Tuesday, January 21, 2014

23 Mobile Things - Thing 2 - Mobile Device Tips

Thing 2 is all about Tips and Tricks for your mobile device(s).  I chose to focus on my iPhone 5s.

First I watched the "iOS7 Hidden Features - Top 10 List" video.  I learned several things from the video.

Safari Shared Links
Safari Shared Links allows you to quickly see, and route to, recent links that have been shared on your Twitter feed.  This tip gave me a little trouble.  I followed the video instructions by opening Safari, clicking on the Bookmarks icon and then the @ symbol for Shared Links.  My screen was blank...nothing found.  To trouble-shoot, I went to my Settings to be sure that my Twitter was connected.  It was.  I repeated the process to get to my Safari Shared Links.  Still empty.  It was only after I turned off my phone's WiFi connection that my Safari Shared Links showed up.  When I was having trouble, I was connected to the Elk River High School Secure WiFi. When I tried this using our home WiFi, there was no problem.  I am guessing that the school district has something blocked, but I am not sure.

Time Stamped Texts
When viewing a text message, by sliding your screen to the left, a time stamp for each entry appears.  Being able to see a time stamp on all of your texts is interesting, but I am not sure why I would need this.

CONFESSION TIME:  I have had my iPhone 5s for over a year and have never used Siri until now.  Good thing I am learning 23 Mobile Things!

I was excited to meet Siri:
Me:  "Hello, Siri!"
It didn't surprise me that Siri's pronunciation of my name, Zoma, was a little weird.
Me:  "That's not how you pronounce that."
Siri then directed me to pronounce my name and gave me several audio options to choose from for the best sounding pronunciation.  She then made sure she was saying my last name correctly, too.  Pretty considerate for a computer!

Once Siri and I got aquainted, I decided to try asking her to do an Image Search.  Since I am a photographer and there have been a lot of snowy owl sightings in my area, I asked:
Me:  "Show me images of snowy owls"
Siri's image search defaulted to Bing.  The results were fine, but, like the video instructtor, I prefer Google image searches.  So I tried a different approach:
Me:  "Show me Google images of snowy owls"
The results were similar, but I am happy to know how to do both searches.

Siri's Bing and Google Image Search

I also decided to change Siri from a female to a male voice.  This was done in Settings-General-Siri-Voice Gender.  I think that a name change would be in order, but perhaps Siri is like Val, a gender-neutral name.  I do, however, think that the male Siri pronounces my name better.

Siri's Twitter Search
My next task for Siri was a Twitter search.  I selected a Twitter account that I follow and asked:
Me:  "What is ISD 728 saying?
Siri searched and then displayed the current tweets from my school district.  Pretty cool.  On these polar vortex days, this may be handy for checking on school delays or closures.

Compass/Level App
The video also had a couple of tips on apps.  First up was the Compass.  I have used the compass before when playing in the woods, but learned from the video that after you open the app, if you slide the screen to the left, it becomes a  level!  Again, not sure when I would need this, but it's nice to know it's available.  By the way, my desk is 2 degrees off of level.

I was happy to learn that with iOS7, an unlimited amount of apps can be placed in a folder.  This is a wonderful improvement!  Happy, happy, happy!

After viewing the video, I read the article, "iPhone 5s Tips and Tricks from Apple."  I discovered several useful tips.

Control Panel
Swiping the screen up from the bottom brings up the phone's control panel, even from a locked screen.  This allows you to quickly access the phone's camera.  I also learned that you can use the phones volume button to take pictures, rather than hitting the button on the screen. This is also true for headphone volume buttons, which would be helpful for keeping your phone steady.  Also, with iOS7, Apple has added some basic photo filters.

I found the fact that you can select "audio-only" for FaceTime a little confusing.  Isn't FaceTime's purpose to be able to see who you are talking to?  For "audio-only," why not just place a regular call?

Share Icon
Learning how to print from my phone was great.  AirPrint makes it easy to print emails, web pages or photos to an AirPrint-enabled printer.  To print, tap the reply button and then print for an email, or tap the share icon to print web pages or photos.  Unfortunately, I only came up with one printer (of unknown location) at school that was AirPrint-enabled and our home printer, although wireless, is not AirPrint-enabled.

Printing from iPhone
Many of my friends use the dictation feature on their phones for text messaging.  I had not tried this before.  Once I figured out that there is a difference between the Home button that you press to talk to Siri and the microphone button on the bottom row of the keyboard, I was on a roll!  I tried the talk to text in both Notes and messages and it worked beautifully!  I just need to remember that if you want punctuation (comma) you need to say the word (period).
Talk-to-Text and Emoji Keyboard

Another fun feature I have added to my phone is an additional keyboard.  To add this keyboard, I went to Settings-General-Keyboard-Add New Keyboard-Emoji.  To access this new keyboard, I simply tap the globe icon at the bottom of the keyboard and select it. The Emoji keyboard opens up a whole lot of cute emoticons.  How fun is that!  I tested both the dictation and new Emoji keyboard in texts to my husband and it worked.

Telling Siri Who's Who
This article also shows you how to let Siri know the relationships you have with your contacts.  Setting this up was very easy.
Me:  "Scott is my boss."
Siri verified that Scott was my boss, he calls him a manager.  Now, I can simply say to Siri, "call my boss," and he will connect me to Scott.  I set up family relationships, too.  I am not sure if this is better than simply asking Siri to call Scott, but it's nice to have options.

The last article I read for Thing 2 was "15 (more) iPhone Tips & Tricks You Probably Don't Know." My three favorite tips from this article are about mapping photos, pins on maps and text to speech.

Mapping Photos
I have heard various warnings about geo-tagged photos on social media and I have mixed feelings about this.  However, I did like that when, in your Photos, you can tap on the location and the photo will appear on a map at the location where the photo was taken.  That is pretty neat!

The article also explains how to place a pin on a map and then share it to social media sites. I located one of my favorite photography sites, Swan Park in Monticello, Minnesota, on the map and placed a pin there.  I then successfully shared this map to Facebook.  At the time of this writing, one of my friends had already liked the post!

Finally, to activate Text-to-Speech, I went to Settings-General-Accessibility and then turned Speak Selection "On."  Now, when I select (or highlight) a portion of a web page, notes or email I can choose the "Speak" option and my phone will read the selection to me.

Thing 2 was packed with information and I plan to go through the tutorials for both iPads, which we have at school, and my personal tablet.  This is great information!

The blogging suggestions for this Thing included tips I could share.  I have two tips that I find useful.

WiFi Photo Transfer
First, to capture a screen shot of your iPhone, press the Home button and the Lock button at the same time.  The image capture will be saved to your Photos.

Second, to quickly import your photos from your phone to a computer, if you do not have your cable, there is an app for that!  I use WiFi Photo Transfer.  Once you have downloaded the app, when you open it, a web address will be displayed.  Simply type in that address in your computers web browser and you have access to all of the photos that are currently stored on your phone.

1 comment:

Nancy Bynum said...

You Rock Zoma! I love learning too! Thank you!