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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New Touch ID Rules

touchIDDo you use the Touch ID fingerprint sensor  to unlock your iPad or iPhone?  It certainly is a handy feature to keep your device secure with a passcode while still making it fast and easy to unlock your device. If your device has the Touch ID feature (and all newer mobile Apple devices do), then I’d suggest you use it.  It’s easy to set up — just go to the Passcode section of the Settings app, and follow along as they guide you through the fingerprinting procedure. Using the passcode still remains an option whenever you like, but the Touch ID is fast and secure.

Apple has always required that you use your passcode rather than your Touch ID in certain cases.  But have you noticed it happens more often lately?  That’s because they’ve added a new “rule” to the iOS Security Guide  for times the passcode is required.

The 6 rules are as follows, as quoted from the 9TO5Mac site (the new rule is highlighted):

The passcode can always be used instead of Touch ID, and it’s still required under the following circumstances:

  • The device has just been turned on or restarted.
  • The device has not been unlocked for more than 48 hours.
  • The passcode has not been used to unlock the device in the last six days and TouchID has not unlocked the device in the last eight hours.
  • The device has received a remote lock command.
  • After five unsuccessful attempts to match a fingerprint.
  • When setting up or enrolling new fingers with Touch ID.
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Use the iPad Keyboard as a Trackpad!

quicktype-swipe-iPad-iOS-9Have you ever been frustrated while trying to edit text using the iPad’s on-screen keyboard?  Using the magnifying glass to position the cursor was an improvement over not being able to move the cursor at all, but it still wasn’t very helpful.

With iOS9, Apple has added an awesome feature — using two fingers, you can turn your keyboard into a trackpad! Just touch two fingers down on the keyboard: the text on the keys will disappear and the keyboard will be greyed out.  You are now in trackpad mode!

The key to making this work is to be sure your fingers are a little distance apart — like maybe an inch — rather than touching, as they appear in the above photo. I had given up on making this feature work, until I read that hint! So spread those fingers!

Another hint — I have never seen it documented, but in fact, you can place your two fingers in the text area and move them around to move the cursor.  I find this easier than putting them over the keyboard, which sometimes starts selecting text, rather than just moving the cursor.  If in fact you do want to select text, tap once (with the two fingers) to select a word, twice to select a sentence and three times to select a paragraph. This post on  iMore will give you further details on all these features.

For me, easily moving that cursor is sweet enough!

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How to Re-Enable All-Caps on Virtual Keyboard

iOS 9 Keyboard

I was looking forward to the new keyboard feature in iOS 9 — the one that made it clear  whether you were typing in upper or lower case by displaying the correct case on the keys. I thought this was such an elegant solution to the problem of not being sure if you were in Shift mode or not.  But guess what?  Now that I’ve used it, I’m not so fond of it!  The switch between upper and lower case on the screen is distracting, and there seems to b a lag before the change is made.  I’m going to give it a little more time to get accustomed to it.  But if you are ready to switch back to the old look, Apple has a setting for that!

lowerCaseKeysGo to the Settings app, choose General, and then Accessibility. Scroll down to Keyboard and select it.

The first option under “Software Keyboards” is Show Lowercase Keys. This is turned on by default in iOS 9, but you can easily turn it off.

Now all is back to the old, familiar keyboard!

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Quick Tip: Take a Photo with the Volume Up Button

how_to_take_photo_volume_up_button_screensI recently was talking to Theresa, one of my iPad students, and she mentioned she missed a photo opportunity because it was so cold!  Here in the northeast US we’ve had a very cold February. Theresa had the scene all set in her Camera app, but when she tapped the screen to take the photo, nothing happened!  Her dry, cold finger would not register a tap on the screen. But wait! You can also take a photo by pushing the physical volume up button on the side of your iPad (or iPhone or iPod touch).

So whether it is the cold, or just a situation where tapping the screen is difficult, remember that volume up button. And as an added bonus, if you have a headset with volume controls, you can plug those in and use the volume up button on the cord. This lets you set up the iPad and then actually step away to snap the photo. I find this handy when I want to be sure my iPad is perfectly steady — no blurry pictures for me!

For more on this and other tips for taking photos, see this article from iMore.

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