Wednesday, October 30, 2013

I Hate Those Small Smartphone Keyboards Don't You!

Not just because I have a vision disability but those phone keyboards are just too darn small wouldn't you agree? Either we have fat finger tips are we can't seem to focus on the letter we need but it sure is frustrating. What to do?

I use a different keyboard from the one that came with my phone. Yes, it's an Android phone and we can just go to the Google Play Store and get one--free or not. Don't worry you iOS people, there's help for you too.
I use A.I.Type Keyboard. It's FREE but there is a pay version ($3.99)  with a few extra features that I went ahead and purchased because I just love what this keyboard helps me with--I can SEE IT! There are lots of very good features with this app but I don't use most of them. What I like best of all is the ability to have larger keys and a very good contrast between background, letter and key face and A.I. Type Keyboard does this. The only setting I used is to make the keys a little taller so they are bigger targets. How cool is that!
Take a look below to see the original Android keyboard and then the A.I. Type Keyboard I use.

Standard Android Keyboard

A.I. Type Keyboard
Other features of the A.I. Type Keyboard include:
  • It will finish words as you type and it gets smarter as it learns what you say
  • Even if you mistype a word A.I. Type Keyboard will know what you mean and show the correct word. Be careful though as it might misunderstand you
  • You can change key colors or backgrounds to fit your style
For you iOS people (iPhone and iPad), you don't get a choice of keyboards. This is bad for many but good for most as it something you just don't have to worry about. The keyboard works and you just don't have to think about it. However, for any of you that might, there is a method to make your iPhone or iPad easier to see if those eyes just don't work the way they used to.
In iOS 7, go to Settings, General, then Accessibility. See the section to the right and make any appropriate changes to help you. Below is a screen shot of the selections I've made to let me see the screen better on my iPad.
You may want to look through the iOS 7 User Guide to see other Accessibility features for you iPhone or iPad.
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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

5 Technology Tips That WILL Help You

Or, things you thought you knew but didn't.

1. If you scroll down web pages, use the space bar...don't lift the mouse or pointer to the vertical scroll bar at the right. Tap the space bar to go down a page. Hold shift and tap the space bar to go back up a page.

2. Also on the web, make the text larger by holding down the Control key and hitting + to make the text larger. Hit the + again while holding the control key to go larger again. Hit the - along with the control key to make the text smaller. I use these daily because of my vision disability. Large text is necessary for me.

These work on every web browser. For the Mac, you might have to hold the Command key.

3. When typing on a mobile device (smart phone or tablet), don't switch between keyboard styles to get to a period at the end of the sentence and then capitalizing the next letter. Instead hit the period TWICE and it will do all three things for you! That's right, hitting the period key twice in succession will place a period, then a space and capitalize the next letter.

4. Google is for more than searching, folks. If you want to track an airline flight, type the airline name and then flight number and hit enter. Google gives you the status of the flight at that moment.

5. Google as a dictionary. Type the word 'define' and then the word and the definition appears. No need to hit enter. For instance, type the word bluetooth and see the definition.

Please share your tips in the comment box below.


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Now Where Is The iPhone/iPad User Manual?

I've written an article that reveals where the iPad/iPhone User Guide is hidden but, with iOS 7, they have changed the hiding place.

Apple makes a very good, well written and very easy to understand User Guide for the iPad and iPhone. I've used them many times and included screen shots in blogs. I strongly recommend having it available when you want to get quick and easy instructions.

Now that iOS 7 has been released for upgrade and will be included on the next versions of iOS devices, getting to the User Guide is very important. There are some great new features to iOS 7 that I like very much.


The new iPad and iPhone User Guides are now FREE books you view in iBooks. iBooks is Apples version of Kindle and found in the App Store. Don't worry--it's FREE and the User Guides are FREE too. A great advantage to the User Guide being in iBooks is that you have all of the advantages of iBooks and for me, with my vision disability, is just plain terrific. I can enlarge the text and see the guide contents without having to scroll from side to side as I would with a web page of a PDF document.

  1. Open the iBooks app and touch the Store button.
  2. Search for iOS 7
  3. Choose the one you want and download it to your iPad or iPhone

You can also download a PDF version of the User Guides too if you like. Go to this link.

If you haven't upgraded to iOS 7, the User Guides are a bookmark in Safari...the very last bookmark.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Photo Booth is a Fun Camera App for iOS

Having fun with your new found gadget is the ultimate for me and here's a FREE app I think you'll love to play around with it. It's called Photo Booth and it's actually included with your iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad Mini.

There are 9 effects you can apply to camera views where you then snap the picture. Those 9 effects are: X-Ray, Light Tunnel, Stretch, Mirror, Normal, Twirl, Thermal Camera, Kaleidoscope and Squeeze. Take a look at some sample pics and give it a try yourself. Just have fun. My favorite effects are Kaleidoscope and Twirl but I'm sure you'll develop your favorites too.

9 Views via the iPad

Android has a few similar apps and I especially like Effect Booth. FREE

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

A Cool Smartphone Compass with a Twist

I recently had the need for a compass and took a quick browse through the Google Play Store and found Smart Compass and gave it a whirl. Not only does it do the compass as expected but the compass is beautifully super imposed across the camera view. What a cool look and I liked it alot.
Smart Compass is for Android and FREE. There is a PRO version that has additional features and for only 99 cents.
Sure, iPhone has a preinstalled compass but I really like how Smart Compass works with the camera.

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