Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Santa's Bag - A Simple To Use Christmas List Yet Packed With Features

Santa's Bag is a Christmas list app for the iPhone that is simple to use but feature rich for those that do serious Christmas shopping and are serious about their lists and commitment to staying on track and organized.

Credit: Clay Pot Software

Santa's Bag, created by Clay Pot Software, LLC, does a terrific job of being simple to use, easy to see (perfect for my vision disability) and full of views and organization capabilities for those with very large Christmas shopping lists.

Credit: Clay Pot Software

There is no need to type names into the app as it can import those from your address book. You can do things such as set budgets, create wish lists, shopping lists and even track gifts that have been purchased but not wrapped or shipped.

Credit: Clay Pot Software

Santa's Bag is FREE and designed for the iPhone but I love using it on my iPad so I can see things easily.  I'm beginning my second year using Santa's Bag and I've already checked to see what we purchased last year to make sure we don't repeat any gifts. Now if Santa's Bag could estimate grand children's growth in clothing sizes.

Credit: Clay Pot Software

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

iOS has 845 Emoji Smiley Faces and Symbols to Enhance Your Emails and Texts

Have you ever seen those smiley faces on emails or text messages and I don't mean thesebasic ones like (-;. I mean cute and colorful smileyor frowning faces. These are called Emoji (pronounced ē - mō - gē) and you can add an Emoji keyboard, with as many as 845 emoji symbols, to your iPad or iPhone.

Go to Settings , General, Keyboards and choose AddNew Keyboard. From here you can see the myriads of international keyboards iOSmakes available but look for Emoji and touch it. Touch the blue <Keyboard togo back and you are done.

Access theEmoji by touching the World symbol at the lower left of the keyboard.

The CLOCKkeyboard shows the most recently used emoji symbols. The next is the SMILEYFACE keyboard.

Fantasticuh! It doesn't stop here though. By swiping to the left you will see many moresmileys and other symbols.

Now choosethe FLOWER symbol at the bottom to see the next group of emoji--Animals! Andthere are 4 screens of animals and other symbols.

Select theBELL to various holiday and other emoji. Wondrously there are 7 screens ofemoji here.

Click theCAR to see the 4 screens of travel related emoji.

Lastly, try the SYMBOL to see the wide variety of numbers and directionalsymbols--all 7 screens of them.

That's a whopping 28 screens worth or 845 Emoji toenjoy.

What awonderful way to spice up you texts and e-mails from your iPad or iPhone. Thenshare this with your kids and grand kids to show them how smart you are.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Google Maps for iOS is HERE for Your iPhone or iPad

The great news is that Google Maps is a universal app, which means it works perfectly well for iPhone and iPad utilizing the features of the iPad, not just the larger screen. It's FREE and works very, very well, including "verbal turn by turn directions" which does not work for Apple Maps.

Apple replaced the Google Maps app for their own app when iOS 6 debuted September 19, 2012 (yes, over a year ago!) to much criticism as there were many errors when displaying some areas. See links below showing many really bad situations. In fact, Apple President, Tim Cook wrote a letter of apology for the many problems and promised fixes as quickly as possible.

Google Maps was a very mature app that had gone through many upgrades throughout it's lifetime. Google acquired a company owned by two Danish brothers and introduced Google Maps in 2005. That is many years of evolving and improving. Unfortunately Apple introduced their maps but NOT based on Google mapping data and it didn't go well.

What was most frustrating was that Apple replaced Google Maps and people couldn't just put the old Google Maps app back in. Everyone was stuck with a poor product. Google got to work and produced Google Maps for iPhone that worked quite well.

Google Maps for iOS integrates fully with Google Earth which delivers very good 3D views although Apple Map's 3D view is a bit better in my opinion.

To be fair, Apple Maps has been fixing bugs since it's release last year but I strongly believe Google Maps was better a year ago, and still much better now. Don't settle folks.

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This blog is at www.TabletGrandpa.com

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

6 Little Known Siri Capabilities

Siri is one of the more fun yet useful features of Apple's iPhone and even the iPad. Wikipedia says

"Siri is a personal assistant and knowledge navigator which works as an application for Apple Inc.'s iOS." 

Siri can create reminders when you get to Work or when you get Home. Siri can remind you to do something when you get home or when you get to work. Of course, Siri needs to know who you are and where home and work are. Open Settings, General, Siri. Tap My Info and select your contract entry. Make sure you contact has your home and work address. Include your birthday in the contact and Siri will wish you a genuine happy birthday each and every year. Now Siri knows you.

Now you can say to Siri, "when I get home, remind me to  take out the trash". Likewise, when you can tell Siri "when I get to work, remind me to submit today's report".

NOTE: this works on the iPhone or an iPad that has GPS.

It's fun to show off Siri but it's not always easy to remember what to show. Here are a couple of easy examples of Sir's usefulness.

Siri is really, really good at showing off it's knowledge of sports scores. Ask Siri, "who won the latest [insert team name] game?" Siri shares some colorful commentary at times too.

Ask Siri "what is a good steak restaurant close by?"  Siri searches the web and lists a few places and might share  an unknown.

Sometimes Siri doesn't pronounce names correctly. If this is the case, say "that's not how you pronounce that." Siri will ask which work it pronounced wrong and you can teach it to say it right.

Now, if you want to have a little fun with Siri, ask her. Try a little "smack down" and ask Siri about Google Glass. To Siri, say "OK Glass" (this is how you begin talking to GoogleGlass, their upcoming head wear from Google) and listen to the response. Then epeat "OK Glass" a second, and third time. Siri gives you the same answer. But, when you ask a fourth time, Siri gets a little testy with her responses. Say "Google Glass" again and again.

Oh, and did you know you can now change the gender and country of origin for Siri? Go to the Settings app, General, then Siri. Feel free to change the Language or Voice Gender.

Oh, and if you are an Android person, try a Free siri type app there called "Andy".