Avoid Accidental iPhone Emergency Calls

ios12-iphone-x-power-off-screen-sosBeing able to call for help in an emergency is a great feature.  However, an automatic calls means it is sometimes used accidentally. Just this week I was sitting at the table working on a jigsaw puzzle when my iPhone, resting in my pocket, called two of my emergency contacts!  Luckily, I had turned off Auto Call so that it didn’t dial 911.

So it’s useful to know how this feature operates , and how to configure it to work on your iPhone.  In the Settings app, scroll down to  Emergency SOS and tap on it. Toggle the Auto Call button on or off. If you turn it off (gray means off), you can still call 911 by sliding the SOS button (shown in the screen-shot on the right) left to right yourself — it just won’t happen on its own.

You may also be able to trigger an emergency call by rapidly pressing the side button 5 times. If so, you can disable this feature on the same page of the Settings app.

If you’d like more details — including screen shots — this article in iMore gives details of how to set it up Emergency SOS, change the configuration, and use it on various versions of the iPhone and the Apple Watch.

This article by Apple also gives an official description of the features, along with links to related articles.



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How to Use the Magnifier Feature

One of Apple’s most useful accessibility features was designed for people with limited vision. However, this Magnifier feature is useful for anyone whose eyes are tired, or who can’t read the small print on a bottle, or who is struggling to read the menu in a dimly light restaurant.  You may have used the iPhone’s or iPad’s camera app to zoom in and help solve these problems.  However, the Magnifier feature has some helpful additional capabilities.

It’s easy to enable the Magnifier feature. Go to the Settings app, tap on General, then open the Accessibility tab. Tap Magnifier and tap the toggle to enable it.

Once it is enabled,  you can turn it on with a triple-click on the home button (or the side button, depending on your model). When finished,  just click once on the same button to turn off the feature.

If you prefer, you can  enable the Magnifier in the Control Center:  go to Settings, tap on Control Center, then open Customize Controls. Next tap the green Plus button next to Magnifier. Now, to use the feature, open the Control Center and tap on the Magnifier button.

While in the magnifier, you can also freeze frame, zoom in, invert colors, lock focus, and turn on the flash for better lighting.

If you’d like further details on the Magnifier feature with accompanying screen shots, go to this article from MacRumors, or this article from 9TO5Mac.

Don’t forget to share this tip with your friends and relatives, the next time you see them squinting at that small print in dim light!

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Instantly Share Wi-Fi Password

instantly-share-wi-fi-passwordsIf you’ve been traveling this holiday season, chances are fairly good that you’ve connected one of your devices to a Wi-Fi network it hasn’t been connected to before. I know the two of us have quite a collection of devices to get on a new Wi-Fi. And that usually means typing in long Wi-Fi passwords time after time. Luckily, Apple has an easier was of sharing that password!

This “Share Your Wi-Fi” feature was added in iOS 11. If you want to share your password, but nobody there remembers it, a few simple taps on an already connected device can get them connected. And no-one needs to remember the password or type it in!

In order for this to work, both devices need to be on iOS 11 or later, and both devices must have Wi-Fi- and Bluetooth toggled on. (Go to the Settings app or the Control Center to check this.) This works with iPads, iPhones, iPod touches, and macOS computers.

First, open the device needing Wi-Fi connectivity, go to the Wi-Fi settings in the Settings app, and select the network you want to connect to. The “Enter Password” screen will appear. Make sure the device already connected is unlocked. If nothing happens, move the devices closer together. A large prompt should appear on the already connected device: “Do you want to share the Wi-Fi- password for [network] with [name]?” Simply tap “Share Password”, and you’re connected!

For more detailed instructions with screen shots, see this article by Gadget Hacks.

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Silence iPhone Ringer Instantly

silence-iphone-call-volumeHow often are you sitting in a meeting, or a movie, or in church, when someone’s iPhone starts ringing (often with some creative and very distracting sound)? This is often followed by the sound of someone clawing through their bag or pocket, trying to find the offending device to silence it.

Of course, the best solution is to have remembered to set the “silent switch” beforehand. But even at this tell-tale moment, there is a simple, hopefully quick, solution. Just reach into your pocket or bag and squeeze the iPhone to hit either volume button on the side of the iPhone. This will instantly stop the ringer from sounding an alert or vibration, without hanging up. Thus the caller thinks it is still ringing.

Remember, it is just one hit of either button, and this call is silenced — it does not affect future calls.

If you’d like to know more about the details, see this article in OSXDaily.

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How to Get Rid of Split Screen

split screenApple has added a Split Screen feature to iOS that allows you to show more than one application at a time on the iPad. This comes in various flavors in different releases of the software and on different generations of the iPad, and includes both Split View and Slide Over. And it can be handy if you are doing some pretty intense work on the iPad. However, for the vast majority of more casual, recreational users of the iPad, it mostly causes consternation when you accidentally manage to turn it on! This recently happened to a friend of mine, and only when she sent me some screen shots did I realize she was in Slide Over mode.

If you are curious and would like to learn more about using Split View and Slide Over, here are a couple links that will show and tell you what it’s all about.

from Apple: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT207582

Cult of Mac: https://www.cultofmac.com/534731/how-to-use-split-screen-on-ipad/

iPhone Life: https://www.iphonelife.com/content/complete-guide-to-ipad-multitasking-split-screen-slide-over-picture-picture

But for the majority of us who find these features more trouble than they’re worth, it’s simple to disable the feature. You can always re-enable it in the future.

Briefly, you just need to go to the Settings app, then under the General tab (chosen on the left), depending on your iPad, tap on “Multitasking” or “Multitasking & Dock” on the right hand side of the screen. At the very top of this screen, turn off “Allow Multiple Apps”. That’s it!

Settings seqturn off multi

The following link, from iPhone + iPad Life Magazine, goes into detail for both the iPhone and the iPad:


How about you: are you using this feature, and if so, what do you find it useful for?

Are there topics you’d like to see covered on this blog? If so, let me know in the comments!

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Do Not Disturb

Do Not DisturbDo you make good use of the Do Not Disturb feature of your iPhone or iPad? I think it is too often overlooked, so let’s take a quick look at it today.

A friend of mine recently almost missed her 6:30 am event (a sunrise meditation) because her three live-wire young boys had worn her out the previous night, and she fell asleep before she had a chance to set Do Not Disturb on her iPhone. During the night her husband got tired of the notifications and buzzes, and completely turned off her phone! So no alarm in the morning. Luckily her toddler still got up before the sun and saved the day.

But this could all be avoided by setting a standard time for Do Not Disturb.

First, let’s be clear about what is affected by Do Not Disturb. In this mode, the phone will still collect all your alerts, but will do so silently. And only calls and notifications are affected — alarms will still go off as usual. But if you are worried about missing an important call, you can go to the Settings app and customize what happens with different phone calls.

To turn Do Not Disturb on and off on the spur of the moment, you can still use the Notification Center (swipe up from the bottom of the screen, or down from the upper right corner, depending on what version of iOS you are using).

But if you know you don’t want to be disturbed on any night from 10 pm until 6 in the morning, you can schedule that in the Settings app.

Do-Not-Disturb-iphone-hero_0So head over to the Settings app, scroll down to the Do Not Disturb section, and check out the options. Check out this article by iMore for all the details, including screenshots. And start getting some undisturbed sleep, without missing your important phone calls or your alarm!

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Transferring Data From an Android Phone to an iPhone

MoveToiOSAre you one of the many people who has owned an Android smartphone, and is now switching to an iPhone? Just upgrading from an older iPhone to a newer one can be very easy and straight forward. But switching your digital life between ecosystems, such as between Android and Apple, can be more daunting.

Apple offers assistance with the “Move to iOS” Android app. Yes, Apple has an app in the Google Play Store! This app will help you port your essential data from your Android phone over to your new iPhone.  (Note that there is also help for going from an iPhone to an Android smartphone, but that’s a topic for a different blog!)

The initial setup process on the iPhone can be quite easy, until you start wondering about all your data, such as contact lists, messages, and extensive photo collections.

So Apple helps with the app, “Move to iOS“.  While it won’t move everything you have on your Android over to your iPhone, it will take care of essential items, which may be considered some of the trickier items to shift.

move-to-ios-iphone-1-restore-screenThe Move to iOS app must be used at a specific stage of the initial setup process, so it’s a good idea to take a look at the links below, and plan ahead before you start the process. During setup of your iPhone, the iPhone will offer you four options: choose “Move Data from Android.”

This article from AppleInsider goes into more detailed information, including screenshots.

And this article from iMore includes explanations and a very nice video of the setup taking place, so you know what to expect. Nice!

Since I have been an iPhone user for a couple generations, I cannot tell you from personal experience how well it works. If you’ve tried it, what was your experience with it?

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Photos For You in iOS12

Photos For YouHave you updated your iPad to iOS12 yet? Are you a frequent user of the Photos app? Then you probably noticed some changes.  The most noticeable  is the new tab titled “For You.” It replaces the outgoing “Memories” and “Shared” tabs and combines both of those categories as well as additional content.

Briefly, this includes the following:

First up, at the top of this tab, is all the Shared Album Activity. I particularly noticed this, as it is where my family shares photos and conversations.

Below that is the Memories section, which has been there for some time.

Next is a new section called Featured Photos. The app has chosen these photos as ones it thinks are well done!

At the bottom are Sharing Suggestions. These are based on the people it recognizes in your photos! For example, we took many pictures on our last trip to the beach, including some of my husband. So it suggested I share with him all the photos from that trip.

For more information on all these parts of the new “For You” tab, visit this AppleInsider webpage. And if you would like to watch a demo, it includes a link to a YouTube video.

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Some Great Mobile Apps You May Not Be Using — Yet!


I have recently given a presentation about some apps that I find fascinating, and maybe you will too. Here is a link to the slides I used — they will be available for a short period of time.  What are your favorites?

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Does My iPad or iPhone Have Siri?

siri-ios71Siri is a great feature of Apple’s recent mobile devices and a preview of how we’ll be communicating with our devices in the future. But how do you know if you can use Siri on your particular iPhone or iPad (or iPod touch)?

Today we’re just concerned with finding out if a device supports Siri. But this article has all the basics including setup and usage.

Only the newer mobile Apple devices support Siri. In particular, the following have Siri built into them:

iPhone 4S or newer
iPad 3rd generation or newer
iPod Touch 5th generation

In addition, the device must be running with iOS 6 or later.

If you don’t remember all those numbers, you can just look on the device to see if Siri is there.

  1. Launch the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad or iPod touch.
  2. Tap on General.
  3. Look for Siri.  If it’s not there, this device does not support Siri.

Be sure and look thoroughly, as it is easy to miss that one line.

enable_siri_ios_7_howto1enable_siri_ios_7_howto1 copy

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