher

“Helping you make peace with the ups and downs of technology.”

Video Calling Is Such Fun!

skypeHave you ever done video calling? It’s really fun and I’m finding that many of my clients use it to stay in touch with their children and grandchildren.

You can get loved ones together on the same group video call — in just a few clicks. You can even show your screen. It’s great for making travel plans, group decisions or sharing your holiday photos with everyone on the call. Whether you’re planning a party or just want to catch up with friends and family, group video calling lets you get together with everyone all at once — no matter where they are.

Last Christmas, I was visiting my daughter and her fiancé in Colorado and we opened gifts with his family in Texas via the Skype app on their big screen TV. It was so much fun…almost as good as being together in person. What a great way to bring families together! I highly recommend it.

The Skype app is free and can be downloaded to your computer and all your gadgets. The people you want to video call, have to have the app too and have to accept your invitation.  To see how it works on Skype Click here

If you use Apple products you can use Face Time. The people you call, must be Apple product users also so they can use the Face Time app. See how to do it

If you, and the people you want to video call, have gmail accounts, you can do video calls right from gmail, or you can use the free Google Hangouts app. See the instructions here

If you, or someone you know would like personal tutoring to learn how to do this, or if you want to invite a group of friends and learn together in a “Play Shop,” just let me know. Thanks!

Pre-purchase Consultation Questions

One of my services is consulting with people to help them choose the best computer or gadget for their individual needs.  So much frustration can be avoided by buying the right product in the first place, and I have already test-driven quite a few of them in order to pave the way for others to have a more pleasant experience.  See my previous posts for the gruesome details.  LOL

Here are the questions I use for my consultations.  Please forward this to your friends and relatives so they will have it when they are considering a computer or gadget purchase.   They will thank you for it.

1. What is your budget?

2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?

3. What screen resolution do you want?

4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop?

5. How much battery life do you need?

6. Do you want to play games with your laptop? If so then please list the games that you want to with the settings that you want for these games. (Low, Medium or High)?

7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo/Video editing, etc.)

8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need?

9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links.

10. How long do you want to keep your laptop?

11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer, Blue Ray ROM/Writer, etc ?

12. Please tell me about the brands that you prefer and the brands that you don’t like and explain the reasons.

13. What country do you live in?

14. Please tell me any additional information if needed.

Additionally… you should consider available support options in your area. If you buy something abroad, will you be able to have it fixed near where you live? Does the warranty apply? How quickly do local accredited technicians fix laptops?

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