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Curiosity & Your Brain on Google

Are you a curious person? Dr. Daniel J. Levitin, cognitive psychologist and neuroscientist writes  in his book, Successful Aging: A Neuroscientist Explores the Power and Potential of Our Lives (Senior Tech Club will earn a small fee if you purchase this book from this link) Openness and curiosity correlate highly with good health and long life. Curiosity is a good thing...

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News & Nuggets Archives

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February 21, 2020Curiosity & Your Brain on Google

Curiosity & Your Brain on Google

by | Feb 21, 2020

Are you a curious person?

Dr. Daniel J. Levitin, cognitive psychologist and neuroscientist writes  in his book, Successful Aging: A Neuroscientist Explores the Power and Potential of Our Lives (Senior Tech Club will earn a small fee if you purchase this book from this link)

Openness and curiosity correlate highly with good health and long life.

Curiosity is a good thing and your smartphone is a tool that can support a  thirst for information.

There is more good news for the curious.

Today we search the Internet to search for information.  Many will “Google” in order to learn about a topic.  It’s a common approach for the curious.

Research coming out of the Longevity Center at UCLA suggests that searching the Internet is good for the brain. Internet searches exercise the brain beyond the exercise of plain reading.

Findings indicate that Internet searching appears much more stimulating than reading.

And the research report provided by Psychology Today, specifically calls out the benefit for older adults.

Older adults who are curious might be helping their brains when they search for answers.  And many will search using Google.

Doing a Google search in your Safari browser couldn’t be simpler.  You can enter your search terms directly into Safari address bar.

To help you with your Google skills, this week’s featured recipes provides notes and tips for using Google on your device. The recipe includes eight tips for getting more out of your Google searches.  For example, did you know that if you are expecting a package from UPS, FedEx or USPS, you can enter the tracking ID that you have received in an email directly to a Google search in order to learn delivery details.  You don’t have to go to the shipper’s website!

And as you use Google, smile a little at the thought that you might be helping your brain a little.  See, curiosity is a good thing.  

Featured Recipe

Can you Google that?Google is the defacto standard for searching the internet for information and content.  Although there are other search platforms available, searching with Google has actually been verbed as in "You can Google that."This nugget will show you the different and easiest ways to perform a Google search and present 10 tips that will take you beyond basic queries.  We want you to be able to take advantage of the vast wealth of information that is available on the… ....Continue Reading

This Senior Tech Club Recipe is normally only available to paid members of the club.  However in order to share across the community, we have opened it up for everyone’s learning. If you appreciate the learning opportunities we provide, consider a paid membership to support our efforts.  This link will give you a 25% discount on an annual subscription with the coupon code “nuggets.”

News & Events

Here are news and events on the Senior Tech calendar for the coming weeks.  Reply to this email if you want more information.

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Customizing the new IOS 13 Share Sheet
December 28, 2019Customizing the new IOS 13 Share Sheet

Customizing the new IOS 13 Share Sheet

by | Dec 28, 2019

One of the more visible changes that came with IOS 13 is the redesigned share sheet.  The share sheet is the screen that pops up when you press the Share icon in apps like Photos or Safari.

We have discussed Share previously as the source of several hidden functions that you can access from Photos or Web sites.  From the Share sheet you can print, copy, share and more.  We identified  some of these hidden functions in Nugget #N16 The Hidden Functions of Share.

With IOS 13, the core functions of the Share sheet have not changed.  But what has changed is the design and being able to customize the Share sheet.  For example, if when you are view photos in the Photos app, you frequently want to move a photo to an album, you identify that action as a favorite so that is is presented at the top of your Share action list.  It becomes available right under your fingertips at the top of your Share sheet, rather than having to scroll down a long list of options to find it.

This week’s features nugget will review the new Share sheet and show you how to customize the Share sheet by adding favorites to the top of the action list.  

 

Customize your Share Sheet for quick access to your favorite share functions.  Perfect for people who like to organize their photos into albums and want to put the Add to Album command at the top of the action list. 

Featured Nugget

IOS 13 includes a newly designed Share sheet. The Share Sheet is the collection of actions that become available when you tap the Share icon available in most of the common app. The new design provides easier access to the various actions and allows you to also include Favorite actions that are presented at the top of the… ....Continue Reading

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Have Fun Swiping the Quick Brown Fox - Exploring IOS 13 Quickpath
December 15, 2019Have Fun Swiping the Quick Brown Fox – Exploring IOS 13 Quickpath

Have Fun Swiping the Quick Brown Fox – Exploring IOS 13 Quickpath

by | Dec 15, 2019

For a minute, I’d like you to think about how your learned how to type.  For many of us that went to school in the sixties, this was a typing class.  

I learned to type in a year-long typing class where we not only learned how to type but also learned how to format and type letter, memos and term papers.  At the time, the typing class was considered a necessary prerequisite for attending college.  

My typing classroom was equipped with both electric and manual typewriters with the front row occupied by the newfangled IBM Selectric typewriters.  It was the latest innovation in typing.

 

Today, I’m introducing another newfangled typing approach that comes in IOS 13.  Apple calls it QuickPath but it is more commonly called swipe typing.  

The concept of swipe typing requires you to slide your finger across the keys of the keyboard rather than tapping each individual letter.  You lift your finger only between words.  As a person in one of my classes said, it is sort of the equivalent of using cursive handwriting on your keyboard where you slide and loop between the letters.  

It’s a typing approach that is easy to try and you can decide for yourself if it is right for you.    On your iPhone with IOS 13, your test requires no setup or app installation.  Just start swiping.  

Find more details in this week’s featured Nugget.

The world record for fastest typing of a text message was done using swipe typing!

Featured Nugget

QuickPath is the new typing method that comes with IOS 13. Use it to transform your… ....Continue Reading

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Don't answer calls from unknown numbers.
December 5, 2019Don’t answer calls from unknown numbers.

Don’t answer calls from unknown numbers.

by | Dec 5, 2019

It’s the first tip in the list of consumer recommendations from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for stopping unwanted Rococalls and texts.  (Click here for the full list

Don’t answer calls from unknown numbers. If you answer such a call, hang up immediately.

Calls from telemarketers and robocalls are running rampant.  We would just like it to stop.  

One of the best new features of IOS 13 won’t stop the calls.  But it will silence them. 

This feature is my favorite new thing in IOS 13. 

This week’s featured Nugget introduces you to Silence Unknown Callers.  The concept is simple.  When enabled, your iPhone rings only for calls from phone numbers in your Contacts, Mail, and Messages.  And even better, setup is easy. 

I hope it is also your favorite thing about IOS 13.  You’ll won’t be answering unknown callers.

 

Featured Nugget

Calls from telemarketers and robocallers are a problem for our community. IOS 13 offers a new function that will silence unknown callers and route them directly to voicemail. This Nugget will show you how to set this… ....Continue Reading

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Go to the Dark Side with IOS 13 - It's Just Cool
November 25, 2019Go to the Dark Side with IOS 13 – It’s Just Cool

Go to the Dark Side with IOS 13 – It’s Just Cool

by | Nov 25, 2019

One of the new features of IOS 13 is Dark Mode.  Dark Mode is the iPhone feature that will reverse the color palate of your standard iPhone apps and essentially give you white text on a black background.  Dark mode seems to be occupying the technology red carpet as one of the today’s hottest tech trends.  

There might be some benefits.  On phones with newer OLED screens (currently iPhone X, iPhone XS, and  iPhone 11 Pro,) Dark Model will save battery life.  It may reduce eye strain.  It is certainly less disruptive if you are reading your iPhone in bed next to your partner.  

But after reviewing some of the hard facts you might conclude that any benefits to health or cognition might be a little soft.  That’s OK.  How about if we just call it cool.  

And those of you who worked on green screen computers or terminals decades ago might shrug and say, “I’ve seen dark backgrounds before.”  Another case of what goes around comes around.  

In either case, try it out yourself on your iPhone or iPad.  Use the  Control Center to make it easy.  It is the topic of this week’s featured Nugget.

Featured Recipe 

Dark Mode is a new feature in IOS 13 where the background color is reversed. This Nugget will show you two ways to… ....Continue Reading

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Have a Trivia Party to Get More Comfortable with Siri
November 9, 2019Have a Trivia Party to Get More Comfortable with Siri

Have a Trivia Party to Get More Comfortable with Siri

by | Nov 9, 2019

A couple of weeks ago, I went to see the movie Judy.  The movie is about the legendary Judy Garland when she arrives in London in the winter of 1968 to perform a series of concerts.

The movie brought back a lot of memories. I remember watching the Wizard of Oz on television when it was an annual television tradition in the 1960’s. Before the movie Judy, I was not aware or had simply forgotten that Liza Minnelli was Judy Garland’s daughter. And then there was Mickey Rooney.  He had a small feature in the Judy movie and there were questions about his life.

Those questions are a perfect opportunity to use Siri to get answers.    Siri happens to be quite quite versed in movies, celebrities, sports and more.

So I  summoned Siri and asked, When did Judy Garland die?

How many husbands did Judy Garland have?

Where was Judy Garland born?

How old is Micky Rooney?

The curious will discover that Siri can readily answer a multitude of questions about celebrities, entertainment, sports and more.  This brings us to our Smart Tip:

Smart Tip for Siri

In working with our community, I find that many seem uncomfortable using Siri.  We understand.  It is frankly a little strange talking to your device! Our recommendation is to just start asking questions of Siri.  It’s perfect for the curious.  And a great way to get comfortable using Siri to not only get answers to your questions but to also make your life easier.  Start with questions and soon you will be using Siri to set alarms and timers.  make grocery lists and more.

Featured Recipe

Getting to Know Siri

If you use an iPhone or iPad you can get many things done faster and more easily using Siri.  Siri comes with many great functions. You can ask Siri questions, get directions, send text messages and emails, set timers and alarms, get recommendations and more. Best of all is is simple and only takes a little practice to master it.  And for Seniors who find it difficult to type on their device, it expands their capabilities. This recipe will get you going with Siri.

Access Note for this Recipe.

This recipe is normally a protected page only available to Senior Tech Club members.  However, anyone can access this lesson using the button below. If you get value from our lessons, please consider a membership in the Senior Tech Club.  .

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Secure your Devices - Biometrics are Best!
November 3, 2019Secure your Devices – Biometrics are Best!

Secure your Devices – Biometrics are Best!

by | Nov 3, 2019

The Senior Tech Club wants to provide information that will help keep you safe online and with your devices.  

One of the tips offered by the National CyberSecurity Alliance to help protect yourself and stay safe online is to make sure you secure your devices 

Here is the recommendation from their StaySafeOnline website. 

Lock your devices, like your tablet and phone: You lock the front door to your house, and you should do the same with your devices. Use strong passphrases or passcodes to lock your tablet and phone. Securing your devices keeps prying eyes out and can help protect your information in case your devices are lost or stolen.

Let’s start with a Passcode
Every iPhone should have a passcode.  A passcode will prevent someone from tacking your iPhone and access your personal data.

Then add Biometrics

All iPhones since the iPhone 5s have offered a biometric security tool.

Touch ID: If your iPhone has a Home button and is an iPhone 5s or newer, you can use a fingerprint to unlock your iPhone.
Face ID:  If you iPhone is an iPhone X or newer, you can use facial recognition to unlock your iPhone.

Using either approach is not only more secure but once you get used to the necessary action, will be faster and more convenient when you need to unlock them.  For example, are have a Kodak moment that you need to capture with your iPhone, Touch ID or Face ID will allow you to capture that moment more quickly.

This week, we offer two Senior Tech Club recipes to help with the setup of your security tools.  Both of these recipes are normally only available to Senior Tech Club members for as our final aide in recognition of National CyberSecurity Awareness Month (October) we will make them available to all.

We want you to secure your devices.  It is a smart tip!

Featured Recipe

Passcodes and Touch ID

 

The Senior Tech Club, we recommends two basic security approaches for securing your iPhone or iPad: Use a Passcode Set Up Touch ID This recipe will provide the steps to set up, change passcodes and set up Touch… ....Continue Reading

Featured Recipe

Face ID

 

The use of Face ID is recommended for both security and convenience. The setup is easy. This recipe will guide you through the setup and use of Face… ....Continue Reading

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Here are news and events on the Senior Tech calendar for the coming weeks.  Reply to this email if you want more information. 

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When in Doubt, Throw it Out
October 25, 2019When in Doubt, Throw it Out

When in Doubt, Throw it Out

by | Oct 25, 2019

It is our #1 security tip.  This comes not only from the Senior Tech Club, but from the National CyberSecurity Alliance where they say,

When in doubt, throw it out: Links in email, social media posts and online advertising are often how cybercriminals try to steal your personal information. Even if you know the source, if something looks suspicious, delete it.

Let’s start with Email

In 2018, Verizon published some staggering information that identified that 92% of malware is delivered by email.  Our response? 

When in doubt, throw it out. 

If you get an email in your inbox that doesn’t seem right or perhaps seems to good to be true, delete it.

 

 

Real Examples from Don’s Junk Mail Box

Your Spam/Junk folder in your Mail app is a scary place.  Most of your major email providers provide spam filtering which will hopefully prevent most of these scams and phishing emails from showing up in your inbox.

However, you have to be on the lookout. 

 

 

Text Messages

Our “When in Doubt, Throw it Out” mantra also applies to text messages that you receive in the Messages app.  And with the growth of mobile devices that can receive text messages, the number of bad people focusing on text messages is also growing.  

Here are some tips and recommendations from the Federal Trade Commission (full article) to help you with text message spam:

  • Delete text messages that ask you to confirm or provide personal information: Legitimate companies don’t ask for information like your account numbers or passwords by email or text.
  • Don’t reply, and don’t click on links provided in the message: Links can install malware on your computer and take you to spoof sites that look real but whose purpose is to steal your information.
  • Treat your personal information like cash: Your Social Security number, credit card numbers, and bank and utility account numbers can be used to steal your money or open new accounts in your name. Don’t give them out in response to a text.
  • Place your cell phone number on the National Do Not Call Registry.
  • If you are an AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, Sprint or Bell subscriber, you can report spam texts to your carrier by copying the original message and forwarding it to the number 7726 (SPAM), free of charge.
  • Review your cell phone bill for unauthorized charges, and report them to your carrier.

Real Examples from Don’s Messages App

How to Throw it Out.

There are two tips when you identify an email that you need to throw out.

Look for the Trash

Apps on your iPhone and iPad will consistently use the Trash icon for your delete action.

 

Here are examples in three of the apps installed on your iPhone.

You can consistently look for the Trash icon in your apps when you need to Throw it Out.

 

Delete from a List

In this week’s featured Tip/Nugget, we want to remind you that it is easy to delete mail, messages and more from a list by swiping left on the list item.  Please continue reading below for more details and examples.

 

 

Featured Nugget

 

Many of us like to keep things tidy.  So it is natural that we like to delete old messages, books, emails, notes, reminders and more from our iPhones and iPad. This nugget will uncover a common but hidden delete function that is often available when items are presented in… ....Continue Reading

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October 3, 2019There is NO Topic More Important than your Online Safety

There is NO Topic More Important than your Online Safety

by | Oct 3, 2019

Our community is often targeted by bad people.  The bad people we are talking about include scammers, hackers, phishers, and distributors of badware.  We want to fight back and we want to enlist your help.

October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM). Held every October, NCSAM is a collaborative effort between government and industry to raise awareness about the importance of online safety and to ensure that all Americans have the education and resources they need to be safer and more secure online.

The Senior Tech Club is an NCSAM Champion.  We are committed to helping you stay safe.   We will use the month of October to focus our weekly News and Nuggets email on topics and conversations that will help stay safe and secure online.  We will do this  as you continue to build your skills and confidence with your devices.  Every week in October we will share a tip, a nugget or information that will help keep you safe.

Keep a Clean Machine

Keeping your internet-connected devices free from malware and security holes makes the internet safer for you and more secure for everyone.There are several recommendations that come from the National Cyber Security Alliance on their StopThinkConnect.org site under the theme, Keep a Clean Machine.  

Here are two important recommendations for our community of iPhone and iPad users:  

1.  Keep your Software up to date.  With your iPhones and iPads, this means that you should try to keep your IOS (the software that runs your phone) updated to the latest practical version.  At the Senior Tech Club, we like to be practical about this.  We don’t encourage our community to be among the first to update to the latest version.  But after the dust settles, we encourage you to complete your updates.  We dedicate a page on our website to the latest recommendation.  This is our first featured nugget of this week’s email.

2.  Remove Unused Apps.  We recognize that with your iPhones, there is an app for everything.  Sometimes you install apps that you may not use or use only temporarily, for example an app used on a vacation.  It’s a good plan to keep your machine clean by removing unused app.  Our second featured nugget of the week will show you how.  

Our Recommendations to help you Keep a Clean Machine 

  • Update IOS Software
  • Remove Unused Apps

Featured Nugget #1

Featured Nugget #2

 

This Nugget provides a step-by-step review of the process to delete apps from your… ....Continue Reading

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Scan a QR Code to Rate my Postal Experience
September 5, 2019Scan a QR Code to Rate my Postal Experience

Scan a QR Code to Rate my Postal Experience

by | Sep 5, 2019

Last week I made a trip to my local USPS Post Office to mail an oversized envelope and to pick up mail that was on hold while we were out of town.  

The service was perfect and in a couple of minutes I had my mail in hand and had paid the charges for the envelope.

The postal clerk took the receipt and circled the QR code at the bottom of  the receipt and asked me to rate my experience.

“Absolutely” I said as I gathered my mail to head out the door.

You find QR codes pretty frequently on information signs, help wanted signs, in retail stores and more.  Last spring there was even a QR code on the bottom of my property tax statement offering information about how my tax dollars would be spent.

 

Scanning a QR code to access a website is a hidden feature of your iPhone or iPad since IOS 11.  All you do is launch the Camera app, point to the QR code and tap the banner presented at the top of the page.

This week’s tip features the online nugget that helps with this process.

And yes, I did give this experience a five star rating. 

However, I was a little disappointed that I had to identify the transaction date and location on the web site after scanning the code.  A QR code would have been capable of saving that typing also!

 

QR (Quick Response) code is a barcode first used in the automotive industry in Japan.  Now they are commonly used in consumer advertising as it eliminates the need to type a web address.  With your iPhone, just scan the code…

Featured Nugget

 

The iPhone camera can read QR (Quick Response) codes that you find on marketing materials, surveys and more. The process is easy and… ....Continue Reading

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Going Grocery Shopping with your iPhone
August 31, 2019Going Grocery Shopping with your iPhone

Going Grocery Shopping with your iPhone

by | Aug 31, 2019

Do you go grocery shopping with your iPhone?  I’m not talking about using your phone to make calls during your shopping adventure. Although I have to say that I’ve made dozens of calls back home for clarifications on my shopping trips.

I’m really asking about using your iPhone to create your shopping list using the Notes app.

This week, I’d like to take it one step farther.  Could you create your shopping list handsfree using Siri?

Picture yourself standing in front of your refrigerator with your iPhone in hand and saying the items that you need to purchase while Siri creates the note in the Notes app.  Later you read that same note as you walk the aisles in the grocery store.

It’s actually pretty easy and quite efficient.  

In this weeks featured nugget, you will learn how to use the Notes app handsfree so that you can create your shopping list.  Give it a try and pat yourself on the back for your accomplishment.

There are essentially two challenges to this grocery list challenge. 

  1. What is the Siri command to create a note?
  2. How to you tell Siri to put an item onto a new line?

This week’s Featured Nugget will help with both challenges.

Featured Nugget

 

You can create a note in the iPhone or iPad Notes app without using your hands or keyboard by using Siri. This is handy for quick lists or to capture a creative thought. This Nugget provides the Siri commands and approach to creating grocery lists and… ....Continue Reading

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Sharing the Magic of Share
August 29, 2019Sharing the Magic of Share

Sharing the Magic of Share

by | Aug 29, 2019

The Magic of Share!

There was a question in my class recently that had a very familiar answer.

The question…”How do you save a picture you receive in a text message?”

 

The solution is quite hidden and not obvious. But to make a point related to this week’s Nugget, let me ask a few more questions?

  1. How do you print a web page in the Safari browser?
  2. How do you place a photo in a custom Album you have created?
  3. How do you create a PDF file from a document in the Notes app?
  4. How do you AirDrop a photo to a friend who is nearby?

 

This point….The solution to each of these questions is identical!!

Tap Share

This week’s featured Nugget encourages you to explore the magic of Share and all that it can do in the apps on your iPhone and iPad.

When you have a question about how to accomplish a function in an app, consider the Share icon as the gateway to many of the things you need to do. Please read more..

Your iPhone apps will have many hidden functions that are accessed using the Share icon.  Given the number of options that are presented with Share it almost makes the function magical. 

Featured Nugget

Many apps on your iPhone or iPad use the Share/Action function. In some cases, apps have hidden functions or shortcuts that are accessed using the Share icon. It makes the Share icons somewhat magical. This Nugget will highlight some of those… ....Continue Reading

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Summertime Listening and Learning with Podcasts
August 2, 2019Summertime Listening and Learning with Podcasts

Summertime Listening and Learning with Podcasts

by | Aug 2, 2019

This summer might be a good time for you to explore podcasts and put this world of knowledge and entertainment in your hands. 

Podcasts are perfect for your summer road trip or relaxing vacations.  Or, on the flip side of relaxation, a podcast is a great diversion from traffic delays due to summer road construction. 

Or if if you already listen to podcasts, summer might be the perfect time to  explore new topics and new voices.

Podcasts are audio programs that are made available on the internet. They are downloaded to your computer or iPhone or iPad for playing anywhere or anytime.  They are great for learning and staying engaged with all kinds of topics.

Podcasts are becoming increasingly popular.  Why?

They are convenient and fit easily into our busy lives, especially portable using your iPhones.  Even if you only have a few minutes.  

They are personal by providing information of interest to you.  Prefer news? Documentaries? Hobbies? Politics? Comedy?  You’ll find a podcast that matches your interest.  

  • Over 60% of podcast listeners spend more time listening to podcasts than watching TV every week.

Because Apple is one of the major distributors of podcasts, using the Podcasts app on your Apple device is easy and convenient.   Simply launch the Podcasts app, browse or search for a podcast and play.  It’s easy  And the Podcasts app even works nicely with Siri.  “Hey Siri, Play podcast American Life.”

And best of all, podcasts are FREE and have limited commercial interruption.

This week’s feature Recipe will not only get you started but will also suggest a handful of popular, award-winning podcasts to get you started.  

Featured Recipe

 

Podcasts are audio programs that are made available on the internet. They are downloaded to your computer or phone for playing anywhere or anytime.  The Apple Podcasts app is the built-in tool for managing your search, subscription and playback of the podcasts that you… ....Continue Reading

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July 17, 2019Summer Travel Tips for iPhone Users

Summer Travel Tips for iPhone Users

by | Jul 17, 2019

Summer is the time for travel, not only for members of our community but families of all types.  If your summer plans include travel, you will be joining tens of millions of other travelers heading out to every corner of our nation and the world.  

Your iPhone is an essential part of your travel gear.  You will use it to stay connected, take photos, stay in touch with the news, read some good books and help you find the way.  And losing your iPhone would put a big damper on your fun. 

So what can you do to keep your phone secure?

The National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) offers several tips for people traveling with phones.   First and foremost is simply securing your devices.  It is important to remember that any device, whether laptop, phone or tablet should never be left unattended. Try to keep your devices with you.  If you are staying in a hotel, the best thing to do is lock them in a safe.  Or if a safe is not available, lock them in your luggage.

NCSA also recommends that you enable specific actions and functions on your iPhones and iPads.  

Set up the “find my phone” feature on your devices. This will allow you to find, remotely wipe data and/or disable the device if it gets into the wrong hands. 

This is a topic that we explore at the Senior Tech Club site and is this week’s featured tip.

Here are travel scenarios where the Find iPhone function on your Apple device may save your vacation.  

Travel Situation How the Find My Phone function can help
While shopping in several stores, you accidentally leave your phone behind in one of the stores. Place your lost iPhone on a map so that you can return to the location.
You leave your iPhone in an Uber car Send a message to the lock screen of the phone with return instructions.
You lost your iPad in your hotel room Play a sound on your device to help locate it.
Your iPhone was stolen on a subway Use Find iPhone to wipe the contents of the phone and place an activation lock on the phone to prevent it’s use.

You don’t need another Apple device with you to perform these functions.  Once they function is set up, you can perform all of these actions by signing into your iCloud.com account on any hotel,  coffee shop or even a borrowed computer.  

In this week’s Tech Tip, we will feature “Find My Phone” found in Nugget # N14 where you can learn how to activate the functions and get started.

Featured Nugget

 

The Find my Phone app provides maps and tools that will help you find a lost phone whether it is lost in your house, left at some other location or even stolen while traveling. Nugget #14 will show you how to enable Find My Phone and get you started with it's… ....Continue Reading

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May is Older Americans Month - Let's Connect and Create with Shortcuts
May 13, 2019May is Older Americans Month – Let’s Connect and Create with Shortcuts

May is Older Americans Month – Let’s Connect and Create with Shortcuts

by | May 13, 2019

In celebration of Older American Month, we will share and explore shortcuts.  A shortcut is defined as an accelerated way of doing or achieving something.  And your iPhone and iPad offers dozens of shortcuts that are not just nice to know but are fun to use and share.  This ranges from keyboard shortcuts, widgets, actions and even a new Shortcuts app.

Every week this month, we will share a shortcut that you can use to save time and effort.

May is Older Americans Month – Let’s Connect, Create & Contribute

In May, the Senior Tech Club will focus on Shortcuts that you can use on your devices.  These shortcuts will help you use your device to connect, create and contribute.  

Every May, the Administration for Community Living leads our nation’s observance of Older Americans Month.

 

This week, we will share the idea of Keyboard Shortcuts.  A Keyboard Shortcut will save time and taps as you type text messages and emails.   

 

Read more below…

Featured Nugget

Do you have a common phrase that you find yourself texting frequently?

Or is there a common closing that you add to your emails?

If you do, you can create a keyboard shortcut that saves time and typing. By creating a shortcut you can turn turning a couple of characters, e.g. “gm” into a commonly-used phrase like, “Good Morning.”

This Nugget will show you how to create and use Keyboard Shortcuts.

 

Read More…

News & Events

Below are the news and headlines from the Senior Tech Club.  This includes events and items of note from the Club.

Here are the highlights:

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Digital Spring Cleaning Underway - Offload Unused Apps Automatically
April 22, 2019Digital Spring Cleaning Underway – Offload Unused Apps Automatically

Digital Spring Cleaning Underway – Offload Unused Apps Automatically

by | Apr 22, 2019

During this month we have been looking at some functions that you can use to help with your device spring cleaning.  Not only are these tips helpful to keep our device tidy and organized, but are also good for your safety and security.  The National Cyber Security Alliance and the Better Business Bureau encourage us to do a digital declutter this spring.  They offer a Tip Sheet to help with that effort.

Do a Digital Declutter This Spring

The National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) and Better Business Bureau (BBB) are encouraging all consumers to freshen up their online lives by conducting a thorough cleaning of their cyber clutter.

In April, the Senior Tech Club will offer tips that will help with your digital spring cleaning.  Let’s make it an annual ritual to help protect your personal data.

In our tips from previous News and Nuggest emails this month we have recommended:

Week 1 Nugget #20 Swipe Left to Delete from a List

Useful when you are cleaning up text messages, emails, notes and more.  Just swipe left to remove items from list.


Week 2 Nugget #35 Deleting apps from your iPhone or iPad

When you have apps that you no longer use, this Nugget and demo video shows the easy steps to deleting apps.


This Week’s Tip

This week, we will share another storage-saving Nugget about how you can save storage by having your iPhone or iPad automatically offload unused apps while still preserving that apps data.  Read more below…

Featured Nugget

If you use apps and take a lot of pictures and video, you may find the your iPhone storage becomes depleted.  This will prevent you from taking pictures, installing new apps and even upgrading your IOS software.

There is a capability that started with IOS 11 that will automatically offload apps that are unused and restore the storage that they use.  Best of all it is easy and will happen automatically once setup.

 

Read More…

News & Events

There are multiple events on the Senior Tech Club calendar in the coming weeks.   Here are some highlights:

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Swipe left to delete a note from the Notes list
April 4, 2019It’s the Perfect Time for Spring Cleaning – Here is a Tip to get your started.

It’s the Perfect Time for Spring Cleaning – Here is a Tip to get your started.

by | Apr 4, 2019

Many of us grew up with the annual tradition of spring cleaning.  In many houses this is where the really deep cleaning would occur as the household was beginning to appreciate warmer spring weather.  I’m sure many Senior Tech fans can tell stories of spring cleaning traditions.  

You can also do spring cleaning on your iPhones and iPads.  In fact, the National Cyber Security Alliance and the Better Business Bureau are encouraging you to do a digital declutter this spring.  They offer a Tip Sheet not unlike the checklist that you might have with your home.

The tip sheet recommends that you: 

Clean up your email:  Save only those emails you really need and unsubscribe to email you no long need/want to receive. 

Let’s start with a tip for cleaning up emails, notes, text messages and more.  In fact, this week’s featured Nugget is a tip that you can use to delete many device elements that are presented in a list.  It’s as simple as swiping left.  

Do a Digital Declutter This Spring

The National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) and Better Business Bureau (BBB) are encouraging all consumers to freshen up their online lives by conducting a thorough cleaning of their cyber clutter.

In April, the Senior Tech Club will offer tips that will help with your digital spring cleaning.  Let’s make it an annual ritual to help protect your personal data.

Featured Nugget

Many of us like to keep things tidy.  So it is natural that we like to delete old messages, books, emails, notes, reminders and more from our iPhones and iPad.

There is a common but hidden delete function that is often available when items are presented in lists.  Simply swipe left on the item that you want to delete.

Swipe left to delete a note from the Notes list

Tap the button below to read more from this Nugget and where this spring cleaning tip can be used.

News & Events

There are multiple events on the Senior Tech Club calendar in the coming two weeks for members and fans living in the Twin Cities area.  Here are some highlights:

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Save $$$ Watching YouTube Videos
March 27, 2019Save $$$ Watching YouTube Videos

Save $$$ Watching YouTube Videos

by | Mar 27, 2019

I can honestly say that I have saved hundreds of dollars by watching YouTube videos.  Not a bad deal!!

A recent example was when my automotive repair shop quoted me $80 to replace the cabin air filter in my Prius.  After searching and watching a YouTube video (< 4 minutes), I ordered the part from Amazon (about $9) and had the replacement in place in about 15 minutes.  My savings was over $70 and a scene that I have duplicated multiple times.

This savings is one reason why I believe that gaining some facility with YouTube is a Senior Essential.  It offers so much including News, Entertainment and of course, Learning.

Even though watching a video on YouTube is FREE, I think it’s also  important to understand how YouTube (owned by Google) makes money.

 

Then there are other essential skills and knowledge.  Do I really need to log in?  Do I need to install the app on my iPhone or iPad to take advantage of the platform.  How do I search for a video.

These are all questions that we answer in this week’s featured Recipe #440 YouTube Video Basics.

 

Featured Recipe

Recipe #440 will give you the basic skills you need to understand and use YouTube for news, entertainment and learning.

Click below to read the entire recipe.

Read more of this Recipe

Additional Information

The Senior Tech Club has covered social media tools extensively.  Here are additional Recipes and Nuggets for members that wish to pursue additional and/or advanced information on the some of your favorite social media platforms:

 

Senior Tech Club Recipes and Nuggets on Social Media pltforms:

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Spotlight Search Bar
March 12, 2019Revisiting Spotlight Search

Revisiting Spotlight Search

by | Mar 12, 2019

Spotlight Search on your iPhone or iPad is an awesome resource.  And this week I learned a couple of new capabilities that I wanted to share.  

Spotlight Search is the search function that you access by swiping down from the middle of your home screen.  See the featured nugget below for a more detailed description about accessing the search function.

The most prominent element of the Spotlight Search function is the Search bar at the top of the screen.   So what can you type (or dictate if you use the microphone next to the space bar on the keyboard) into the search bar?  That is the surprising thing about spotlight search.  You can make so many types of requests.  New for me this week included:

  • Getting the current temperature without launching the Weather app.  Simply type (or say) “current temperature.”
  • Calculating a tip at a restaurant without launching the Calculator.  Simply type 29.67 * .2 (if the service was good.)
  • Locating a nearby business without launching Maps.  Simply type “Target.”

Spotlight Search Bar

These search capabilities are in addition to the one search function that I use every week.  That is, finding an app on the iPhone.  It might be an app that is buried in a folder on some screen and you simply type the name of the app into the search bar to find and launch it.  There are just a couple of apps that I use occasionally that I wouldn’t be able to find without scanning Home screens.  

Get more ideas about Spotlight search in our Featured Nugget below.  

Featured Nugget

Have you ever lost an app on your iPhone.  You’ve scanned all of your Home screens and just don’t see the app that you know is on your iPhone.  Or you have simply lost a document, marked location, text message or something else on your iPhone or iPad.  IPhone Search may be the answer.

The Search function on your iPhone gets results from your apps but also from the Internet, from  Maps and Contacts and more.

NAMING CHALLENGE

Most of the experts and resources call this function Spotlight Search.  But when you view Apple documentation, they just refer to it as iPhone Search.  In this Nugget, we’ll show you what it can do and you can call it what your want!.

 

Read More…

Get Started with a FREE Trial Membership

We have affordable membership plans that will offer ongoing and affordable learning from the Senior Tech Club.  

However, if you have questions, the best way to get a feel for the club is to sign up for a FREE trial membership.  

Hey Siri...How Old is Glenn Close?
February 25, 2019Hey Siri…How Old is Glenn Close?

Hey Siri…How Old is Glenn Close?

by | Feb 25, 2019

It seems that we Seniors can sometimes be obsessed with how old someone is.  Maybe we are comparing.  Maybe we are applauding the accomplishments of “older” people.

Regardless of the reason, when Joan and I are sitting and watching award shows like Sunday night’s Oscar awards show, you will likely hear us ask Siri about someone’s age.  Last night it was Glenn Close and Bette Midler.

So it goes like this, “Hey Siri (or optionally press and hold your home button.)  How old is actress Glenn Close?

That’s it.  It’s really simple.  In the process, Siri will lookup the answer and provide the answer verbally and present a little snippet of biographic information on your screen.

 

 

Smart Tip: Success with Siri

We propose that there are two keys to success with Siri once she is summoned:

  • Be succinct in your request.  Make it commend-like.  And despite your upbringing, please and thank you are NOT helpful.
  • Practice, practice, practice  

Featured Recipe

 

In Recipe #012 Getting to Know Siri, we cover the topic of Siri quite extensively.  You can learn about Summoning Siri, setting up “Hey Sir” and we provide a list of the 15 most useful Siri commands.  If you become addicted to SIri, we also have a catalog of over 200 Siri commands including a list of some of the new additions that accompanied IOS 12. 

Read More…

Walk for your Heart - Get Support from your iPhone
February 7, 2019Walk for your Heart – Get Support from your iPhone

Walk for your Heart – Get Support from your iPhone

by | Feb 7, 2019

February is National Heart Month. That makes February the perfect time to take the steps you need to help your heart.

We also will start the month of February to explore the ways you can use your iPhone to support your healthy efforts. In this post, we will discuss walking and how your Health app can support your efforts.

 

 

The Benefits of Walking

The benefits of walking as an activity for seniors are frequently stated and the praise for walking as an older-adult activity is universal.

If you need convincing, consider taking the AARP Quiz: What Can Walking Do For You? No login is required and you get immediate feedback on your answer. Give it a try! You might find the answers surprising.

How does my iPhone help?

The American Heart Association (AHA) is an enthusiastic advocate of walking and has published a pamphlet called Walking 101 where they provide 10 tips to get started with a walking plan. Of the ten, three are directly supported with the tracking capabilities of the Health app that comes standard on your iPhone.

AHA Tip: Wear a step-counting pedometer.

Use your iPhone’s Health app as an Activity Tracker to track your steps, distance walked and stairs climb. Yes, you do have to carry your phone but aside from that limitation, it makes a great way to get started. As the AHA proposes, “ Counting your steps will encourage you to increase your activity. “ It’s that simple.

Activity Tracking in the Health App

AHA Tip: Set Specific Goals.

The AHA proposes setting specific goals is a good way to motivate your activity. They propose, “Start with small goals that are easy to attain, such as walking 15 minutes, and then gradually set higher goals.” With the Health app helping you track your activity, you have better insight into your success and progress.

Set Goals using Activity Trends in the Health App

AHA Tip: Write it down.

The AHA keeps it simple.  The Senior Tech Club will help make it automatic.  They promote “Keep a personal walking log. Simply writing down how long you walked, how far and how you felt can help you track your progress and reach your goals.” The Health App will do all of this automatically.  Check the Nugget below for more details.

Health app automatically logs all activity data with more detail than you would likely need.

Featured Nugget

USING YOUR IPHONE TO TRACK STEPS AND EXERCISE

Learn how to access the activity tracker on your iPhone with Nugget #33 Use Your iPhone to Track Steps and Exercise.  Additional details about the tracker can also be found in Senior Tech Club Recipe #118 – How to Use the iPhone Health App – It Could Save your Life! (Membership Required)

 

Read More…

Additional Information

The Senior Tech Club has covered the Health app in other posts and recipes.  Here are additional Recipes and Nuggets for members that wish to pursue additional and/or advanced information on the app:

 

Senior Tech Club Recipes and Nuggets on the Health app:

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Walk for your Heart – Get Support from your iPhone

by | Feb 7, 2019

Content here

Featured Recipe

Additional Information

The Senior Tech Club has covered the Camera and Photos apps extensively.  Here are additional Recipes and Nuggets for members that wish to pursue additional and/or advanced information on the Camera and Photos apps:

 

Senior Tech Club Recipes and Nuggets on the Camera and Photos apps:

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St Anthony Senior Tech Time Winter 2019
January 9, 2019St Anthony Senior Tech Time Winter 2019

St Anthony Senior Tech Time Winter 2019

by | Jan 9, 2019

During the winter session we are taking our St. Anthony Senior Tech Time classes down two separate tracks. In these tracks we can provide topics for all skill levels. The tracks include:

  1. Core Track – We explore and learn about essential iPhone and iPad skills including working with your device, calls, messages, email and camera. All of the topics have been updated with new features of the last version of IOS.
  2. Advanced & App Track – We explore apps for our IOS devices We will explore social media, learning and entertainment and more.

Winter-Spring Classes

The monthly sessions are independent. You can attend one or attend all as time allows. Each session includes featured topics and additional time to explore your questions and other news.

Month Core Topics Advanced & App Topics
Jan January 15: Manage your device including ringer, touchscreen, control center and calls. Learn every day routines. January 17: Social Media including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. What are they and how can you participate at a level that is right for you.
March March 19: Camera and Photos. We will cover the iPhone Camera app and tools in the Photos app to manage and edit your photos. March 21: Learning and entertainment with Youtube. Searching the web with Google and using other web resources like Wikipedia and Yelp
April April 16: Stay connected using text messages, email, FaceTime and the contacts app. April 18: How to listen to music (free and paid options) and podcasts. Read books and explore some popular games

Note: There are no classes scheduled during the month of February.

Between sessions, you will have access to the resources found on the SeniorTechClub.com website. There you will find lessons specifically developed for Seniors. Use the online site to catch up and explore other topics.

What should you bring? Your curiosity, questions and your iPhone and/or iPad.

$5 per session.  All proceeds goes to the St Anthony New Brighton School District 282.

Call the Community Services office (612-706-1166)  to register for any session.

Community Services Online Registration Site

Think  You Can't Take Great Photos with your iPhone
January 6, 2019Think You Can’t Take Great Photos with your iPhone

Think You Can’t Take Great Photos with your iPhone

by | Jan 6, 2019

Check out this collection of iPhone photos from the iPhone Photography School if you have any doubts about whether you can take good photos with your iPhone.

The 100 Best iPhone Photos Of 2018

The photos are beautiful, stunning and downright inspiring!  Thanks to the iPhone Photography School for sharing!

Enjoy!

Additional Information

The Senior Tech Club can help get you started with your camera and photo skills.

 

Senior Tech Club Recipes and Nuggets on the Camera and Photos apps:

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Concerns About IOS 12.1.2 - I'm Waiting
January 2, 2019Concerns About IOS 12.1.2 – I’m Waiting

Concerns About IOS 12.1.2 – I’m Waiting

by | Jan 2, 2019

Apple released IOS Version 12.1.2 on December 20, 2018.  However, following the release, these headlines have caught my attention.

 

IOS is the software that runs your iPhones and iPads.  As much as I like IOS updates and the new features and fixes that they bring, I do not want either of us to face issues that are not uncommon with software releases.

So when I saw these headlines last week, I immediately went to check my Automatic Update settings for IOS. I wanted to confirm that Automatic Update was OFF.

My second action was to update and share the following two Nuggets:

  1. Current IOS Version Recommendation
  2. How to turn Off Automatic IOS Updates

These Nuggets are summarized below.

Featured Nugget #1

At the Senior Tech Club, we read and follow Apple tech news so that you don’t have to.  We’re happy to curate the news about updates, apps, trends and more.  This allows us to give good advice about your devices. 

In that mission, I created a new Nugget that provides our current IOS recommendation.  Nugget #032 Current IOS Version Recommendation is where I will make a Senior Tech Club recommendation about the latest IOS update.   I will update this Nugget to keep it current as we get new information and updates. 

For IOS Version 12.1.2, I recommend that you WAIT until we get more information or a fix.  You can read more about this recommendation with this Read More button.

Featured Nugget #2

The Senior Tech Club does not recommend the automatic update of IOS.  As tempting as it might seem, do you really want to be among the first to experience potential issues?   However, after an update has been tested by the marketplace, we’re fully in favor of the new features and security of the updates.  

This Nugget will show you how to ensure that IOS Automatic Updates is turned off so that you have control and that you are not subject to the issues that occasionally accompany these updates.

The Senior Tech Club has covered IOS upgrades and versions extensively.  Here are additional Recipes and Nuggets for members that wish to pursue additional and/or advanced information:

 

Senior Tech Club Recipes and Nuggets on the Camera and Photos apps:

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December 14, 2018Improve your iPhone Photos with the Rule of Thirds

Improve your iPhone Photos with the Rule of Thirds

by | Dec 14, 2018

I’m not a good photographer.  And when it comes to iPhone photography, even though I have a pretty good understanding of what our iPhone camera can do, this doesn’t guarantee good photos.  I have bad habits especially when it comes to setting up the photos I take.  Most photographers think of this as composition.    

But this week’s tip is about one particular bad habit that many amateur photographers have, that is, centering your subject.

Photography experts recommend that generally do not want to center your subject in a picture.  Instead consider the Rule of Thirds where you divide your image into thirds.  Imagine a grid like this.

The composition idea is to place your subjects one the lines or intersections of the grid.  For example, if you are photographing a person position their eyes at the blue dots.  If you are photographing an outdoor scene, put the horizon at one of the horizontal lines.  The basic idea is that this positioning adds balance and interest to the photo.  

This week’s Featured Nugget will highlight the rule of thirds and show you how your iPhone can help with your Rule of Thirds positioning. 

 

Featured Recipe

In photography, the Rule of Thirds (Wikipedia) provides a tried and true guideline that photographers use to compose better photos.  The rule proposes that instead of simply centering your photo subject, you divide your image into thirds and place your subject at the intersection of those divisions.  

Notice how the tree and horizon are aligned with the grid lines. You can have gridlines on your camera screen to assist you. (Wikipedia Photo)

  If you want to learn more about the rule of thirds and how your iPhone can help, click the button below to Read More.

Read More…

Additional Information

The Senior Tech Club has covered the Camera and Photos apps extensively.  Here are additional Recipes and Nuggets for members that wish to pursue additional and/or advanced information on the Camera and Photos apps:

 

Senior Tech Club Recipes and Nuggets on the Camera and Photos apps:

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November 29, 2018Organize your Favorite Photos for Holiday Gatherings – A Brag Book using Favorites

Organize your Favorite Photos for Holiday Gatherings – A Brag Book using Favorites

by | Nov 29, 2018

It’s inevitable at holiday gatherings.  Phones come out of pockets or purses.  Photos are taken.  Photos are shared.  

There are questions like, “Do you have a picture of your grandchildren?” or “Have any pictures of your trip to the coast?”

The Photos app has a simple feature that allows you to quickly create a photo album that is similar to the old-fashioned brag books that people used to carry.  It is called the Favorites album.

In 5 to 10 minutes you can mark a dozen photos and have your brag book ready for holiday gatherings.  This week’s featured lesson provides the details.

 

Featured Recipe

Remember Brag Books?

The Photos app has a simple feature that allows you to quickly create a photo album that is similar to the old-fashioned brag books that people used to carry.  It is called the Favorites album.  This Senior Tech Nugget will show the process.

Read More…

Additional Information

The Senior Tech Club has covered the Camera and Photos apps extensively.  Here are additional Recipes and Nuggets for members that wish to pursue additional and/or advanced information on the Camera and Photos apps:

 

Senior Tech Club Recipes and Nuggets on the Camera and Photos apps:

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Do Not Disturb - My Favorite New Feature of IOS 12
November 21, 2018Do Not Disturb – My Favorite New Feature of IOS 12

Do Not Disturb – My Favorite New Feature of IOS 12

by | Nov 21, 2018

I attended a concert on Sunday and it clarified that my favorite new feature of IOS 12 is the set of improvements to Do Not Disturb.

My normal routine if I go to a concert or movie is to use the slider switch on the left side of the iPhone to silence the ringer and put the iPhone on vibrate.  In fact when the phone is in my pocket having my ringer on vibrate tends to be my normal routine.  My iPhone is on vibrate mode a lot.

However for this concert I wanted to try out a new Do Not Disturb feature that seems perfect for concerts, movies and church services.    As I was taking my seat in the theater, I pulled up the Control Center, and pressed and held on the crescent moon Do Not Disturb icon and chose Until I leave this location.  This action would suppress all calls and notifications until I leave the theater.

It worked perfectly with no embarrassing notifications during the concert.  And as I was walking about a block away from the theater after the concert, I glanced at my iPhone and saw that Do Not Disturb was off.

You can learn about all of the features of Do Not Disturb with this week’s featured recipe, Recipe #105 – Sleeping and Driving with your iPhone – Exploring Do Not Disturb.

Top Ten IOS 12 Features and Tips for Seniors
November 16, 2018Top Ten IOS 12 Features and Tips for Seniors

Top Ten IOS 12 Features and Tips for Seniors

The latest version of Apple’s iPhone and iPad operating system, iOS 12, is out. At the Senior Tech Club we generally like IOS updates as the new software usually brings new features, improvements and fixes.  This is true with IOS 12.

The purpose of this Senior Tech Nugget is to summarize the best new features and tips for IOS 12 for Seniors.  We try to identify the features that are most relevant to our community.  For example, unlike many reviews of IOS 12, we don’t talk about Animojis or Memojis!  I’m not seeing many in our community looking for this capability.

So what are we expecting?  Here is our top ten list of the best features of IOS 12 for Seniors:

1 Control Center

If you follow the Senior Tech Club or have taken any of our classes you know that we are fans of the Control Center.  It is an essential control for your device.

With IOS 12, the Control Center function very similar to what we saw in IOS11.  However, access to the Control Center has changed for some devices.  For example, devices that no longer have the home button or iPads require you to swipe down from the upper right part of the screen in order to retrieve the Control Center. 

New Custom Functions

There are also some new custom functions that have been added to the options including Scan QR Code and Voice Memos.  Add them to the Control Center by launching the Settings app.  Tap Control Center, Customize Controls to view additional icons that can be added.

See  Senior Tech Recipe #103 – Using the Control Center for Quick Access to Essential Functions for more details.

2 Typing – Touchpad

With IOS 12 you can use the keyboard as a trackpad to move the cursor. Press and hold on the keyboard and the letters will disappear and the keyboard convert to a trackpad.  Move your finger up, down, left and right on the keyboard area to position the cursor.  Once the cursor is positioned you can edit existing text.  

  1. On iPhone 6 and earlier models, you need to press and hold on the spacebar to get the trackpad.
  2. On iPhones 6S and newer, you can press and hold anywhere on the keyboard to get the trackpad.

Review Senior Tech  Recipe #202 – iPad Typing Tips for Seniors for more tips to improve your typing.

Grouped Notifications

Do you get a stream of notifications from social media, News and other apps that are constantly filling your lock screen?  With IOS 12, notifications are grouped into sources that will make it easier to review and manage.

From your home screen, swipe down from the top of the screen to access the Notifications Center.

On the Notifications groups:

  • Swipe left to manage and clear
  • Swipe right to open the group.

Do Not Disturb

Do Not Disturb has been expanded to include Do Not Disturb functions that are terrifically appropriate for meetings, movies and events.  Previously Do Not Disturb has been either on or off and there was a risk that you would turn on Do Not Disturb and forget to turn it off.

Access the new functions from the Control Center by pressing and holding on the Do Not Disturb (crescent moon) icon.  The new functions will display.  They allow you to determine the length of time your device is in Do Not Disturb mode.  These additions are terrific enhancements to Do Not Disturb. 

Review Senior Tech Recipe #105 – Sleeping and Driving with your iPhone – Exploring Do Not Disturb for this and other Do Not Disturb capabilities including Bedtime and Driving.

5 Siri Enhancements

We are big fans of Siri.  And IOS 12 includes a number improvements that start with new commands and new knowledge pools. 

New Commands

  • Flashlight On/Off
  • Find My iPhone
  • Find Pictures (from today) (custom album) etc.

More knowledge

There is a deeper knowledge pool about celebrities and food.  Examples:

  • Where was Keith Urban born?
  • How many calories in a cup of skim milk?
  • Who leads in NASCAR?

Create Siri Shortcuts

Siri Shortcuts are app functions that you associate with a custom Siri command.

In the Settings app, Tap Siri & Search, All Shortcuts

Browse the possible shortcuts.

Add to My Shortcuts by tapping the + sign and recording a Siri command.

Need more examples of using Siri?  The Senior Tech Recipe #12 – Getting to Know Siri has an extensive list of Siri commands.   Have fun with Siri!

Voice Memos

Your device has had Voice Memos app for some time.  However, it wasn’t great.   Voice Memos with IOS 12  has been redesigned. Check it out if you want to record a quick note, lecture or music snippet.

Launch the Voice Memos app and simply press the record button (Red Circle)  to record audio.  Press the same button (Red Square) to end the recording. 

The recording is saved with the name asspcoated with your location (Location services must be turned on).   New Recording or the name of your location, if Location Services is turned on. 

Change the name of the recording by tapping the recording, then tap the name and type a new one.

Tap the three dots to access additional functions including:

  • Edit Recording –  trim the recording with the trim function
  • Duplicate – make a copy of the recording.
  • Share – Share your recordings with the Share icon via Messages, Email or AirDrop.

See the iPhone User Guide – Voice Memos for more instructions about using Voice Memos

7 Measure app

IOS 12 includes a new Measure app this provides two basic functions for do-it-yourselfers.  Use it to measure the dimensions of an object and use it as a level when putting up pictures or shelves.  It could be handy.

Measure

The new Measure app (iPhone 6s and later)  will provide two methods for measuring an object or distance.

  1. Automatic Rectangle – when a square or rectangular object appears in the camera, a yellow square is placed around the item.  Tap the yellow frame to grab the measurements
  2. Manual – place the white dot on one of the item you wish to measure and press +.  Move the dot to the other end of the items and press + again to capture the measurement.  You can even measure the dimensions of a room by placing the first white dot as you stand along one wall and then walking to the opposite wall before pressing the dot again.

Apple proposes that  the measurements are approximations.

Level

Open the Measure app. (On iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, and iPhone 6 Plus, open Compass instead.)

Tap Level found at the bottom of the screen. (On older iPhones, swipe left in the Compass app)  then hold iPhone against an object, such as a picture frame.

Move the object and iPhone until you see green and 0 percent.  This indicates level.

Photos

The Photos app has new approaches for organizing, sharing and searching photos.  Here are some key points:

  1. Your custom albums are now prominently displayed at the top of the display.  Tap  My Albums to access.
  2. The former albums for Videos, Selfies, etc are stored under Media Types.  Much less intrusive but yet available.
  3. People & Places are better organized.
  4. Search is expanded given an Icon at the bottom of the main Photos app.  Tap Search to find Moments, People, Places or Common Categories. You can also search for categories like Tractors,Water, etc.  You can even enter multiple categories.
  5. For You  is a personalized collection of your Memories, Albums, Featured Photos, and Sharing.

For more information on using the Photos app, review Senior Tech Recipe #453 – Organizing your Photos with Albums.

 

 

Screen Time

In a new feature that may be perfect to parents with teenagers, you can get a view of how your use your device in the Screen Time reports.

Launch the Settings app.  Scroll down until you find Screen Time.

  • Tap Screen Time
  • Tap your device name for a breakdown of the time you spend in various apps.

For Seniors the report is an interesting way to review how you spend your time on your iPhone including how many times you pick up your phone and more.

 

 

 

10 Best Element of IOS 12 for Seniors

At the Senior Tech Club, our mission is to help Seniors with their iPhones and iPads.  As such, a concern that many have when faced with a major update is about their skills.  Will they be required to relearn how to perform everyday tasks?

The answer is NO.  When you look at everyday tasks like making phone calls, sending texts and emails and managing your devices, your existing skills will serve you well.  We dislike when we have to take two steps backwards when asked to move forward.

This may be the best IOS 12 feature of all!


Looking for information on the upgrade process?  Review the following:

Senior Tech Recipe #014 – How to Perform an IOS Software Update

Senior Tech Recipe #013 – What Version of IOS am I running?

Additional Information

The Senior Tech Club proudly presents Recipes and Nuggets that have been referenced in this article:

Referenced Senior Tech Club Recipes and Nuggets

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Are Your Smart about Online Security?
October 30, 2018Are Your Smart about Online Security?

Are Your Smart about Online Security?

It can be a scary online world out there.  And I’m not talking about Halloween scary.  I’m talking about scary scams, fraud, the dark web and stolen identities.

In addition to being scary, this topic can be pretty geeky and technical.  As such, we appreciate when we find a good resource that can help our community learn and increase awareness about online security.

At the Senior Tech Club, we feel that there is no topic more important than sharing about online safety.  So we wanted to share a favorite resource.

The AARP Fraud Watch Network does a nice job of reminding us about online safety and help us become better online citizens.  AARP membership is not required in order to use the resources of the network.

On the site you will find article about current fraud trends, tips and more.

Consider getting started by taking their online security quiz.  It’s easy, there are only eight true and false questions.  It’s non technical and you get immediate feedback on your answers.  At the end you will get a final score.

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) and the Senior Tech Club is proud to be a NCSAM Champion.

Each week in October, the Senior Tech Club will feature Nuggets and Recipes that will help you protect your personal data and safety.

Take the Quiz

Tap or click here or on the image below to access the quiz.

 

Summary

How did you do?

 

If you were a little disappointed in the results, consider taking the quiz a second time with your newly learned information about your online safety.

 

Additional Information

The Senior Tech Club proudly presents Recipes and Nuggets on security and related topics:

Related Senior Tech Club Recipes and Nuggets

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Back It Up - It only takes 5 Minutes to Make it Automatic
October 26, 2018Back It Up – It only takes 5 Minutes to Make it Automatic

Back It Up – It only takes 5 Minutes to Make it Automatic

Let’s make two important points.

  1.  You should backup your iPhone.
  2. The Senior Tech Club can help make it easy and automatic.

Why should I backup?

The National Cyber Security Alliance on the StaySafeOnline.org,  proposes that backup are a key element of your online safety.

These days, our digital devices contain vast amounts of data, from family photos and music collections to financial/health records and personal contacts. While convenient, storing all this information on a computer or mobile phone comes with the risk of being lost.

Data can be lost in several types of incidents, including computer malfunctions, theft, viruses, spyware, accidental deletion and natural disasters. So it makes sense to back up your files regularly.

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month and a great time to make sure your digital life is secure and backed up.  The Senior Tech Club is proud to bring you  tips and insight on how to make this easy.

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) and the Senior Tech Club is proud to be a NCSAM Champion.

Each week in October, the Senior Tech Club will feature Nuggets and Recipes that will help you protect your personal data and safety.

Why not make it automatic?

In Senior Tech Recipe #404 – How to use iCloud to Expand and Optimize Storage we state this Smart Tip:

The recipe goes on to provide the simple instruction to turn on your automatic backups. The Step-by-Step makes it easy, about 5 minutes.

 

You May Need More Storage

Please recognize that the default iCloud storage capacity that comes with your device for free may not be enough.  Here is another Smart Tip:

 

Summary

In summary, the tip from the Senior Tech Club is to use iCloud back ups to automatically backup your device and stay a little safer online.  It can be very easy.

Additional Information

The Senior Tech Club proudly presents Recipes and Nuggets on security and related topics:

Related Senior Tech Club Recipes and Nuggets

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IOS 12 Update - Log and Impressions
October 16, 2018IOS 12 Update – Log and Impressions

IOS 12 Update – Log and Impressions

I’ve upgraded my personal iPhone 6 to IOS 12.0.1.  After I wrote, IOS 12, I’m Interested by Remind me Later, I waited only a few days for the release of 12.0.1.  I let the rest of the marketplace offer their opinions about the fix and on October 15 I decided to do the update.

This post will log that event.  Over the next couple of weeks, I intend to log my impressions, discoveries and activities associated with the update.  I do this in order to help others that may be embarking on this path.

October 17 – Exploration

I did not see the same battery drain on morning two of my exploration.  Thank goodness.

 

October 16 – Fast Battery Drain

One of the first discoveries was that after I uplugged my phone from its overnight charging, I went about my normal morning routine.  And when I sat down in my office about 6 AM, I noticed that my battery capacity had drained to 32%.  This was all without really using the phone.  I decided not to panic as I had heard about initial battery drain as the IOS update causes some updates and index activity.  I plugged my phone in for charging.  I will monitor to see what happens on this issue tomorrow.

Pleased that my everyday functions for making calls and sending text messages did not change.  No new skills required for the most basic functions.

Launch the Books (formerly iBooks) app to check out what was new.  There is a new Library, Book Store and support for Audiobooks.  I’ll be checking this out later.

 

October 15 – Time to Update

I was monitoring a few of the sites where the marketplace is able to review the latest discoveries.  I decided that the time for the update was here.

I actually followed the recommendations of the Senior Tech Club Recipe #014 How to Perform an IOS update and made sure that I had a good backup available in iCloud and was plugged in to my charger and on WiFi.

The update took about 15 minutes and my phone came alive with the new version of IOS and there were no initial concerns.

 

October 11 – Facebook Post – Forbes review of the IOS 12.0.1 update

This was a Facebook post to the Senior Tech Club page were I linked to an article on the Forbes web site that recommended waiting before updating.

 

October 1 – IOS 12 I’m Very Interested But Remind Me Later

This was the post that I wrote where I acknowledged the IOS update but decided to wait for a fix release before updating.

 

 

Simple Recipe to Create Strong and Memorable Passwords
October 12, 2018Simple Recipe to Create Strong and Memorable Passwords

Simple Recipe to Create Strong and Memorable Passwords

Passwords are important and represent the only wall between bad people and your money and life.

In my work with Seniors, I’ve also discovered that passwords can be a challenge.  When I ask people to use their Apple ID’s, I see a number of responses ranging from “I don’t know” to little scraps of paper where passwords are written.

I also see all kinds of common sense rules are not being applied.  So I wrote Recipe #010 Strong Passwords for Safe Data which, borrowing an approach from security experts, recommended using a passphrase to create a strong password that could be adapted in order to create unique passwords for different needs.

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) and the Senior Tech Club is proud to be a NCSAM Champion.

Each week in October, the Senior Tech Club will feature Nuggets and Recipes that will help you protect your personal data and safety.

As I explored links, tips and recommandations provided me as a Champion for the National Cyber Security Awareness Month, I came upon a tip sheet on passwords provided by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.  The recommendations were simple and easy to consume

Good News!!  Recipe #010 will allow you to check off their recommendations as DONE.  It does this with a formula that uses a favorite song lyric as a passphrase.

Do you have a favorite song lyric?  One that you will never forget?

  • Round round get around, I get around – Beach Boys
  • Yesterday, all my troubles seem so far away – Beatles
  • This is Ground Control to Major Tom – David Bowie
  • You are the sunshine of my life – Stevie Wonder
  • Mary had a little lamb, little lamb, little lamb – Traditional

Simple Tips

Provided by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.  (Document link)

✅ Make your password eight characters or longer.

✅ Use a long passphrase.

✅ Don’t make passwords easy to guess.

✅ Avoid using common words in your password.

✅ Get creative.

✅ Unique account, unique password.

Senior Tech Club Recipe

Refer to Senior Tech Recipe #010 Strong Passwords for Safe Data for complete instructions about creating easy to remember but unique and strong passwords for all of your needs.

Summary

In summary, the tip from the Senior Tech Club is to pick a favorite song lyric as your base, add a handful of changes and additions and you have a strong password that is also unique and most importantly, easy to remember. 

Additional Information

The Senior Tech Club proudly presents Recipes and Nuggets on this topic:

Related Senior Tech Club Recipes and Nuggets

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Be Good Digital Citizens - October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month
October 6, 2018Be Good Digital Citizens – October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month

Be Good Digital Citizens – October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month

 

 

We Seniors, unfortunately, are frequent targets to fraud and scams of all types.  But we are fighting back by improving our digital citizenship and online safety.

In that mission, we will take the month of October to learn and focus on online safety and good cybersecurity.  October is the 15th annual National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM).  The event is a month-long focus on online safety co-led by the National Cyber Security Alliance and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

As a NASCAN Champion, the Senior Tech Club believes that there is no topic more important than your online safety.  To support that focus during the month of October we will share practical advice on securing your device, protecting your privacy and increasing our awareness of common scams.  We will office the best practical advice from organizations like National Cyber Security Alliance, AARP Fraud Watch Network and more.

To get us started, let’s share two recipes from the Senior Tech Club catalog about securing your device.  Securing your device is an important step to becoming a good digital citizen.

Related Senior Tech Club Recipes and Nuggets

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IOS 12 - I'm Very Interested but... Remind Me Later
October 1, 2018IOS 12 – I’m Very Interested but… Remind Me Later

IOS 12 – I’m Very Interested but… Remind Me Later

We are getting regular notices on our phones that we can upgrade to IOS 12.  You can also see this if you access General, Software Update on the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad.

Software Update Reminder

IOS 12 is the IOS update that was announced in June 2018 and was just released to the public on September 17, 2018.  Many people are anxious to start using its new features.

There are a number of benefits that I’m seeking from the update.  I’m excited for better performance, more Photos features, improved Siri.  Also, Apple suggests that a future IOS 12 update will also include group FaceTIme.

However…

I’m an old IT guy.  It’s always been common practice in the computer industry that you don’t upgrade computer software on the first release of a major update.  The common practice was to wait for a fix release before you do that update.

I’m waiting for the next fix release before I update.  As I monitor what the marketplace is saying via social media about IOS 12, I see a few small bugs and some concerns about battery life and more.  Although not major flaws, these concerns are just enough for me to say, “Remind me later.”

This is in reference to the option that you are presented when asked if you wish to upgrade.  When you see this screen with the passcode, it is important that you do NOT enter your passcode but tap on Remind me Later on the bottom.  If you enter your passcode, you are giving permission to update tonight. (I did this once by mistake and woke up the next day with an unintended update!)

I’m certain that I won’t be waiting long.  Maybe a couple of weeks.  We can be patient.

Additional Information

The Senior Tech Club proudly presents Recipes and Nuggets on IOS and IOS updates.

Senior Tech Club Recipes and Nuggets on IOS

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Live Longer by Reading Books
June 27, 2018Live Longer by Reading Books

Live Longer by Reading Books

by | Jun 27, 2018

When I was in high school, almost 50 years ago, I read a lot.  But I have to confess, I didn’t always read the books I was assigned.

I liked George Orwell and Upton Sinclair.  I had a hard time getting into Mark Twain. There is a long list of classics like Moby Dick, Homer and dozens more that I avoided.

But recently, I learned there is evidence that we should all rediscover the habit of reading.

Why?  Because we might live longer!

 

 

Did you know that  if  you read books for about 30 minutes per day you might live longer.  In fact, according to a 12 year study at Yale University, the benefits of reading books are surprising.  The 2016 study which was published in Social Science and Medicine was based on data from over 3,500 individuals over age 50.

The most definitive quote from one the study’s authors, Becca Levy, a professor of epidemiology and psychology at Yale.  She said, “Older individuals, regardless of gender, health status, wealth, or education, showed the survival advantage of reading books.” 

Readers who read books about 30 minutes per day could expect to leave 23 months longer than people who did not read books.

Readers of books seem to be more connected and engaged.  Levy indicates, “More questions need to be answered, but we know that reading books involves two cognitive processes that could confer a survival advantage: the slow, deep immersion needed to connect to content; and promotion of empathy, social perception, and emotional intelligence.”

So you say, “I don’t read a lot of books but I read newspapers and magazines.  Do I live longer?  There was some association to longer life but the correlation was weaker.

How does the Senior Tech Club help?

Your iPhones and iPad provide you a variety of tools to support your reading habit.  At the Senior Tech Club, we have created multiple recipes to support the habit.

We also have a bias toward free or affordable books and offer recipes where you can borrow ebooks from your local library or download classics from the Gutenberg Project.

So maybe it’s time to start your trek to a longer life.  Or perhaps you are feeling a little guilty about the books you didn’t read in school.  Regardless, the Senior Tech Club is ready to help.

Here is the list of the Senior Tech Club’s recipes that focus on ebooks.  Now get out and enjoy some books and plan to live longer.

 

 

Summer Class Series: Things You Didn’t Know your iPhone Could Do
June 1, 2018Summer Class Series: Things You Didn’t Know your iPhone Could Do

Summer Class Series: Things You Didn’t Know your iPhone Could Do

Many people use their iPhones to make calls, send text messages, check emails, take a few photos and occasionally search the Internet for information. However, our Apple iPhones are amazing devices and offer so many useful features that are largely hidden from everyday users. And every new release of software adds to that feature list.

In this series of summer classes, you will learn about hidden features that are found on your iPhones. You will get to know Siri. You will learn new strategies and shortcuts for communication and controlling your device. You will learn about the incredible capabilities of the camera that you carry in your pocket. And you will learn new about iPhone’s capabilities to improve Health and Safety and your life.

Bring your iPhones, your curiosity and your iPhone questions to the class. Each two-hour session will include learning, demonstration and hands-on exploration of select hidden features and time for Q&A and sharing. It is your chance to ask those nagging questions and learn how others are using their iPhones. Each class features different topics and students can attend one or all sessions as different topics will be explored in each class. The class will also provide online access to materials on the featured topics so that you can continue to learn and explore after the class.

Class Date Featured “Hidden” Topics
June 6 6:30 to 8:30 PM Command and Control including Siri, Control Center and iCloud Tips
July 10 6:30 to 8:30 PM Health, Safety, Books and News including Medical ID, SOS, Security and using your iPhone to read books and news.
August 7 6:30 to 8:30 PM Hidden capabilities of your iPhone Camera. Includes tips for getting a photo quickly, exposure and focus and taking time-lapse, slo-mo and panoramic pictures.

Registration – Call the St Anthony Community Services at 612-706-1166.

Online at www.isd282.org/cs

This class is taught by Don Frederiksen, founder and principal of the SeniorTechClub.com, the online club that helps Seniors stay connected and engaged by learning, sharing and exploring technology. This summer class is for adult iPhone users of all ages.

Take a Tour with this Map of Puerto Rico
March 14, 2017Remember Maps?

Remember Maps?

A recent trip that my wife, Joan, and I took got me thinking about how our Maps apps on our iPhones have transformed driving and navigation. Of course, many of us grew up using paper maps.

When I think of classic maps there are several memories that I’m sure I share with many of you. Here is a short list of map memories:

  1. A map was an essential planning tool for a driving trip to a new area. You would spend time plotting out the route from point A to point B. The family vacation was a significant planning exercise.
  2. For a family vacation, you might go to your local AAA office to order a triptik where the route planning was completed for you and assembled into a bound booklet. The online TripTik of today doesn’t have the same charm as getting that package of booklets in the mail on the week before your family vacation.
  3. A driving vacation required a driver and a navigator (roles usually filled by Dad -driver and Mom – navigator. The role of navigator was to have the map on their lap calling out turns and directions. Arguments could ensue if the navigator was slow to announce an exit or miss a turn.
  4. You would try to keep maps in the glove box of your car. If you were caught on the road without the necessary maps, you would have to stop at a gas station to pick one up. At one time, you could get those maps for free from the major oil companies like Phillips 66 or Texaco. Later, gas stations started to charge for those maps. Has anybody tried to find a map at a gas station recently?
  5. Every year, the family would try to score new state road maps from the Minnesota State Patrol booth at the Minnesota State Fair.
  6. Folding a map was a skill. A nicely folded map would last a long time.
  7. If you needed help with directions, the gas station was your first stop. They would gladly interrupt their mechanic work to give your directions to a nearby location.

Today, the classic map has been replaced either with the GPS in your car or a Map app on your iPhone.

Senior Tech Club Tip:

Update your iPhone software to IOS version 10.x in order to take advantage of the latest Apple Maps app. It compares nicely to other maps in the market, namely other good apps like Waze and Google Maps. It is a complete map that will help you find locations, businesses, landmarks and get directions. Best of all it works with Siri as no other map app can

This upgrade is an STC recommendation for iPhone 5 and later.

See the Senior Tech Recipe STR-103 Finding Places with the Maps App for coaching and information on the Maps app.

Safe travels,

Don

 

Seniors - A User Community not Well-Served
January 19, 2017Seniors – A User Community not Well-Served

Hi, I’m Jimmy. How can I help you?

In our opinion, Seniors are not well-served by the consulting services offered by our retail computer stores.

Let’s imagine that you, as a Senior, finally gets the courage to walk into the big retail store that offers to show how how to get your pictures from your iPhone transferred to Walgreens so that you can order prints for some of your friends.  The store promises to assign you to their brightest and best consultant.   You register and sit at the table, patiently waiting while  watching all of the young people around you exploring the store’s technology.

Soon, a young man (boy) walks up and introduces himself as Jimmy.  You thought the handshake was a little limp for a professional.  Nevertheless, you describe what you want to learn.  He says, “No problem” and in 30 seconds has taken your iPhone, enabled iCloud and hands the phone back to you.  “Problem solved” he proclaims.  “Just stop into your Walgreens store to pick up your prints.  You can pay for the prints in the store.”  He then hands you a bill for $75.

Were you needs well-served?

Or in another situation as depicted in this ad for Ally Bank, you wait for children or grandchildren to visit.  I don’t mind showing you the whole ad because it hits so close to home for many people’s situation.

[embedyt] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3UnYPtSnOJY[/embedyt]

 

 

Seniors helping Seniors stay connected and engaged with technology.

A core principle of the Senior Tech Club is that we will create or find help materials with the unique needs of Seniors in mind.   We also will provide a community where other Seniors can respond to questions and comments.  Seniors helping Seniors is a key principle of the Senior Tech Club.

Check this out on any of our free content and then join us.

 

The iPhone is 10 Years Old!
January 11, 2017The iPhone is 10 Years Old!

The announcement came from Apple this week to remind us that the original iPhone was released on January 9, 2007.

It caught on!  Big!  It set a new standard for a device called a smart phone.  In a very short amount of time,  millions had all converted from our single function flip phones.

I joined that bandwagon in 2009 with my purchase of an iPhone 3gs where one of my first memories was using it to help this Minnesota farm boy navigate the New York City subway system.  I was hooked and I haven’t ever seriously considered going in another phone direction.

At the Senior Tech Club, we feel that the iPhone represents a Smart choice for Seniors due to its features, function, support and stability.  While the features and functions of the iPhone continue to advance, we also like that many of the basic controls (notice the Home buttons below) have not changed across ten years.

 

 

And it will keep changing.  As stated by Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “iPhone set the standard for mobile computing in its first decade and we are just getting started. The best is yet to come.”

Let’s celebrate a little for Apple and also recognize what Apple’s innovation has and will continue to bring to our lives.

 

 

 

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