September 26, 2013

Making iOS 7 work for you

Last week iOS 7 came out.  Some people loved it, other people hated it.  Most people were grumbling because, as usual, stuff changed. This means we have to learn new things.  Most people don't want to learn new things, they like things the old way. Witness the meltdown any time facebook changes their news feed. 

Since I feel that learning new things is good for your brain, keeps it from turning to sludge at an early age, I am bringing forth a few tips to help you make the transition a little bit easier. 

In older devices the airdrop feature is not available.  The dividing line seems to be that big 30 pin connector.  Older devices with this connector will not be able to use airdrop.  My phone which is a 5 can use it, my iPad which is a 2 can not.  The interesting thing is that it can only work idevice to idevice not idevice to Mac. At the moment it appears to be a feature with more cuteness and battery drain than actual functionality. 

Let's get started with something near and dear to my heart, or head, as the case may be.  The new fonts in iOS 7.  If you are over a certain age, let's just say (kindly)  the default font sucks pond water. Apple really needs to have people over the age of 30 doing font development for them.  *sigh* 

To get round this bit of irritation (yes the font is pretty, no I can't see it without squinting) here are things that might help: 

1. Go to Settings --> General --> Accessibility

This is a lovely area with many things to tweak the phone and make it easier to see stuff.  Here are my settings, you may want to vary yours.  

I have the the "zoom" feature off.  For some reason it was on with my old phone and just having it in my purse would cause the screen to unexpectedly zoom even though it was locked.  Disconcerting.  That's the only one I wanted to warn you about since it can get you, even with the screen locked. 

I turned on "bold text".  This requires a restart of the phone, but it is worth it.  Just do it when you aren't in the middle of something else. If you don't like it, turn it off.  It made a huge difference for me. 

I also turned on Increase Contrast.  This gave things a bit of boost in those areas where the so called "flat" design just fades into the background and can NOT be seen.  (gray on gray for navigation in an app... thanks Apple, that's just peachy...) 

I also turned on  the reduced motion.  While it's pretty cool that the screen background can move on the new phones, I have better ways to waste battery life.  

2. Find a contrasty wallpaper for your home screen.  Something like this one.  Very little white in it so your labels on icons will show up better. But have a look through the whole site and see if there are others that work for you. 

The Unofficial Apple Weblog has more in their Don't Panic Guide.  They go through other things you might not have found with your new iOS that will be fun to use. 

One of the big things, as with every phone, is how to conserve battery life.  TUAW comes to the rescue again with a post on things you can do to help preserve battery life.  The only one I question is turning off wifi when you are out of the house.  


I have found the GPS feature in my phone (and likely in most every phone out there) uses wifi, even when it is not connected to a wifi spot, to help the phone locate itself.  This is a city thing, if you are in the country or a sparsely populated suburb, then do turn off wifi when leaving the house.  

As for me, I am very happy to be able to swipe up from the lock screen and turn bluetooth on and off.  That does suck battery. While I use it in the car, I don't use it much in my house. 

Check out the links, make a few changes and I hope the new iOS 7 will be easier for you to work with. 

Posted by: Teresa in WebTech at 08:34 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
Post contains 730 words, total size 5 kb.

September 06, 2013

On a bit more serious note

I cringe when I see those commercials on television for one of the home alarm systems. The commercials where people are setting their house alarm from their phone and watching their kids come home from school via camera. The company advertising is not the same as the company in this story, but this would be the reason.

And yes, I put small pieces of post-it notes over the cameras on my computers.  Cameras make me uncomfortable when they are connected to the net and I'm not specifically using them.  

Me?  Paranoid? 

Posted by: Teresa in WebTech at 09:12 AM | Comments (5) | Add Comment
Post contains 110 words, total size 1 kb.

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