Posts Tagged ‘iphone’

iCloud, you’re dead to me

laelene Posted in lifestyle glimpses, stories,Tags: , , , ,

May I rant a bit? It’s been weeks since my iCloud backup worked and Apple support didn’t solve my problem. I’ve given up on using it and I’m so frustrated with Apple.

It began a couple of weeks ago. With one of the iOS 9 updates, everything went awry. My backups used to take up about 3.3-3.5 GB worth of space and then suddenly I was getting an error message pretty much daily, telling me I didn’t have enough space in iCloud. So I try deleting the current backup to free up the 5 GB of space and trying again with no success. I thought the issue was that the photo backup got turned back on, so I tried turning it off. Sometimes it would straight up give me an error message that it couldn’t be turned off at that time and sometimes it would look like I had turned it off, but then got undone the next time I went back.

After much troubleshooting and trying tons of things, I finally booked an appointment at the Apple Store. Coming out of that appointment, I’ve decided to write off iCloud entirely. As it turns out, it is completely useless to me (unless I want to pay). I was passed from one person to the next and ultimately dealt with four different people, two in the store and two on the phone. They ended up telling me that my options were to either pay for more storage or do manual backups to the computer. Let me tell you, I was not a happy camper when that’s all they could come up with.

screenshot of icloud backup screen with options

What’s the point of turning off Photo Library if supposedly you can’t turn off photos in iCloud? I still don’t believe those folks knew what they were talking about.

My greatest problem with what happened was that my backups were well within the limit for years. Suddenly, the space needed for the backup jumps up to nearly triple the amount of space for no reason? It’s not like I suddenly started sending a lot of text messages, taking a lot of pictures, or downloading a lot of new apps. I had no spike in activity, so therefore I expect no spike in the storage space. Not a single one of them could explain that to me. Furthermore, they said that my photos were always backed up and I couldn’t turn that off. Then what in the world is the Backup Options list with Photo Library as an option for?! And how could I have EVER successfully backed up when I know I’ve had way more than 5 GB in photos alone all these years? Yet somehow, I’m expected to believe that it magically worked all along and a good 10-15 GB of photos were able to squeeze themselves into a 3.5 GB backup.

I guess what bothered me the most was the complete lack of logic in how things could have worked before and how they could have changed so drastically without explanation. Telling me that, “Well if you just buy the extra storage then this wouldn’t be an issue,” is not going to help. Of course I know I can PAY you to get more storage. And I don’t care how small the cost is, it’s the principal of the matter that it worked before and now it doesn’t. What sort of technology gets worse as it updates?

So many other problems came up too, all with no sensible explanation. Why did an attempted backup fail yet still take up 3 GB of space? “It tried to back up some of the data.” Why wouldn’t that try to take up the whole 5 GB? Why does it stop at 3 GB each time? (No idea.) Why does Next Backup Size say 0 bytes and all apps say No Data? Does that mean nothing gets backed up? Then how could I not have enough space for nothing?! And on and on and on…

So because of that, iCloud is dead to me. Yet ironically, as I write this and look at my phone settings, iCloud backup is magically working again. Photos off, backup at 3.1 GB. I can’t trust those Apple people to know anything about their products.

An iPhone exchange mistake

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , , ,

It’s been a good nine months with my iPhone 6 and I only had one minor issue with the earpiece that required a replacement of the screen a few months back. While the physical hardware seemed to be ok, I was having a lot of crashing issues with it. It would sporadically restart when I was using it – sometimes when using an app, sometimes when trying to update a bunch of them. This Friday it happened again and since it’s been occurring almost regularly now, I decided to go get my phone checked out. I made an appointment for the Genius Bar after lunch, backed up my phone to iCloud, and went off.

A diagnostic couldn’t pinpoint what it might be, so I was offered a new device in case it was a hardware issue. If the problem persists, then we know it’s probably a software issue. I felt pretty confident swapping out devices since I’d done it so many times before. As we were setting up the new device, I remembered some photos from lunch that I had not backed up, so I made sure to do that. Once I felt good about it, I relinquished that device and went back to the office.

The rest of the afternoon I let my phone restore from backup. By the end of the day, the apps were all there and everything looked like normal. Except… why were my photos not syncing? I figured it would take more time. Later at night I checked again and not a single old photo was there. That’s when I realized that my iCloud backup didn’t back up photos. Since we only get 5 GB for free, I didn’t have room for them. I was so rusty when it came to this process that I hadn’t made a backup via iTunes (rookie mistake).

Luckily, I had done the photo backup to Flickr and Dropbox, so the photos are available, just not the way I want (in my Camera Roll). However, with more digging I found that some videos I’d taken last weekend were not backed up. My Dropbox had run out of space and Flickr doesn’t auto backup video files. Sad times! No matter what I did, I just couldn’t recover them anymore. It’s unfortunate and I’m not happy about it, but it was my own oversight.

Lesson learned.

From now on, I will be sure to back up to iTunes. While this is inconvenient, there’s not much I can do. The last iTunes backup I have is from December! It feels like too much lost data along the way if I restore using that version. So while I am happy to have a brand new device, I mourn the loss of the media that got lost in the shuffle.

iPhone 6 in pictures

laelene Posted in photo blog,Tags: , , , , ,

I’ve had my iPhone 6 for a week and a half now, but I’m already so used to it that I hardly recognize the iPhone 5. I’m absolutely loving it and I’m so happy with the whole experience. Here are some pics of it, along with a few side by sides with my old iPhone.

iphone 6 white box front of iphone 6 in space gray back of iphone 6 in space gray closeup of camera on iphone 6 in space gray iphone 6 power button on right side of phone iphone 6 volume controls on left side of phone empty open box of iphone 6 iphone 6 earpods and lightning charging cable and plug iphone 6 info cards from box collage of front and back of iphone 6 info card with basic instructions iphone 6 and iphone 5 in respective boxes with lids backs of iphone 6 and iphone 5 in boxes

How to: set keyboard shortcuts

laelene Posted in how to guides,Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

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: 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. 🙂

How to store your lightning charger

laelene Posted in how to guides,Tags: , , , , , ,

For awhile, I’d given up on using the charging cable for my iPhone 5. It started to come apart and I had to tape it at the end near the lightning head. It would only work at certain angles and I had to either hold it in place or very delicately position it with the phone on a surface. So, I bought another charger from a third party, which I loved. Unfortunately, it wore down over time too and stopped working recently. I started using my Apple-made cable again, but it was always a precarious situation and I could never be sure my phone was charging.

Finally, this weekend I was talking to Panda about it and he mentioned the possibility of getting it replaced. I figured I have nothing to lose, might as well try, right? So while his brother was in town, all three of us went out to the mall and found a guy at the Apple store. When I showed him my cable, he started to tell me about how normal wear and tear is not covered on the warranty and since mine was all taped up, he couldn’t replace it. He said he personally goes through them all the time (um, that’s not saying anything good about your product…) and then he shared some tips on how to preserve your lightning charger and minimize wear on it:

1. Always ensure the cable is straight when plugged in, both on the end plugging into your device and on the USB end. The connection to those areas are the weakest, and consistent bending causes them to rip.

2. Make sure you pull the cable from the firm plastic head and not the actual cable. This will reduce strain on the cable.

3. Never loop your cable a few times to store it, since this bends the ends. Instead, fold it over twice, then loosely knot that, as shown in the picture. This keeps the ends from bending, once again protecting the weakest points.

example of recommended way to store lightning charger cable as shown by apple store rep

Did you know this is a better way to store your cable?

Now this is all fine and dandy, but why didn’t they explain it to me when I got my device? It’s kind of too late now. Panda’s brother immediately asked to speak to the manager and as we explained to him how the tips were helpful (but way too late), I suggested that this is the type of thing they as an organization can educate us on when we buy a device. Panda asked whether the fact that my issue is not covered in the warranty was outlined, so the manager pulled up the agreement and looked for where it said that. It was pretty ambiguous with language about normal wear and tear (which means what, exactly?) and he must have been in a helpful mood, because he decided to replace my cable *this one time* (they always say that).

Luckily, some persistence (and getting to the right person who could actually make an executive decision), a peppering of questions, and a polite but disappointed demeanor seemed to do the trick for us. I got my new cable, no other questions asked, and now I am better educated on how to take care of it. Hopefully, you’ve now learned something that will help you from damaging your cables too!

365great Day 313: Wrapp

laelene Posted in 365great,Tags: , , , , , , , ,

365great day 313: wrappI enjoy the Wrapp app because it offers a chance to get free money. People can gift you various amounts, sometimes at no cost to them and there is no obligation to spend a certain amount, so you just need to find something cheap enough in store! Panda and I gift each other $5 offers when they’re being promoted and are freebies. At Office Depot, you can get plenty of things for $5. At American Eagle… not so much. So it often depends on where you’re shopping and which brands are offering free money, but at the least you can get a discount if you were planning on purchasing there anyway. I got some shoes at Charlotte Russe on sale for an even better price by using the credit I had in my Wrapp app. It’s a great way to save at certain stores!

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

laelene Posted in how to guides,Tags: , , , , , , , ,

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!

In the mail: kitty toys, free stuff, and the SunVoxBox

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

In addition to the subscription boxes and trades I already mentioned receiving, here’s what’s been filling up my mailbox!

powerbank backup battery in boxI did a review of this external battery and charging accessories I got from nomorerack so you can read more there. When I first got this I was concerned whether it’d be some knock-off brand that is shoddy work that won’t last, but I’m happy to report that while the packaging is “meh” the item itself and its performance are great.

cat feeder and toy collageSince I was given an Amazon gift card as part of a focus group (mentioned in this post), I decided to splurge on my cats and get them these fun toys. One is a feeder where the cats need to paw around through the holes to push the food so it falls through the holes in each level until it is caught at the bottom. I’ve included a video below at the end of the post so you can see Missy at work! She really enjoyed it at first but I think both cats are lazy now and just wait for their daily wet food feeding to get them through the day. Maybe if they are desperate enough they will learn to use this properly. At least I know they aren’t overeating now, right?

The other item is a pretty standard track with ball that you can piece together in many configurations. Once again, this is something Missy has enjoyed and will play with, but Molly kind of just looks at it and walks away. Alas, Molly is like 14 and declawed, so it makes sense she wouldn’t want to play with this. At least Missy likes it!

sample of pad, l'oreal revitalift miracle blur, and pampers sensitive wipes
I got a couple of random samples that I had requested from various sites, including a sanitary pad, L’Oreal’s Revitalift Miracle Blur finishing cream, and Pampers sensitive wipes. I’m always on the lookout for free samples to help me find products that I want to adopt into my life! That’s probably why I love subscription boxes so much. 🙂

physicians formula bb powder and letterA long time ago, I entered to receive a free BB powder from Physician’s Formula. This was similar to the first contest I entered (which I wrote a tutorial about), but suddenly there were a lot more people contending. When I went to submit the form, it froze on me and I never got a success message, so I crossed my fingers hoping I was one of the lucky 1000, but I didn’t count on it. Then just a few days ago, what shows up in my mail but this?! I was pretty thrilled since I’m obsessed with trying BB creams and I’ve never seen a BB powder. Can’t wait to test it!

trade with skin, hair, and body products

I already wrote about my previous trades, so here’s just a quick look at the last trade I got. A bunch of lovely samples that I am looking forward to trying. I sent over some L’Occitane stuff and a set of Angry Birds lip balms that I had in exchange for these.

influenster sunkissed voxbox

And finally, my Influenster Sunkissed VoxBox, which I’m sure I will write about coming up. I am very happy with everything I got and I am so thrilled to try them out!

cat eating from food maze from Mary Qin on Vimeo.


365great Day 91: Cloud Magic

laelene Posted in 365great,Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Learn more about 365great here.

365great challenge day 91: cloud magicCloud Magic is a wonderful little app that I found a few months ago. It’s basically like a global search of your digital footprint, which means that one search term brings up results across your email, social media, calendars, contacts, and online storage accounts. What a convenient way to find something when you can’t remember where the information might be stored. Or, in my case, I love using it to see if I got any emails with “congrats” or “congratulations” so I can make sure I know when I’ve won something. I use different emails depending on what type of site I’m entering a giveaway on and sometimes those accounts have filters so it’d be tedious to go through each to see if I got a relevant message. One search in Cloud Magic and *boom* it’s all right there for me to browse. You can even reply to emails right in the app! Of course, there are plenty of other ways to use it as well and you should totally give it a try! It’s so handy and absolutely great.

365great Day 38: 1 Second Everyday

laelene Posted in 365great,Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Learn more about 365great here.

365great challenge day 38: 1 second everydayI’ve officially completed a full month’s worth of 1SE clips! I found out about this fun project through Kickstarter, where I backed it and got to download it from the App Store when it launched. I was a bit late to the game (oops) and didn’t redeem my copy for quite awhile, but I finally got around to it and I’ve been having a blast! It’s so entertaining to watch little 1-second clips of days gone by and remember what was happening in that moment. For the most part, it only holds meaning for me, but it’s so meaningful.

If you’ve ever done a photo a day sort of project, you sort of know what I’m talking about. But the added dimensions of video make it even more powerful and it’s a fabulous way to look back on your life. You’ve seriously got to try it! Now you don’t have to rely on still visuals solely to share your story and record those memories. You can incorporate motion and sound, which are very enriching. I’ve had video clips that I chose purely for the sound that it had captured. What a fun, simple way to capture snippets of your life. And the app makes it super easy to clip and compile. It’s great!!

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