Posts Tagged ‘ipad’

How to: set keyboard shortcuts

laelene Posted in how to guidesÔľĆTags: , , , , , , , , ,
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Save time by setting your own personalized keyboard shortcuts on your iDevice! If you type a lot on your Apple device, there are probably certain words and phrases that you input all the time. In my case, I kept meaning to set up a shortcut for my email address so I don’t have to fill it out each time. This also helps prevents any typing errors I might have.

To set your own, go to Settings>General and scroll down to Keyboard. At the bottom are shortcuts and some might have been created for you already (like “omw” becoming “On my way”). Tap “Add New Shortcut…” to create custom ones.
The first line, Phrase, is what you want to be filled in when you use the shortcut.
The second line, Shortcut, is what you want to type to trigger the replacement.

screenshot of area in iphone settings to create keyboard shortcut

In my example, you can see that I’ve set “mq” to automatically expand into my full email address: mary@maryqin.com. Saves me so much effort! If you want the replacement to happen, just add punctuation or a space after you type the shortcut and the phrase will automatically appear. If you don’t want the replacement, keep typing letters to form a different word or press the gray “x” next to the replacement phrase as shown.

using keyboard shortcut in action on iphone

Easy! And now you can prevent excessive time being spent typing the same things over and over. ūüôā

How to: Set Your iPhone/iPad to Stop Playing Music

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In case you’re not familiar with certain functions of the Apple mobile devices, you can actually set it to stop playing audio (including music, podcasts, audio books, etc.) after a designated period. For example, if you’re listening to Pandora at night and want to keep it on until you fall asleep, you can ensure it stops playing after 30 minutes by setting a timer in the Clock app.

collage of screens used to set iphone timer to stop playing audio

1. In Clock app, select Timer

2. Tap on “When Timer Ends” (see left side of image) and scroll to very bottom

3. Choose the last option: Stop Playing (see right side of image)

4. Set to Stop Playing and select how many minutes/hours you want the audio to stop (you can choose anything from 1 minute to 23 hours 59 minutes, in one-minute increments)

5. Select Start and the timer will begin. You can cancel or pause at any time. When the timer reaches 00:00, your audio will stop playing!

This works in pretty much any scenario where you have audio playing, ranging from listening to an audio book within a separate app, listening to music on Pandora/iHeartRadio or from your device’s stored music, or even when you’re streaming a podcast. Try it out the next time you want to fall asleep listening to something!

iOS 5, eagerly anticipated

laelene Posted in general blogÔľĆTags: , , , , , ,
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I was totally nerding out today, what with the new iOS 5 coming out. ¬†Just after 10 AM PST (as many predicted, since it seems to be Apple’s favorite time), the new software was released and I immediately began to download it for my phone. ¬†I kept hitting a 3200 error as they pinged Apple’s servers only to get no response, or perhaps a failure response. ¬†Apparently too many people were attempting the same and a lot were getting rejected due to the high volume. ¬†I tried 4 or 5 times before I decided to switch over to my iPad and try to get that one updated. ¬†Once again, I ran into the same error and had to try a half dozen times before giving up. ¬†This time, I switched back to my phone and 2 or 3 tries later, it looked like it was finally going to work! ¬†I lost track of how many times I actually attempted to install iOS 5, but about 6 hours later it finally worked.

By 5 PM, my phone had some exciting new features that I eagerly began to test. ¬†Meanwhile, it was time for my iPad to take its turn again, and this time it seemed that things had cooled down enough that I got through just fine. ¬†I think it was probably because the most eager people had already installed it and maybe partially due to the end of the work day, with people driving home, or to dinner, or otherwise occupied away from their computers. ¬†Good news for me! ¬†I was afraid I might not be able to get it all set up until late into the night or even later in the week. ¬†It hasn’t been that long, but I’ve already started up a list of requests.

On Reminders, I love the ability to geotarget so I am reminded when I leave or arrive at a place, but I want to be able to control what that means. ¬†Maybe I want to be reminded when I’m within a fraction of a mile, or maybe I want to be reminded if I’m in the vicinity, say at a 5 mile radius. ¬†I also want to be able to choose locations based things other than my current location or an entry in my address book – what about a listing on Yelp, or even just pointing my finger at a location on a map? ¬†I had to go through and add all these businesses to my contact list so I could set a reminder when I go there. ¬†Not a very efficient way to handle things. ¬†The one other function I’d really like is the ability to choose multiple locations. ¬†For example, right now I want to get some more tea from Teavana. ¬†I don’t care which one and I don’t know which one I will be close to in the near future, so I’d like to add all of them (or the most likely ones at least) to my location reminder.

In the Notifications dropdown, I want to be able to choose what apps to include. ¬†I have no interest in a stock ticker and I’d rather that not take up space on my list.* ¬†And why in the world does the iPad not come with a weather app? ¬†Just because I don’t have 3G doesn’t mean I don’t want to check the weather based on my wifi location! ¬†That would be useful to have in the notification bar just like on the phone.

On the iPad, I like the idea of undocking the keyboard, but why does it have to get stuck in the middle of the screen? ¬†I want to be able to slide it up and down as I please. ¬†I also don’t get why when you split the keyboard in half, it has to get so small. ¬†Once again, I want full control here, choosing how far to drag them apart, which would determine the size of the keys. ¬†When it automatically shrinks down to iPhone keyboard size, it’s just too small. ¬†Since you can quickly take a picture with your phone now, why didn’t they implement the same for the iPad? ¬†I want to be able to quickly take a shot with that device as well!

As for things that are broken, I noticed were that you can break into the phone past the lock code if you use the new quick launch camera feature and try to look at photos. ¬†Definitely a security breach to be fixed ASAP. ¬†Another thing is the inability to put Newsstand in a folder. ¬†I have no need for it, so I just want to tuck it away somewhere. ¬†So far I haven’t been able to use tabbed browsing on my phone, which I’m pretty sure is supposed to be offered.

Of course mostly it’s all good though. ¬†I love the reminders, especially with geotargeting. ¬†I like the new look of the notifications and the less intrusive nature. ¬†The Notification bar is very handy! ¬†The swiping between open apps in the iPad is fast and fantastically convenient. ¬†I’ve wanted to be able to take pictures faster and with a physical button to push. ¬†Finally being able to format my emails a bit is nice.

I’m sure I’ll learn a lot more as I use it more and go through the checklist of features to make sure I know them all. ¬†I’ll definitely think of further suggestions/ideas – too bad I don’t know who would listen! ¬†Sometimes I wish it was easier to give feedback and actually be paid attention to. ¬†Hopefully the people at Apple will be trying to do some of the things I did and stumble upon the same issues… ¬†Until then, I will enjoy what I can use. ¬†ūüôā

 

*As it turns out, I found that you can choose which apps to display in the Notification settings.

Festival of Books

laelene Posted in general blogÔľĆTags: , , , , , , ,
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It’s that time of year again! ¬†This weekend was the LA Times Festival of Books and I went with some friends. ¬†This year they had a mobile scavenger hunt with the prize of an iPad. ¬†Panda and I decided to participate and we invited our friend, Houdini, to join in. ¬†Saturday, Houdini and I spent a good 4-5 hours running around the UCLA campus answering clues to the hunt. ¬†I unfortunately took a hit when I got a question wrong, but that allowed Houdini to get a perfect score on the hunt… let’s just hope he gets enough bonus points for pictures to outdo the competition! ¬†That’d be awesome, considering it’s his first time to the fair!

The focus this year really centered around the scavenger hunt, which was really a nice way to check out most parts of the event. ¬†From the poetry corner to the kids’ stuff to the cooking stage to the news booths, we saw a lot! ¬†It was also nice to get out on such a beautiful weekend rather than lazing around all day like I usually would. ¬†I do need to get (and stay) more active and though my back hurt and my legs were aching after the first day, it felt good to be outside moving around. ¬†I also ran into some random people, which is always fun.

I found that this year I didn’t really have an interest in checking out the booths like I have in previous years. ¬†Perhaps it is because there were so many people there that anything I might have wanted to do would have taken up a lot of time standing in line. ¬†Plus, I wasn’t out to buy anything, so none of those booths interested me, and I’ve never been one for book signings or readings or cooking shows. ¬†It’s nice to just hang out and enjoy the atmosphere and catch bits of performances as I pass.

festival of books poster on wall

It has found a nice home over the fireplace.

Oh, and then today we got word that Houdini won the iPad from a raffle we entered on Saturday! ¬†Pretty awesome, especially considering we were really donating money to help homeless people when we bought those tickets. ¬†I remember seeing it was a 32 gig one, which is better than the one the LA Times has up for grabs from the scavenger hunt! ¬†That one seems out of our reach though. ¬†And as Panda and I were going through completing the hunt for him today, we were able to snag a really nice poster and a button, which was great for him since he has empty walls to fill and collects buttons. ¬†ūüôā ¬†All in all a great weekend, no? ¬†If only I could have won that iPad so I could feel better about the iPod Touches that I no longer own… ¬†ūüėõ

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