Idea Of The Day. A new Idea Each Day. Some Don't Suck.



We post an all new idea every day. If you find an idea you like... do something about it. Make it happen.

Our Latest Posts About: Apple

Hey Apple... Real Rewards, Not Badges!

We Don't Need No Stinking Badges!


The Apple Watch is proof that Apple is committed to fitness. I think it's time they put their money where their mouth is.

Instead of offering cute little animation badges whenever you reach a fitness goal, why not give people something tangible... like an iTunes song? It would be a great motivation and also a great way to promote new artists and songs.

Why No Built-In QR Code Reader App on iPhone?

QR Codes are EVERYWHERE... so why doesn't Apple include a built-in QR Reader?

We Need Better iCloud Sharing

We need a better way to share files with friends, family, and co-workers.


I love the way iCloud lets me share my files between all my devices. I can create a file on my iMac, and the same file automatically appears on all my other Macs, plus my iPhone, and iPad. It's like magic.

The only problem is, it's not easy sharing files with other people. You can share individual files, but there's no way to share an entire folder.

Why Is There No Calculator App On The iPad?

Apparently, Apple does't think people with iPads need to do math.


Apple does a great job of integrating all their devices into one friendly ecosystem. Just about anything you can do on your iPhone, you can do on your Mac or your iPad. However, for some reason Apple still doesn't have a Calculator App on the iPad. Why is that?

This has bugged me for almost 10 years. Although there are a number of free or paid Calculator Apps in the App store, there's no reason for Apple to leave it out. The Calculator App is one of the few things that Apple has included in every platform since the original Macintosh in 1984, yet here it is nearly 10 years after the introduction of the iPad, and they still don't have a Calculator App.

Missing Options in Apple Photos for iOS

I love the photos App, but it's missing a few critical features.


My photo library is pretty big, with about 23,000 photos and videos, it's getting harder and harder to find a photo when you're looking for it. Thankfully Apple's Photos App has features to automatically categorize photos using their cloud based photo recognition software, which basically lets you search for faces and common objects, but it falls short when it comes to personal details.

For example, you can search for Cat, and it will find every picture featuring a cat. That's pretty slick, but what if I'm looking for something like a Grateful Dead T-Shirt, my graduation photo, or pictures of my old office? To find things like that, they way to enter titles, descriptions and keywords, which is only possible wh... [More]

Continue...Missing Options in Apple Photos for iOS...

Siri and Alexa are NOT Women!

Why did Amazon and Apple give their virtual assistants female names? They're NOT women!


One of the strangest things about Amazon's Alexa, and Apple's Siri was their decisions to give them female names. Why would they do that? They're just software programs, so they don't actually have ANY gender... so why choose female?

Clearly, both companies just wanted to "humanize" their products by giving them human names, but didn't they consider the fact that you can change the voice to either gender? It seems strange enough having a conversation with computer. Having that conversation with a device that speaks like a man, but answers to a female name is just plain stupid.

To make matters worse, Amazon not only picked a female name, but they decided to use Alexa, a very common nam... [More]

Continue...Siri and Alexa are NOT Women!...

Why Are There No Apps for Old Phones?

Upgrading your smartphone is no longer a luxury, it's a necessity, because there are virtually no App for older phones.


What happens to all the old smartphones whenever a new model comes out? Some people trade them in. Other people give them to a younger family member, but the bottom line is, as long as they're not broken, somebody else will use them. Unfortunately, they eventually become obsolete, but why does it have to be that way?

The word "Obsolete" seems strange when it comes to smartphones, because they were cutting edge only a couple of years earlier, and they still work, so why can't you keep on using them? The problem is is that you can't find Apps that work on older phones because the App Stores only include the latest Apps. That's just plain wrong.

There's... [More]

Continue...Why Are There No Apps for Old Phones?...

Why iPhones Run Out of Space

It's Apple's fault that iPhones run out of space.


When people run out of space on their iPhone, the first thing they do is start deleting photos, videos, and Apps. While that may free up space for a while, it doesn't address the true cause for running out of space in the first place, and it's Apple's fault.

I created a popular video on the subject of fixing the problem, today I'm talking about the cause.

Photos and videos are definitely part of the problem, but what most people don't realize is that the real problem is WHERE those photos and videos are stored. That's because Apple stores photos and videos in two different places on your iPhone. The most obvious place is in the "Camera Roll" of your Photos App. That's where all the photos and videos you shot with your iP... [More]

Continue...Why iPhones Run Out of Space...

We Need Real Digital Media Portability

Why is it so hard getting our media to work under different platforms?


One of the most frustrating things about digital media is that when you purchase something from one platform, it doesn't work on any other platform. For example, if you buy a movie from Amazon, you can't play it on Apple devices or vice versa, and books purchased from Amazon aren't compatible with Apple's iBooks, Google's Play, or the Barnes and Noble Nook. That's crazy.

What we need is true digital media portability, so that books, music, and movies work on any device, regardless of the platform we purchased them from, just like buying a CD or DVD.

Replacing Batteries Too Soon?

Replacing batteries too soon is a waste of money.


Sometimes it's the little things that can drive me crazy, like when my Mac tells me to change the batteries in my wireless keyboard and trackpad, just because the power level drops under 20%. That's a huge waste!

The batteries in the Mac keyboard are good for months, so changing them too soon is a complete waste of money, especially since I get get several weeks of use with the remaining 20%. It's like throwing out 20% of the price of the batteries.

You Call That Shuffle?

Apple doesn't understand the meaning of Shuffle.


One of the most misunderstood features of all music players is the concept of "Random" vs "Shuffle". To many people, they are interchangeable, but there's a big difference between the two, especially when it's done right.

The core idea behind "Shuffle" is to play your songs in a random order, so the order itself is a surprise to you. Sounds simple enough. You hit Shuffle, and the music player definitely picks a song at random, so what can be wrong with that? As it turns out, quite a bit.

Here's the problem. If you have 100 different songs, and you decide to shuffle them, you should hear each and every song exactly once, before any song repeats, but that's not what happens, because more often than not, you'll hear some son... [More]

Continue...You Call That Shuffle?...

Your Kids Will HATE These 4 Mobile Phone Ideas.

Do you know what your children are doing with their mobile phones? Chances are, you don't, and that's the point.


The fact that most parents have no idea what their kids are doing with their mobile phones is all the evidence you need to see how bad the parental controls are on mobile phones. Today's idea of the day is a step in the right direction, and you're kids will hate all of them.

1. Parental access to every photo on their child's phone. Kids take a LOT of photos. Unfortunately, some of them are not exactly family friendly. If parents had the ability to access and delete every photo a child takes, chances are they would think twice before taking them. This is especially important for parents of very young children.

2. Parents need to be able to turn off texting a... [More]

Continue...Your Kids Will HATE These 4 Mobile Phone Ideas....

Why iPad and Mac Should Never Merge

A lot of people would love to see iPad runs Mac Apps and vice versa. Here's why that's a bad idea.


One of the most talked about things in the Apple community is the potential for the Mac and iOS platforms to merge, After all, they both share the same foundation. It's easy for a Mac developer to port their Apps from the Mac to iOS, and vice versa, so why not make it official?

First, let me make one thing clear. There's absolutely no reason why a Mac shouldn't have the ability to run iOS Apps. After all, every App designed for iPhone, iPad, iPod, Apple TV, and even Apple Watch starts on a Mac. Mac developers create and test every App on a Mac using a simulator that can run every Mac App on the market. If Apple ever gets around to producing a touch screen Mac it would be a p... [More]

Continue...Why iPad and Mac Should Never Merge...

Mac Function Key Lock

There needs to be a quicker way to toggle Mac Function Keys.


There's an option in the System Preferences on a Mac that lets you toggle between using the Function Keys as "Standard" Function Keys, or use them for the "Special" features printed on the keys such as brightness, LaunchPad, Pause/Play, and volume.

While this seams like a no-brainer, it's actually a pain in the neck for people like me who run Windows using VMWare or Parallels, because a lot of Windows Apps use them for things like Search, Refresh, and closing windows and Apps.

Rather than going back and forth into the System Preferences to change modes, I'd love to see a "Function Key Lock" that lets you toggle between the two on-the-fly. Rather than adding a key, a simple solution would be to double-tap the Fn k... [More]

Continue...Mac Function Key Lock...

What's Missing From Recovery Console?

The Recovery console is missing one critical feature, the ability to ACTUALLY recover YOUR files.


Windows PCs and Macs both have a feature that let you boot into a special Recovery Console, whenever your system has trouble. The idea behind the Recovery Console is to give the owner some options to fix their system.

Unfortunately, the Recovery Console doesn't always work, and you have no choice but to format the hard drive and reinstall the operating system. When that happens, you'd better have a backup, because the Recovery Console doesn't have any options to backup and recover YOUR files. That's pretty stupid!

Reinstalling the operating can be scary, especially without a backup of your own files, so what Apple and Microsoft need is an additional option that lets you back... [More]

Continue...What's Missing From Recovery Console?...

Apple Needs to Focus on the Front Camera

Considering how often people take selfies, why doesn't Apple make a better front facing camera?


With every new generation of iPhone, the biggest improvement is almost always to the camera, and most of those improvements are only to the rear facing camera. Meanwhile they keep neglecting the front.

I hate having to decide which camera I want to use, balancing between better quality vs ease of use to take selfies. As it stands now, the front camera is nowhere near as good as the back, especially shooting videos.

I realize it could drive up the cost a bit, but since they only need to design one camera to use on both sides the price increase wouldn't be too much, especially since both cameras could share the same chipset and production costs.

Mac vs Windows PC... Part 2

If you can't decide whether to get a Windows PC, or an Apple Mac... get the Mac. Here's why.


One of the most popular videos on my YouTube is about why I think a Mac is a better choice than a Windows PC. I received quite a lot of comments about that video, so I thought it would be a good idea to clarify my thoughts.

While the comments varied quite a bit, there were a quite a few people who were huge fans of Windows who wondered why I would want to run it on my Mac if I hated it so much. It's an interesting thought, but it's not accurate. I DO like Windows, and I DO run it every day, but I ALSO run a lot of Mac Apps and that's the essence of my point. I own a Mac because it is the only way I can (legally) run both Windows and Mac Apps on the same computer.

Simply stated... [More]

Continue...Mac vs Windows PC... Part 2...

Why is a Mac More Secure Than a Windows PC?

If most Mac owners don't use an Anti-Virus, why do they have fewer viruses?


Billions of dollars are spent each year on Anti-Viruses and other Internet Security programs, yet almost none of it is from Apple Mac owners. Based on that, you might think that Macs would be less secure, but that's not the case. Even without anti-virus software, they rarely have to deal with viruses, malware, spyware, ransomware, trojans, and all sorts of nasty security problems.

While I can name quite a few reasons, there is one particular feature of a Mac that stands out above every other reason. There is a built-in feature in Apple's MacOS that specifically prevents you from installing programs from unknown publishers. Here's how it works.

When you buy a new Mac, the default setting in the s... [More]

Continue...Why is a Mac More Secure Than a Windows PC?...

Apple FaceTime is Missing One Thing...

Why doesn't Apple's FaceTime have a way to leave a Voice or Video Message?


Ever since the invention of the telephone, people have dreamed of the day when video calling will replace regular calling as the most common way to communicate with friends and family. Although many companies have tinkered with various video conferencing platforms, Apple's FaceTime was the first one that caught on. The problem is they left out one important feature that is a central part of regular calling, the ability to leave a message when the other person doesn't answer.

There's no reason why somebody calling using FaceTime Audio, or even Video shouldn't have the same functionality as a regular phone, and be able to leave a voice, or even a video message.

Is Apple at the Cutting Edge?

The trouble with buying a new Mac is it might be old, before you even take it home.


One of the great things about Apple is they tend to be at the cutting edge of just about every new technology, which often leads to a longer shelf life. I've got 5 Macs right now, including a 17 inch 2011 MacBook Pro, which still outperforms just about any Windows laptop sold in stores.

That said, having a long shelf life is only possible if you get your Mac at the start of a new "product cycle", which is the time between the launch of a new product, and it's subsequent replacement with a newer model.

In my case, I bought my 2011 MacBook right after it was released so it took a while before some of the components became outdated, but some of Apple's current Mac lineup haven't been updated i... [More]

Continue...Is Apple at the Cutting Edge?...

The Problem With Apple's Keyboard Choices

Apple spent a lot of time on their new MacBook Pro TouchBar, but they're still overlooking their other keyboard choices.


Apple makes exactly two keyboards. One is wired, the other is wireless. Clearly the Wired Keyboard is a much better keyboard. Why is that?

Apple's Wired USB Keyboard is a full sized keyboard with larger, more distinct arrow keys, a traditional numeric keypad on the side, and dedicated keys for home, end, page up, page down, etc.

The Bluetooth Wireless Keyboard, is nearly 6 inches shorter, has poor arrow and navigation keys, and no number pad. This is the keyboard that comes standard in just about every Mac, except the MacBook.

I can't understand why Apple doesn't have third option, a full-sized, Bluetooth wireless keyboard.

The App Store is Missing a Critical Feature

Why doesn't Apple's App Store have an option to sell upgrades to existing customers?


Selling upgraded versions to existing customers has always been one of the most important sources of revenue for App Developers, but for some reason, Apple still doesn't have an option for selling upgraded versions.

While this may not seem like a problem for consumers, it's a deal breaker for a lot of software developers because it means that they won't be able to tap into their existing customer base to sell upgrades. This is one reason many software companies bypass the Mac App Store entirely and look for other ways to market and distribute their software, which isn't easy.

Without this critical feature, some software companies are forced to introduce alternate versions of their Apps wit... [More]

Continue...The App Store is Missing a Critical Feature...

Why are File Searches So SLOW?

Why does it take so long to find a file... even when you know the name?


I'm a database guy, so it drives me crazy when it takes as much as 5 or 10 minutes to search for a file name on my computers. That's because most computers these days can have as many as a million or more files, and there is no real database storing all the filenames.

Because there's no built-in, always on database of filename, whenever you search for a file, the operating system needs to literally scan through each and every directory to find the file you're looking for. That's pretty crazy, considering how much larger today's hard drives are getting.

By contrast, if filenames were stored in a REAL database like SQL Server, you would be able to find any filename in a fraction of a second, even if the... [More]

Continue...Why are File Searches So SLOW?...

Lockable iPad Apps

Whenever you allow your friends and family to use your iPad, you are also inviting them to read your email.


We all know Apple's iPhone and iPad are very secure. In fact, even law enforcement have a hard time unlocking them. There is, however one small problem. A lot of people unlock their iPads to let friends and family members play games, surf the Web or watch movies, and that means they also gain access to most of your private information such as email, photos, shopping and social media accounts.

The solution to this is pretty simple. Apple needs to create an option to assign a second Passcode to grant access to Apps that need an additional layer of security. This will allow people give friends and family access to less secure Apps without giving them access to more sen... [More]

Continue...Lockable iPad Apps...

Unlocking Better Siri

Siri should be able to launch certain Apps without unlocking.


When put on my headphones, the first thing I want to do is tell Siri to play something. So, I can say "Play The Beatles", and it will start playing my music without even taking my iPhone out of it's holster.

The problem is, Siri can't play anything else, such as Pandora, iHeartRadio or Audible, unless you unlock your iPhone first. This is a pain in the neck, especially if your iPhone isn't in your hands. For me, this is a big pain in the neck, especially when I'm out and about, and it may be difficult to access my iPhone.

Apple should give people an option to launch "Safe" Apps like Audible, Pandora, and iHeartRadio because they don't pose any security risks when you launch them from the lock screen.

This wo... [More]

Continue...Unlocking Better Siri...

How Apple Can Improve AirPods

I love my AirPods, but Apple needs to make a few changes.


Apple's AirPods look and feel just like Apple's original EarPods, with one major difference, there are no wires... or buttons. None of us miss the wires, but overcoming the lack of control buttons is a bit harder.

Apple's solution to the lack of buttons is to let you double tap the AirPod to answer the phone, activate Siri and do things like pause, resume, or adjust the volume.

There's also an option to change this default behavior by letting you pause and resume playback when you double tap, instead of launching Siri. To me, that's not an easy decision. I like the idea of pausing without talking to Siri, but there are definitely times when I need Siri to do something more complex, so I like the option of launchin... [More]

Continue...How Apple Can Improve AirPods...

iPhone Custom White Balance

Why doesn't the iPhone have a Custom White Balance option?


Whenever Apple releases a new iPhone, most of the improvements are related to the camera, because the iPhone is now the most popular camera in the world, yet it lacks one of the most important features that serious photographers need the most, custom white balance.

Custom White Balance isn't a new idea. There is a Custom White Balance feature in almost every camera made by traditional camera makers like Canon, Nikon, and Sony. The question is... why doesn't Apple include this critical feature?

Without a Custom White Balance option, the camera software is forced to guess the color of the light in the room, which isn't very reliable. It's virtually impossible for a camera to know whether it's looking at a slightly y... [More]

Continue...iPhone Custom White Balance...

Is Apple TV... The Future of Television?

I love Apple TV, but I wouldn't call it "The Future of Television"


When Apple introduced the latest generation of Apple TV, they called it "The Future of Television?". Are they kidding? It's not even close, but here are a few of the things Apple should consider for the next generation.

1. Integrated Cable Converter Box. Switching between Apple TV to a cable converter box is a pain in the neck, especially for people who are technology challenged and people who simply hate looking for a second remote just to change HDMI ports.

2. Integrated HDMI Switching. A typical family has quite a few HDMI devices. In many cases, they even have more devices than they have ports, which makes it a challenge to switch between Cable / Satellite TV Boxes, Blu-Ray players, Gaming Consoles,... [More]

Continue...Is Apple TV... The Future of Television?...

How To Restore Files Deleted From iCloud

Why is it so hard to restore files you've deleted from your iPhone?


Ever since the first Apple Macintosh computer came out in 1984, it's been super easy to get back files you've deleted. All you need to do is look in the trash can. It was so easy Microsoft followed their lead when they put a Recycling Bin in Windows, but for some reason Apple dropped the ball when it comes to restoring files you've accidentally deleted from iCloud on an iPhone or iPad.

Even though iOS has an iCloud App, there is no functional equivalent of the Trash Can or Recycling Bin in it. The only way to get them back right now is from the iCloud website.

Steps:

1. Log into iCloud.Com, and look for a link at the top that says "iCloud Settings".

2. Scroll all the way to the bottom to find anoth... [More]

Continue...How To Restore Files Deleted From iCloud...

Apple Touch Bar Wish...

I love the Touch Bar on Apple's new MacBook Pro, but I have one problem. I have a desktop Mac.


When I first saw the new MacBook Pro with the integrated Touch Bar, I immediately wanted... the Touch Bar. I've already got about a half dozen Macs, so while I don't need to replace any of them right now, I'd love to start using the Touch Bar. Unfortunately, Apple doesn't make a standalone version of the Touch Bar Keyboard.

I realize Apple wants to give people a reason to upgrade to a new MacBook, but many of us have a pretty good one already, so all we need to get this new technology off the ground is an external, Bluetooth version of the keyboard.

What BUGS Me About Apple's Contacts

Contacts is one of Apple's oldest Apps, but it hasn't been improved in years.


It drives me crazy when I use the Contacts App, and I see multiple versions of the same person. This is the result of merging contacts from Gmail, AOL, and Microsoft Outlook that took place over the years. Because of this, some of my contacts are listed 3 or 4 times with various combinations of information. Some have nothing but an email address, while others have a separate entry for their home, work, and mobile numbers.

It wouldn't be as bad if Apple gave us a quick way to merge contacts together. The best they can do is "Link Contacts", which isn't as useful as it should be. To me, there's no point in linking contacts when the better solution is letting you merge them together. In cases wher... [More]

Continue...What BUGS Me About Apple's Contacts...

How Apple Can Improve the Alarm Clock App

You've got a Smart Phone... Why not a Smart Alarm Clock?


The Alarm Clock is one of the most popular Apps on the iPhone because it's far more flexible than a traditional bedside alarm clock. You can configure multiple alarms for each day with just a few taps, and you never have to worry about losing the time if there's a brownout.

As good as it is, I think it can be improved.

One particular improvement would be to confirm your morning destination, including the time you need to get there, and how long you need to get ready, so it can make adjustments based on the traffic conditions.

This means it can wake you earlier when traffic is heavy, and let you sleep later when it's light.

The Top Of My Mac Wish List

I LOVE my Mac... but I'd love it even more with a Touch Screen!


Touchscreen devices have been around for decades, but somehow Apple has never released a Mac with a touch screen, which is strange, because it seems as if the majority of computers and tablets on the market today have a touchscreen interface.

This is especially strange because Apple is normally one of the first companies to pioneer groundbreaking technologies. When the original iPhone came out, it was the multi-touch display that set it apart from other devices, yet nearly a decade later, they still haven't brought that same technology to the Mac.

I've tried third-party touchscreen adapters on the Mac, but they're not as reliable as one that is designed in from the beginning, so it's about time they finally re... [More]

Continue...The Top Of My Mac Wish List...

What Bugs Me About iPhone...

Don't you hate when you can't find one of your iPhone Apps?


I've got a lot of Apps, and I do my best to try to organize them by moving as many as possible into folders organized by genre, and then I spend time trying to move them to other pages, but I still have a hard time finding my Apps.

Even if you take the time to put your Apps into folders, you can only see the first 9 in the folder, so you end up scrolling from page to page, then opening each folder and scrolling through 3 or more pages and you still can't find them.

Why don't they give you a simple option to view them alphabetically?


I'm not suggesting they get rid of the current system which lets you organize your Apps and create folders, I'm simply suggesting a second method to make it easy for those times... [More]

Continue...What Bugs Me About iPhone......

Safer Texting Buttons

Texting while driving is unsafe. Here's how to make it safer.


We all know how unsafe it is to text and drive, yet it's hard to entirely avoid the distractions because although we can try to resist the urge to type replies while driving, it's hard to ignore reading messages as they arrive.

The solution is to make it easier for people to quickly switch from reading and writing texts to simply talking (hands free) on the phone. To make this happen, smartphone makers like Apple and Samsung can show TWO easy buttons on the lock screen when a text message comes in.

One button sends a reply to the sender that says "Call me".

The second button says "Call Now". It doesn't send a reply. It just dials back the person who sent the text.

In both cases, the driver doesn't need... [More]

Continue...Safer Texting Buttons...

A Better Flight Mode

The problem with Flight Mode is that it's not that useful on a Flight.


Just about every Smartphone made today has a feature called "Flight Mode" or "AirPlane Mode" that is used to quickly turn off all radio communication so that it doesn't interfere with the instruments used on airplanes.

Generally speaking, airlines only require you to use Flight Mode when taking off or landing, because they like to encourage customers to purchase access to their WiFi network to check email, update social media and watch in-flight entertainment.

Unfortunately disabling Flight Mode on the plane (so you can use WiFi and Bluetooth) uses a lot more battery than you'd think, because the phone will continuously try to re-connect the cellular connection. Since there is no chance you'll actually... [More]

Continue...A Better Flight Mode...

No iPhone Left Behind... Thanks to Apple Watch?

If you walk about 30 feet away from your iPhone, chances are your Apple Watch will realize it before you do.


The iPhone and Apple Watch were, literally, made for eachother. Your iPhone knows when it's connected to your Apple Watch and vice versa. Consequently, your Apple Watch knows when that vital connection is broken, and you've walked more than 30 feet away from your iPhone.

When your Apple Watch is more than 30 feet away from your iPhone, there is a small red indicator on the face of the Watch indicating that it's no longer connected.

It would be great if the Apple Watch had a feature where it can ring an alarm whenever the connection is lost, just in case you accidentally left if behind.


This would be a huge help in cases where you didn't realize you left you... [More]

Continue...No iPhone Left Behind... Thanks to Apple Watch?...

FitBit Should Support Apple HealthKit

Why doesn't Fitbit work with Apple's HealthKit?


One of the biggest selling features for just about any health related device these days is integration with Apple's HealthKit, but for some reason, FitBit, the largest manufacturer of fitness trackers doesn't support it. That's pretty strange.

Apple's HealthKit is a platform for a wide range of health and fitness apps and devices to share data and work together to share data and give you a better look at your health. Because they work together, you can see the relationship between your activity at any given time, and other factors like you blood sugar, heart rate, and blood pressure.

When Apple introduced HealthKit I assumed Fitbit would be one of the first products to use it, but for some reason they decided not to support i... [More]

Continue...FitBit Should Support Apple HealthKit...

What is ScareWare?

ScareWare is one of the biggest problems in the computer industry, but so many people have no idea what it is... or what to do about it.


If you're surfing the web, and all of a sudden a window pops up telling you that you've got some sort of problem or a virus on your computer, and it suggests that you click a button to remove it right away, what do you do?

When many people see a message like that, they immediately click the button to "remove" the problem. Unfortunately, they don't realize that the message is a complete fake. You don't actually have a virus. It's just "ScareWare", but if you are fooled into thinking it's real, and actually click the button to "fix" the problem, you are actually installing the real virus.

In some cases, they claim to be giving you a free... [More]

Continue...What is ScareWare?...

No Headphone Jack? Thanks Apple!

The latest iPhone doesn't have a headphone jack, thank goodness.


Every now and then, Apple does something unexpected and it makes people question their judgement. This time it was the simple elimination of the headphone jack from the latest generation of the iPhone. For some people this was a pretty bold move, because it's the first time a smartphone was manufactured without one.

Apple has a history of polarizing people. You either love them, or you hate them, so when they announced that the iPhone 7 wouldn't have a headphone jack, there were a lot of people saying they went too far this time. How can they make a smartphone without a headphone jack? it's a fundamental feature.

To me, I never questioned that choice. Instead of asking "Why did they remove it?", I wonder... [More]

Continue...No Headphone Jack? Thanks Apple!...

Tech Tip. How to Use Apple's Photo Search

One of the coolest features of Apple's Photos App is the ability to search your Photo Library.


As Photo Libraries get larger and larger, it becomes harder and harder to find specific photos when you're looking for them. It's like finding a needle in a haystack. Thankfully, there's a search option built into Apple's Photos App, but most people have no idea how powerful it is.

All you need to do is tap the search icon to open the search box, then simply type in what you're looking for. Believe it or not, it can find just about anything, and it doesn't matter if you've taken the time to create filenames, albums, or even tag keywords. Most of the time, you can find what you're looking for by using some of the built-in search categories.

Some of the search options are pretty... [More]

Continue...Tech Tip. How to Use Apple's Photo Search...

Why I Wear an Apple Watch

I've owned an Apple Watch since the first week they were released. Here's why.


Ever since smartphones came out, fewer and fewer people were wearing wristwatches, especially younger people, because they can get the time by looking at their phone. Considering this trend, some people wondered why Apple would even consider investing resources into developing a watch. As it turns out, their gamble paid off, because it's already become the most popular selling watch in the world. But why?

Here are a few reasons that I wear mine.

1. It's a REAL Watch. The most important reason to me is the same reason ANY watch is better than using your smartphone to get the time. Glancing at your wrist is safer and easier than to reach for your phone and risk dropping it. Simply stated, a s... [More]

Continue...Why I Wear an Apple Watch...

Apple's Maps App Needs an Intersection Feature

One thing missing from Apple's Maps App is the ability to get directions to an intersection.


One of my favorite features of a traditional GPS device is the ability to locate the intersection of two streets, because I often don't have an exact street address, but I know that it it's near an intersection.

So instead of guessing a number or name of your favorite Italian restaurant, it would be great to just tell the GPS to find the corner of Hylan Blvd and Benton Avenue.

Technically, you can specify an intersection manually, but there should be a specific feature with an icon that asks you for both street names.


This reminds me of other "Hidden" iPhone features, like Shake to Undo that should have a clear... [More]

Continue...Apple's Maps App Needs an Intersection Feature...

Did you know that Apple has a feature to show emergency contacts on your lock screen?


Most people don't know that Apple has a way to show emergency contacts on the lock screen, because it's buried inside the "Health App", where very few people even notice it. That's pretty strange, considering how important it is.

What Apple needs to do is either create a dedicated ICE App that is easy to find, or at the very least, give people an easy way to flag people in your Contacts List as being an "Emergency Contact". All you would need to do is check each contact you want to see in your lock screen and they will be available on the lock screen in the event that police, ambulance drivers, paramedics or emergency room staff need to reach your family in an emergency.

How Apple Can Improve The Voice Memos App

The Voice Memos App has great potential, but it's not as useful as a traditional voice recorder.


I've used voice recorders for more than 25 years because it's one of the best ways to take notes on the go. With a simple press of the button, you record your thoughts so that you can play them back when you find the time.

I stopped using a voice recorder when the iPhone came along, but there's one thing that really bugs me about using the built-in Voice Memos App, there's no way to just hit a REAL (External) button to pause and continue your recording. That's a real pain in the neck, because I would love to be able to launch the App, then use the volume buttons, especially on the headset to pause and continue the recording.

While you're recording, the volume buttons are usele... [More]

Continue...How Apple Can Improve The Voice Memos App...

Follow these steps to free up space on your iPhone!


One of the most common problems with the iPhone is running out of space. It's one of my most asked questions about the iPhone because it can be so tricky figuring out what to do when you don't even have enough room to take one more photo or video.

If you follow the steps in my video, you will be able to get back most of your space, without losing any of your photos or videos. The key is understanding where iPhone stores photos and videos sent via text messages, which isn't optimized, and how to move them to iCloud, where they take up very little space on your iPhone.

The main problem is that photos and videos take up a lot of space. Because of this, Apple has a great option to optimize space by storing your photos and v... [More]

Continue...How To Free Up Space on Your iPhone Without Deleting Photos or Videos...

Adjustable Mac Startup Volume

I hate when I turn on my Mac and the volume of the startup sound is way too loud.


This has bugged me for years. Every now and then, I forget to lower my volume before I shut down and that means that it will play Apple's famous Mac Startup chime at full blast when I turn it on the next day. What a pain in the ass.

You would think that if they don't give you a way to turn that sound off, they would at least give you a way to adjust the volume to a preset default level.

The iPhone Camera Chip is UPSIDE DOWN

Have you ever wondered why some of the photos you take with your iPhone are upside down when you transfer them to your computer?


One of the weirdest problems with the iPhone is trying to figure out why some of the photos you've taken are right side up, while some of them are upside down. It doesn't seem to make sense. When you look at them on your iPhone, they look fine, but after browsing or editing them on your computer, you have to manually flip some of them. How can that be?

The trouble is, every camera has a natural orientation for the chip that actually records your photos, so whenever you take a picture, the fastest thing the camera can do is store the photo exactly as it came out of the chip. So, all your photos are stored in that one orientation, regardless of how... [More]

Continue...The iPhone Camera Chip is UPSIDE DOWN...

Having only 4 digits for photo numbers is a real problem.


We take it for granted that whenever we take photos, our devices assign a unique filename. Most of the time, this consists of a prefix and a number. The iPhone for example uses the prefix IMG_, and a 4 digit number, for a total of 8 digits, including the underscore in the middle.

Sounds simple enough, but now that people can take hundreds of photos at any given event, that 4 digit number can cause a lot of problems down the road as we approach the 9999 mark.

To compensate for this, whenever you delete a photo, Apple takes advantage of the missing number and it will eventually re-use it, breaking the sequence. So when you bring your photos into your computer and sort by filename, the sequence of photos is completel... [More]

Continue...Photo Numbers on the iPhone Should Be At Least 5 Digits...

iPhone's Shake to UNDO is a STUPID Feature.

Shake to Undo? What the heck was Apple thinking?


Did you know you can shake your iPhone to undo something? From the surprised reactions of people who see me do it, I'm guessing there aren't many people who even know about this hidden feature, and that's one of the reasons Apple needs to re-think it.

What frustrates me is that sometimes you have to shake it pretty hard to get it to work, while other times it's too sensitive and it responds to every major bump in the road when it's mounted on my Jeep's dashboard. That's a problem on multiple levels. Since you need to shake it hard, there's always the chance that it will slip out of your hands... and when it's too sensitive, the popups asking you if you'd like to undo something drive you nuts.

What's even worse than the se... [More]

Continue...iPhone's Shake to UNDO is a STUPID Feature....

Do You REALLY NEED a GIANT Phone?

Why the heck are so many people buying GIANT mobile phones?


I have to admit. I was one of them. I drank the Apple Kool-Aid when it first came out and from that moment on, I kept making excuses for why I thought it was better than my old iPhone 5.

You need to use two hands, because it's harder to hold and you can't reach the whole screen. It doesn't fit into most pockets, so you tend to take it out and put it on a desk or table instead of keeping it with you at all times, which means you miss calls and messages. I can go on and one, but suffice it to say, there were a lot of things I was able to do with a smaller phone that were too clumsy with the bigger models.

Thankfully, I stopped making excuses and traded it in for the iPhone SE, which has most of the same features... [More]

Continue...Do You REALLY NEED a GIANT Phone?...

If your iPhone keeps running out of space... it may be because of photos and videos in the text / messaging app.


The iCloud Photos App does an amazing job of managing storage so that you can have potentially tens of thousands of photos and videos on a device with as little as 16 GB of storage. This is because the iCloud Photos App only needs to keep thumbnails or lower resolution versions of your media on your device until you tap them to get a higher resolution version.

I discovered this recently when a neighbor asked me to figure out why she couldn't take any photos, or read her emails on her iPhone. I checked her space, and she literally had zero bytes of space left. After digging further, I noticed she had almost no music, and didn't have many photos in her iCloud Photo... [More]

Continue...Why Photos and Videos Sent Via Texts Should Be Stored in iCloud Photos...

iTunes Needs a Backup Payment Option

If your credit card expires or is declined, you can lose all your iCloud files because there is no backup payment option.


The cloud is a wonderful thing. It lets you sleep at night knowing all of your valuable files are safe and secure. You don't have to worry about hard drive crashes, power surges, viruses, or even natural disasters like fires or floods. You can even lose your entire computer and you won't lose your data.

I pay about $10 per month for Apple's iCloud Drive service which gets me 1 TB of storage, allowing me to secure all my most important files, photos and videos all in one place. There's a pretty good feeling knowing that all my files are safe and secure.

Unfortunately last week I got a rude awakening. I tried to create a simple spreadsheet in Excel an... [More]

Continue...iTunes Needs a Backup Payment Option...

It's hard adding up multiple numbers without a tape, like an adding machine.


You should never use a calculator to add up a bunch of numbers, because there's a good chance you won't notice if you entered a wrong digit in one of the numbers. That's why accounting people use Adding Machines, because they have a register tape that you can use to confirm all the numbers.

Unfortunately, the iOS Calculator App doesn't have a "Tape Mode", to show you a history of all the numbers you've entered.

I think the easiest way to implement it would be to make it an option when you put the calculator sideways. Right now, rotating sideways turns on the Scientific Calculator, which most people will never use. Rather than eliminating the Scientific Calculator, there should be a button to swi... [More]

Continue...The iPhone Calculator App Should Have a Tape Option...

Apple needs to allow people to play their digital media purchases on non-Apple devices.


It drives me crazy that I can't read the text in the Reminders App.


I have a hard time reading the text in a lot of Apps, especially the Reminders App, which is funny because I have a 27 inch monitor. You'd think that with a monitor that large, the text would be as large as a house, but for some reason the text is super small, and you can't do a thing about it.

Changing font sizes should be a fundamental feature in any App that uses text, but for some reason the Reminders App still doesn't have an option to do it. This is a real pain in the neck for me, because I use the Reminders App every day to keep track of my ideas.

Siri Should Be Able To Take Voice Memos

I've given up on having Siri take notes and reminders because it never works.


When an idea comes to me, it's important that I record it right away. Most of the time, I don't have paper or pen, so I rely on my iPhone and Apple Watch to do it.

At frist I used Siri to take notes, but more often than not, it would mess up the voice recognition and I'd have to repeat the dictation again and again until it resembled what I asked for. Basically, I said something like "Remind me to get a case for my iPhone", and Siri would say "Okay, your reminder reads... Get a case of ice for home... Shall I create it?". If it got it wrong, I'd start over. It was frustrating, but at least the confirmation let me know when it finally got it right.

Then, for some reason Apple released an "Impro... [More]

Continue...Siri Should Be Able To Take Voice Memos...

The ability to roll back and undo unwanted changes should be a built-in option on Windows and Mac.


I hate the way Apps are organized on the iPhone.


There's no rhyme or reason. When you download a new App, it just ends up at the bottom of your last screen that has space on it. That means that if you want it somewhere else, you need to drag it from that page to the page you want... and that's tedious.

It's bad enough doing it with whatever App you downloaded last, but when you want to organize more than a few Apps, the process takes forever.

What I'd like to see is an option to see a mini version every page in a scrollable area, then let you drag the icon directly to the page you want, instead of slowly dragging them from page to page.

An Option To Pre-Load Maps on iPhone

The biggest drawback of using a SmartPhone as a GPS is that it can use a lot of mobile data loading maps.


Every time you use your mobile phone as a GPS, it uses mobile data to load the maps, even though you've driven the same roads almost every time you use it. Unless you've got an unlimited data plan, that's a waste.

Doesn't it make more sense that Apple at least gives you an option to pre-load the maps for your area? This not only would use less mobile data, but it would save quite a bit on your battery.

Why does Siri ask me to unlock my phone when I ask to Launch harmless Apps like Audible?


Security is very important to Apple, so it's understandable why they don't allow you to launch certain Apps without unlocking your iPhone first, however there are quite a few Apps that are completely harmless that should be allowed to launch without unlocking.

For example, Audible, Pandora, Amazon Music, Shazam, Sirius XM, iHeartRadio and countless streaming Apps have no security risks whatsoever, yet you can't launch them from Siri without unlocking the iPhone first. That's a real pain in the neck when you're simply trying to launch your favorite audio Apps while running, walking, or driving.

All Apple would need to do to allow this feature is to confirm that the App has no potential... [More]

Continue...An Option To Launch Audio Apps Without Unlocking...

You can swap between the front and back camera when you use FaceTime, but they don't have an option to swap cameras while shooting video.


Wouldn't it be great to have an option to switch back and forth between the front and back camera while shooting video on the iPhone? This would be perfect for people who want to shoot a regular video, then switch back to a selfie and wave to the camera.

This biggest hurdle is the fact that the front camera still isn't 1080p HD, which means that until they eventually upgrade the front camera to full HD, the output file will likely end up being 720p. Of course, that also means that you won't be able to use some of the other more advanced back camera features like ultra slow motion, and 4K video.

UPDATE: Although you still can't do this

... [More]

Continue...Switch From Front to Back Camera on the Same Clip...

One of the things I miss most about old school camcorders is having a Pause Button.


Now that most people use their smartphone to shoot video, we no longer have a way to pause videos. Every time you hit the button, it starts and stops the video, but you end up with with a whole bunch of separate video files. Wouldn't it be great if you had a way to just pause the video, then continue using the same video file.

Right now, the only way to put together a video like that is to use a video editing program like iMovie, which is a lot more complicated and time consuming.

If nothing else, it would be great to have a second record button with a plus sign that essentially means "Add this to the last clip".


The main idea is to make it easier for people to tie together multipl... [More]

Continue...iPhones Need A Pause Button When Shooting Videos...

Why iPads Need User Profiles

Sharing an iPad with family members is a pain in the neck.


If you've ever tried to share your iPad with a friend or family member, you know the frustration with trying to keep your Apps, Email, settings, and Photos private.

Everyone loves taking Selfies. The only problem is the front camera isn't as clear as the back camera.


More pictures today are taken using an iPhone than any other camera, including traditional camera brands like Nikon, Canon, and Sony, which is why Apple spends a lot of time improving the primary camera on the back of the iPhone.

The latest iPhone can not only shoot stills that can rival some DSLRs, it can even shoot jaw dropping 4K video, which until recently, was only available in very expensive professional cameras.

With that in mind, it's hard to believe the front camera on the iPhone still can't even shoot in full 1080p HD. While this may not sound important to some people, the fact is a large number of photos and videos taken today are Selfies, taken with the front... [More]

Continue...iPhone Front Camera Should Be Full 1080p HD...

Apple's Greed is Ruining Apple TV

Apple TV would be so much better if Apple wasn't so greedy.


When Apple introduced the latest generation Apple TV, I was pretty excited because they said it would have an App Store, just like iOS and OS X. To me that was a huge breakthrough because unlike the previous generation, it means that it can finally run third party Apps. The only problem is that most of the Apps are pretty lame.

This was a big letdown because I assumed it would only be a matter of time before my favorite video services like Amazon Instant Video and Vudu were finally available on my Apple TV. Even after al this time, neither company have Apps, and there's no indication they will be appearing any time soon.

I also hoped to see shopping Apps from companies like Amazon. eBay, and Walmart. Once again... [More]

Continue...Apple's Greed is Ruining Apple TV...

Making notes and reminders with Siri is like pulling teeth.


I don't know about you, but I'm fed up with talking to Siri like a two year old, just trying to get it to create a note or reminder.

Ever since Siri was introduced, I've been making notes and reminders whenever an idea hits me. Unfortunately, Siri has an absolutely horrible track record for (accurately) transcribing whatever I said. I say something like "Remind me to get cat food", and Siri is likely to translate that into something like "Get snack food". Making matters worse, when I get home to read back my reminders, I'll scratch my head and say "Why did I put that on my list?".

If your reminder or note has somebody's name in it, you might as well give up. Siri NEVER gets names right. Just try to tell Siri... [More]

Continue...Why iOS Should Save Your Voice Recordings When You Use Siri...

Apple TV Should Be 4K

Apple dropped the ball when they decided NOT to include 4K support in Apple TV.


Why is Apple making such a big fuss over the fact that the iPhone can shoot 4K video, when they don't actually have a platform for people to actually see their creations in 4K?

For what it's worth, every video you shoot in 4K will only show in 1080p on your iPhone itself... and 1080p on your TV, unless you use another brand of streaming box, such as Sony or Roku. While it wouldn't surprise me if the Apple TV was an older generation, but the generation that is being sold right now just came out at the end of 2015, and it's not likely to be replaced with a newer model for quite a while.

This gives the competition in the increasingly crowded TV streaming device market quite a head start. The issu... [More]

Continue...Apple TV Should Be 4K...

Nobody likes videos shot in portrait mode.


With a regular camera, there are two distinct ways to hold your camera, "Portrait" and "Landscape". For a regular camera, Landscape is the default position, which yields wider photos. By holding a camera sideways, you get photos that are taller. Sounds simple enough, however when mobile phones came along, the default, natural position has always been Portrait mode... with taller images.

This means that most photos taken with a mobile phone tend to be in Portrait mode. With still photography, it's not a big deal, but for videos it's a complete mess. Whenever you play a video shot in Portrait mode on a regular (wide) screen, the video doesn't fill the whole screen.

Most screens today have a 16:9 aspect ratio, which means they a... [More]

Continue...iPhones Should Automatically Shoot Videos in Landscape...

There's no reason to trigger notification alarms when you've manually launched the Mail App?


Alerts have a purpose... to let you know you should check your email. That's perfectly normal, but why does the iPhone buzz and send you an alert when you are already reading you email?

Think about it. Is there any reason whatsoever for your iPhone to buzz or make a sound while you are literally reading your email... at that exact moment? It's not only pointless, but it draws attention to the fact that you're reading your mail.

For some reason, this is the default behavior. It should be completely eliminated, or at the very least turned off by default.

Don't you hate when people shoot videos in portrait mode?


Everyone hates seeing videos that were shot in portrait mode, but some of the blame is on Apple, because they could easily make the camera shoot in landscape, regardless of how you hold your iPhone.

The main reason most people shoot videos in portrait is that it's a more comfortable way to hold your iPhone. While it's definitely useful to allow you to shoot still photos in portrait, there's very little reason why anyone would want a video in portrait mode.

There should be quick a way to temporarily block inbound texts while driving.


We all know how dangerous it is to send text messages while driving. Even people who don't send messages can be easily distracted if they receive a message while driving.

Most mobile devices already have a quick and easy way to enable "Airplane Mode", so device makers should add a button to disable texting too. After all, more people drive each day than fly.

It's surprising that there isn't already an option to disable texting anywhere in the settings menus on today's SmartPhones. Right now, the only way to disable texting is to turn the entire phone off or use Airplane Mode. While that seems like a simple solution, it also blocks you from using the GPS, and from making or receiving calls in the... [More]

Continue...Driving Mode. An Option To Block Inbound Texts While Driving....

Isn't it strange that some of the most popular iPhone Apps don't work in landscape mode?


It's bad enough that some of the smaller independent developers don't support it, but some of the most popular Apps such as Apple's own Music App, Facebook, and LinkedIn still don't support it.

I'm sure some developers feel it's easy enough to just flip the phone over and use the Apps in portrait mode, but that's missing the point. The fact is some people prefer landscape mode, especially if they mount their phones on their dashboards as a GPS.

As a programmer, I know it's not that difficult to design an App that uses both portrait and landscape mode. Even a novice developer can do that. A more seasoned developer can not only support landscape mode, but take advantage of the extra sp... [More]

Continue...Why Don't More iPhone Apps Support Landscape Mode?...

Not everyone is willing to pay for radio, especially casual listeners.


When Apple Radio launched, it was just like Pandora and iHeartRadio. It was a free music service that let people create their own custom "Stations" featuring their favorite kinds of music. Since the service was free, there were commercials, just like traditional radio.

For most casual users, the inclusion of a commercial every now and then was completely normal. After all, radio stations have been running commercials for almost 100 years.

However when Apple acquired Beats Music, they decided to change Apple Radio to a subscription model without commercials. This means that casual listeners like me who are unwilling to pay have no other choice but to use a competing service.

The key point is that

... [More]

Continue...Why Apple Radio Should Have a Free Option (With Commercials)...

There's only one reason Apple doesn't include a web browser in Apple TV... MONEY!


As a followup to a previous post, Apple TV Needs a Web Browser, there's actually a reason Apple doesn't include it, and it has nothing at all to do with the hardware or software. It's just plain greed.

Have you ever printed an email using your iPhone?


If you print an email using any iOS device, you'll see that for some reason, Apple doesn't always put the date on top. Instead of the full date and time, as most email Apps do, Apple likes to use a more conversational approach for any date within the last week.

This means that a email received today or yesterday will say something like "Today at 8:52am", or "Yesterday at 12:02 pm" respectively. The other five days of the week will be spelled out like: "Tuesday at 7:05am". While that may sound less official than writing "Wednesday, January 5, 2016 10:27pm", it's infinitely more practical... WHEN YOU PRINT IT ON PAPER.

I discovered this when I read an email I printed that said "Today at 8:52am", on top. I had to stop for... [More]

Continue...Apple Needs To Print REAL Dates on Emails in iOS...

Apple TV Should Include a Web Browser

What good is using Siri on an Apple TV if you can't ask it questions about anything but movies and TV shows?


When I first heard that the all new Apple TV had Siri voice control, the first thing I assumed was that it would include a web browser. After all, if you ask Siri for something on your mobile device, most of the time the result is a web page. So wouldn't it make sense for Siri to return web pages on the TV? What's so complicated about that?

Apple TV is fundamentally an iOS device without a screen, so in theory it would be easy to port just about any iOS App, such as the Safari Web Browser to Apple TV, asa long as you work out a decent user interface. While I admit it may be a bit awkward without a touch screen, keyboard or mouse, it's far from impossible. The touc... [More]

Continue...Apple TV Should Include a Web Browser...

Why iPads Need User Profiles

There's one thing wrong with sharing your iPad with your family... nothing is private.


Most people today have their own email address and social media account. This means that a typical family of four will have at least four different email address, and at least as many social media accounts. In fact, each family member is likely to have multiple social media accounts for everything from YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, so there's a pretty good chance that there could be 20 or more accounts to juggle on the typical iPad.

Unfortunately, since the iPad doesn't have a feature that lets each family member have their own User Profile, anyone who uses it will end up using the same email and social media accounts.


This can be particularly disturbing if a child acci... [More]

Continue...Why iPads Need User Profiles...

Don't you hate it when a file unzips when you double click it? What if you only wanted to see what was in it?


Zip files are a great way to store a lot of information in one little file. A single 1 GB Zip file could contain thousands of little files adding up to as much as 10 GB or more, depending on the types of files store inside.

The problem is that whenever you open a Zip file on the Mac, it automatically unzips the whole thing and stores all the files in a folder with the same name as the Zip file. While that may sound convenient, it's a real pain in the neck if all you wanted to do was see what was in it.

By contrast, in Windows, whenever you open a Zip file, it shows you what's inside and offers an option to UnZip the contents if you'd like. This is not only faste... [More]

Continue...The Mac Shouldn't Unzip Files When You Click Them...

More than half of the Faces on the Apple Watch don't allow you to show seconds.


Apple claims that the Apple Watch is one of the most accurate timepieces in the world because it's accurate to around a billionth of a second. The trouble is most of the watch faces don't give you an option to show the number of seconds, which means at any given moment, you could be up to 59 seconds off.

This means that if you look at your watch and it reads 8:59, it could actually be 8:59... and 59 seconds. To me, that's a pretty big gap considering the main point of a watch is to give you the accurate time.

Another key point is that a second hand on a watch isn't just to give you the exact second, but to give you the ability to quickly time things. For example, nurses will look at the secon... [More]

Continue...Every Apple Watch Face Should Allow You To See Seconds...

REAL Threaded Email on iOS / iPhone

Apple's Email App does a bad job of showing "Threaded Conversations"


If you've ever used Gmail, you're already familiar with "Threaded Email", which means that when you view any given email. you see all subsequent replies in chronological order, with the newest at the bottom.

Apple recently added what they consider Threaded Email to their iOS Mail App, but it's missing something very important. Emails you sent as replies are not included as part of the thread. What you end up with is only half a conversation.

By contrast, Google's Gmail App is fully threaded and it's easy to follow each conversation, which isn't surprising because Google was the first major email platform to support it.

FaceTime Group Chat / Conferencing

Why doesn't FaceTime let you talk to more than one person at a time?


FaceTime is one of the most popular features on the iPhone, yet it lacks one big feature... the ability to chat with multiple people. Video conferencing has been around for years. Skype and Google have had it for quite a while, so you have to wonder what Apple is waiting for?

The Apple Reminders App Needs a Print Option

Why doesn't the Apple Reminders App have a print option?


The Apple Reminders App is one of the most popular Apps on the iPhone, iPad and Mac, yet it lacks the one of the most fundamental features of every other productivity App... the ability to print your lists.

Fans of David Allen's "Getting Things Done" (GTD) know the importance of a good system to track your notes and to-do lists. The idea of tracking your to-do lists is essential, however not everyone goes about it the same way. Some prefer digital tracking using Apps on computers, tablets and mobile devices, while others prefer a manual paper based system.

Regardless of your method to create your lists, the ability to put those lists on paper should always be an option, especially when you're on the go. For example... [More]

Continue...The Apple Reminders App Needs a Print Option...

I hate the way media is organized on my iPhone.


One of the great things about iOS devices is that they can store many different types of media. The trouble is Apple doesn't do a good job of organizing things.

There are dedicated Apps for Photos, Videos, Podcasts, Books, Magazines and Music. Sounds simple enough, but some media blurs the lines between categories making it hard to pin down.

For example, the Video App has buttons for Movies, TV Shows and Music Videos, but it doesn't have an option to show videos you made yourself, which are located inside the Photos App.

Although it seems to make sense that music videos are located inside the Music App, they really shouldn't be there. They're already in the Videos App, and doesn't make sense for the Music App to include... [More]

Continue...How Media Should Be Organized On Apple Devices (video)...

The iPhone needs curved sides to make it easier to hold.


How do you hold your iPhone? If you're like me, most of the weight is supported by your pinky because the sides are too smooth.

This has bothered me for years, and it's become an even bigger problem now that I have the larger iPhone 6 Plus. The longer you hold it, the more you strain your pinky, and it can even put strain on your wrist and lower arm.

The simple solution is to put a slight curve in the case, so it doesn't slide down as you hold it.

Why The FBI Doesn't Need to Hack The iPhone

Hacking iPhones isn't the answer because they shouldn't design devices that are capable of being hacked.


As a tech guy, I have an entirely different spin on why Apple shouldn't be obligated to write software to hack their devices.

A lot of people think this is a question of protecting the privacy of the criminal.
It's not

A lot of people think this is a question of patriotism.
It's not.

A lot of people think this is a question of national security.
It's not.

A lot of people think the FBI needs to hack the iPhone to find out who the terrorist called and sent texts to.
They don't.

The fact is 99% of the useful information an investigator needs is already available to them, whether or not they get physical possession of a criminal's iPhone.


Once investigat... [More]

Continue...Why The FBI Doesn't Need to Hack The iPhone...

Can't get your team on the same page? Why not start by sharing a monitor?


It's not easy getting a team to work together. The larger the team, the harder it is for people to fully communicate ideas. Because of this, anything that improves communication is guaranteed to increase productivity.

My idea is to have shared second monitors, which means that each team member would have a second monitor that is shared, in real-time with everyone else on the team.

The second monitor could be centrally located on a large screen... or mirrored on individual monitors at each team member's desk. You would work with it just like a second monitor, except that whenever somebody interacts with it, everyone on the team sees it.

To make it happen, the each computer would have a virtual m... [More]

Continue...Shared Second Monitors. A New Spin On Collaborative Computing....

Add Text Captions In Apple Photos

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Why can't you add text captions in the Apple Photos App?


It's odd that Apple's Photos App doesn't have a feature that lets you add text captions. It's a great way to turn photos into something fun, like an Internet Meme.

Even if you're not trying to turn your photos into Memes, the ability to add text to a photo is still very useful for adding titles, names, and comments to your photos. For example, a photo of two people standing in front of a car may seem uninteresting on the surface, but adding the caption "Joe's first car" adds an entirely new dimension.

Adding text is a fundamental feature that every serious photo App should have, and for the most part, I've never seen one that lacked this feature. In fact even the oldest graphic programs from the 80s had the ability... [More]

Continue...Add Text Captions In Apple Photos...

Why can't you use your iPhone upside down?


It's pretty strange that you can rotate an iPad in any direction, but you can't do the same thing with any iPhone. It doesn't make sense at all. Flipping an iPhone sideways is a lot more complicated for programmers to support because it changes the entire orientation from portrait to landscape, but a simple flip upside down should be a no-brainer. Everything is the same, except it's upside down.

This is particularly a problem for people like me who place their iPhone in the cup holder when driving. It's a real catch-22. If I place it in the cup right side up, the wire is crushed underneath and it eventually wears out, which can potentially damage not only the wire but the iPhone itself. If I place it in the cup upside down, the... [More]

Continue...The iPhone Should Work in Any Direction, Including Upside Down...

iCloud Photo Support For Apple TV

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Why can't you see your entire iCloud Photo Library on the new Apple TV?


The newest generation Apple TV has the same icon as the Photos App that runs on iOS and OS X, but it's nothing at all like the Photos App on the Mac, iPhone or iPad. I can understand why it doesn't fully support things like photo enhancing, but it should at least give you full access to your entire iCloud Photo Library.

Right now, I've got nearly 20,000 photos in my iCloud Photos Library, but the Apple TV Photos App just shows the latest photos, and it really doesn't have any features to search the library.

Since the newest generation Apple TV has just about the same storage capacity as most iPhones (up to 64 GB), it should have plenty of room to keep thumbnails of your entire photo library, just like... [More]

Continue...iCloud Photo Support For Apple TV...

Facebook for Apple TV

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Stay connected from your sofa.


There should be a Facebook App on the new Apple TV.

Before Facebook came along people just sat on the sofa every night stared at the TV. Now they sit on the sofa and stare at their mobile phone so they can use Facebook, so doesn't it make sense for Facebook to release an Apple TV App? Then everyone can stare at their TV again.

Now the Apple TV has an App Store, you'd think Facebook would be one of the first Apps released because it's one of the most popular Apps of all time. Initially, I assumed it was just bad timing, but it's been quite a while and there's still no indication that they are releasing an App.

I realize a lot of people wouldn't be comfortable typing with the Apple remote control, but even without a Bluetooth keyboard, peo... [More]

Continue...Facebook for Apple TV...

iOS Calculator Tape Display Mode

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Why doesn't the iPhone and iPad calculator have a tape display mode?


The Calculator App has been included in every version of the iPhone and iPad since the first iPhone in 2007. Other than changing the look and color of the buttons, it hasn't had any changes since then.

One of the things I'd really love to see is a Tape Mode option, which would be perfect for when you hold your device in landscape mode. A Tape Mode would work like a traditional desktop adding machine, allow people to see a tally of the most recent calculations.

To me, there's a huge difference between an adding machine and a calculator, especially when you want to add a large number of numbers in a row. The tape makes it easy to confirm that the entire list of numbers was accurate, so you know you didn't... [More]

Continue...iOS Calculator Tape Display Mode...

Full HD on iPhone 7 Front Camera

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People take a lot of selfies. The trouble is, they're not as good as the ones from the back camera.


Techies know that when you want to shoot the best possible selfie, you need to flip over the camera and use the one on the back. That's because the back facing camera on most cameras, including the iPhone have better lenses and higher resolutions, including full HD.

The trouble with using the back camera for selfies is that you can't see the screen, which makes it hard for you to position the camera to include everyone in the group (including yourself) without cutting off their heads


I think it's time Apple includes a better front facing camera on the next generation iPhone. After all, some people use the front camera just as much as the back, especially for FaceTime.... [More]

Continue...Full HD on iPhone 7 Front Camera...

VUDU For Apple TV

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Why isn't VUDU available on Apple TV?


Back in the 90s, I made the mistake of buying a lot of DVDs because they were clearly superior to VHS, and I assumed I would never want anything better. When HDTV, Blu-Ray, and streaming services came along, I suddenly realized my entire library was quickly becoming out of date, so I stopped buying DVDs.

Rather than re-purchase all my movies in Blu-Ray, I decided to give Walmart's VUDU service a try. Besides giving you the option to purchase HD movies that your can stream online, VUDU allows you to pop your original DVD into your computer, then pay $2 to add the same movie to your VUDU account. They even let you upgrade your old DVD version to full HD for $5, so I started getting HD versions of some of my favorite movies.

So now I

... [More]

Continue...VUDU For Apple TV...

Merge Folders on iOS

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Why doesn't apple have an option to merge folders in iOS?


Organizing apps on your iPhone or iPad is a real pain in the neck, which is why Apple created an iOS option allowing you to create folders to group similar apps together.

Sooner or later you end at least a few similar folders that should merged be together. The trouble is, iOS doesn't have a quick way to do this.

The only way to merge folders is to take each app from the original folder and drag it one by one into the second folder. That's pretty crude, especially if the folders aren't on the same page. There should be able to just drag one folder onto the second to have the system merge them together.

Taken to the next level, dragging one folder onto the other should create sub folders, but at the very least, mer... [More]

Continue...Merge Folders on iOS...

Use iTunes Cards in Apple Stores

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Have you ever tried to use an iTunes card in an Apple Store? You can't.


I find it odd that Apple has two kinds of gift cards. One card is for making purchases in the Apple Store or on their website. The other card is for buying digital media such as music, movies, books, and Apps on iTunes.

The trouble is, you can't use the iTunes Card to make purchases in the Apple Store or on the website. This makes it difficult for some people to tell the difference when they are picking out a gift for somebody who loves Apple products. If you intended to give somebody a card they can use towards Apple hardware, such as a Mac, iPad, iPhone, Apple TV, or an accessory, and you accidentally buy an iTunes card, they can't use it.

The mixup is a bit easier if you intended to give somebody... [More]

Continue...Use iTunes Cards in Apple Stores...

Why Does Apple TV Have a Useless USB Port?

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Apple has a reputation of eliminating unnecessary features, but somehow the Apple TV still has a non-functioning USB port.


If you look on the back of the current and previous generations of the Apple TV, you'll find a USB port. According to Apple, that port is for maintenance purposes only, and it has no purpose for consumers.

If it's not there for customer access, why bother putting it there in the first place? I'm sure that if Apple actually needed to repair an Apple TV, they could simply connect to it using Wifi or wired Ethernet. Under the slim chance that whatever service they may need can't be done by connecting via the WiFi or Ethernet, they could just as easily placed a low cost diagnostic connector on the inside.

The most frustrating thing is knowing that the "U... [More]

Continue...Why Does Apple TV Have a Useless USB Port?...

Undo Shouldn't Be A Hidden Option

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Do you want to know why there isn't an Undo button on the iPhone?


A while back, I did a blog post about why iOS Mail Needs an Undo Option. I was venting about how much of a pain in the neck it was to undelete an email you accidentally deleted, because I hated having to leave my inbox, then look through my deleted folder every time I accidentally deleted something.

As it turns out, I was wrong. There already is an Undo option. All you have to do is shake your iPhone. What the heck? Yes. Shake your iPhone. How is anyone supposed to know that? Isn't it easier to just put an undo option someplace?

Look, I'm a big fan of minimalistic design. I love when developers remove options in order to distill them to... [More]

Continue...Undo Shouldn't Be A Hidden Option...

Why App Stores Need Upgrade Pricing

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Why Upgrade Pricing is important to the future of App Stores.


When Apple introduced the App Store for the iPhone, it change the way people buy software. Before App Stores, only a handful of software companies had the resources to get distribution into brick and mortar stores. Although they could sell their Apps through online sites, it wasn't easy for customers to even know they existed.

The App Store was groundbreaking because even an independent developer could earn millions of dollars by reaching customers from around the world. Apple made the entire process completely seamless. All a developer has to do is write the program, decide on a price, and submit it to the App Store. Once it's accepted, Apple takes care of everything. They collect the money, make it easy to d... [More]

Continue...Why App Stores Need Upgrade Pricing...

Voice Memos on Apple Watch

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Why isn't a voice memo app built-in?


It's funny that Apple didn't include a Voice Memo App on the Apple Watch. Even the original 2007 iPhone had a built-in Voice Memo App, and for me it was one of it's best features.

The interface was simple, you just hit a button and it started recording. Hit another button and it stopped. It also had a simple list of previous recordings, which you could play back and that was all you needed to do.

Before getting my iPhone, I had a bunch of dedicated voice recorders, but they were clumsy, and whenever you wanted to play them back, it took a long time to find the one you wanted, because they had no way to give the recordings a meaningful name, or even a date stamp.

When the Apple Watch came out, I assumed I could simply hit a button a... [More]

Continue...Voice Memos on Apple Watch...

Apple Landline Phone System

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A better landline phone can only come from a company like Apple.


Mobile phones have come a long way in the last 10 years, yet landline phones aren't much better than they were 40 years ago. Simply stated, landline phones are junk.

It's not just because mobile phones now have enough computing power to do things like play games and surf the Internet, smartphones are also much better at being... a phone. Everything about making and answering calls is easier on a Smartphone than it is on a landline. Heck, even most flip phones do a better job than a landline phone.

It's the little things, like having an easy to use contact list, so you don't have to memorize phone numbers and worry about dialing the wrong number, or making conference calls... not to mention sending text me... [More]

Continue...Apple Landline Phone System...

Linkable Screens

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Computers with multiple monitors are pretty common, but you never see TVs linked together in a living room.


Connecting multiple monitors to a computer is relatively easy, but if your computer doesn't have the ability to plug in additional monitor, you need to use unreliable USB adapters that can be sluggish.

A more universal solution is to build monitors and TVs that can be linked together. You would simply plug one computer into your computer or cable converter, and then link additional screens to the first one using a wireless connection or another cable.

Your cable TV box or your computer would see your linked screens as one screen with a much higher resolution. So, two side by side 1920x1080 screens would look like one 3840x1080 screen... or if they are stacked top to... [More]

Continue...Linkable Screens...

TVs are Too Complicated

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Isn't technology supposed to make things easier?


When I was young, a TV had two basic dials. One turned it on and adjusted the volume, and the other changed the channel. Technically, there was a third dial, the UHF dial, but nobody used it. It had nothing but static.

Years later, as cable TV, DVD and Blu-Ray discs, gaming consoles, and home theaters came along things started to get complicated. It's not just an issue of a plugging in a couple of new wires and remotes. For many people, their TV is so complicated they need to hire a professional installer to help them plug everything in, and explain how to use it.

As a tech guy, so I'm often the Go-To Guy people call when they can't figure out technology and I've had more people ask me to get their TV working than I can... [More]

Continue...TVs are Too Complicated...

Split Plane Side By Side Browsers

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Wide screens + narrow web pages = side by side browsing.


Just about every screen sold today has a wide screen. It's nearly impossible finding a TV or computer monitor that still has the old 4:3 square aspect ratio, so why not make a browser that actually takes advantage of the extra width by letting you view two web sites at the same time.

Although some web sites are look decent when you extend your browser window to it's widest size, most are still optimized for narrow screens. In fact, because of mobile devices, just about every web site today looks great even when the browser is squeezed into a very narrow space.

I love using browser tabs, but there are a lot of times when I'd rather have two browser windows side by side, so I can see them both at the same time. While... [More]

Continue...Split Plane Side By Side Browsers...
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You will never find a more wretched hive of scum an villainy than inside the web browser on your computer.


As a tech guy, I get calls every day from people telling me their computer isn't working the way it should. More often than not, the problems are related to something that hijacked their web browser by adding either an extension, plug-in, or a toolbar.

Even when the problem has nothing to do with a virus, all those extensions, plug-ins and toolbars cause countless problems. The trouble is, typical computers are loaded with them and most people don't release how useless, if not harmful they are.

In the photo at the top of this post you'll see an actual screen capture of the extensions settings from my own web browser. The point is... there are no extensions, because... [More]

Continue...Browsers Without Extensions, Plug-ins, or Toolbars...

VideoMail.

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Voicemail is so 1995!


When was the last time you heard a busy signal? Chances are, it's been at least 20 years. That's when all the major phone companies started including voicemail as an option.

Voicemail made it possible to leave a message to somebody whenever they didn't answer. Unlike an answering machine, it also let you leave a message when the other person was on the phone.

Twenty years later, VoiceMail is bigger than ever, because literally every mobile or landline phone has voicemail as a standard option. This means that busy signals are virtually non-existent, and every caller has the option to leave voicemail.

Now that FaceTime calls are so common, shouldn't you have an option to leave a video message?


VideoMail is the natural evolution of VoideMai... [More]

Continue...VideoMail....

iCloud Support for Apple Time Capsule

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Just set it... and forget it.


Most people don't think about backups, until their computers eventually break down, then it's too late. That's why I love Apple's Time Capsule. It's the easiest backup system I've ever used. Once you set it up, it automatically creates hourly backups of every Mac in your house, so you'll never forget to make a backup. Since it's wireless, you can put it anywhere in your house and you won't even know it's there.

That's how all backups should be, automatic. If you need to be reminded to plug something in, chances are, you'll forget.

The only problem is that your Time Capsule, is in your house, so if your computer is damaged due to some kind of disaster, your backup is worthless. When Superstorm Sandy hit New York, several of my clients no... [More]

Continue...iCloud Support for Apple Time Capsule...

Adjustable Mac Boot Sound

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Sometimes it's way too loud!


You're on your way home, and your favorite song comes on. If you're like me, you're going to crank up the volume as much as possible and maybe even sing along. Heck, it's your favorite song, make it as loud as you can and enjoy it. When you get home, you shut the car and head inside.

The next day, you start the car and your radio is still at the same maximum volume it was the night before, except this time, it catches you off guard and scares the heck out of you. This time, it's not playing your favorite song and you can't believe you had the volume that loud the night before.

If you own a Mac, the same thing happens every time you turn it on. It plays the famous "Mac Startup Chord"... at whatever volume you were at when you shut it down. I... [More]

Continue...Adjustable Mac Boot Sound...

App Stores Should Show Performance Requirements

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Nobody wants to pay for an App that does't work.


Manufacturers release new devices every day. Each new release tends to me better than the previous generation. They have faster processors, additional memory, and better graphics, so it's only natural that App developers will jump at a chance to take advantage of all the new features.

The problem is a lot of people still have older devices and they don't realize the slick new App they're about to buy won't work properly on their old device.

Apple's App Store uses very generic terms to describe the system requirements of each App. Instead of listing actual hardware requirements, they list "Compatibility", and only make mention to which version of iOS is required. Other than that, the listing will say "Compatible with iPhon... [More]

Continue...App Stores Should Show Performance Requirements...

Computer Hardware Subscriptions

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For people who always want the latest computer hardware.


One of the most talked about features of Apple's newest iPhone 6s phones has nothing to do with the phone itself, it's Apple's new "iPhone Upgrade Program", which allows you to pay a fixed monthly rate, then trade in your old phone every 12 months.

The iPhone Upgrade Program is perfect for people who want to get their hands on the latest models as soon as possible. It's a win-win for everyone. The customer gets the next generation phone in one year, instead of two. Apple gets the old phone a year sooner, while it still has a strong resale value, especially in international markets.

Apple should consider creating an Upgrade Program for other hardware, especially Macs.


Several computer companies have had mixe... [More]

Continue...Computer Hardware Subscriptions...

Apple Photos App Guest Mode with View Only Access.

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Is it safe to share your computer or iPad with friends or family members?


The cloud is a wonderful thing. Every time you add a photo to your library using your computer, iPad or iPhone, it's sent to the cloud and magically appears on every device you own, and can even be accessed from the web. How cool is that?

Conversely, if you delete a photo from one of your devices, it magically deletes itself form all your other devices, so if you pass around your iPad to friends and family at a party, and they accidentally delete some of your photos... they can vanish from your computer, and everywhere else and you might not notice it until it's too late.

That's why Apple should have a "Guest Mode", that only allows people to view your photo library, and not make any changes or de

... [More]

Continue...Apple Photos App Guest Mode with View Only Access....

Browse Photos By Face on iPhone and iPad

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Although Apple's new iOS Photos App no longer shows you the option to browse by face, it's still there... sort of.


I love Apple's new iOS Photos App, but I was surprised that some older features vanished, such as Smart Albums and face browsing. In older versions, if you used iPhoto on your Mac to tag faces or create Smart Albums, you could easily browse them on your iPhone.

When the new version came out, I spent quite a few hours tagging faces on my Mac, expecting to see them in the Photos App on my iPhone, only to discover the faces option was gone. At first, I assumed this was because of a delay in syncing my photo library to iCloud, so I waited an hour or so. The next day... still nothing.

Although the face option was gone, I decided to try a little test. I did a s

... [More]

Continue...Browse Photos By Face on iPhone and iPad...

Play From USB on Apple TV

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Why doesn't Apple TV let you use the USB port for your own files?


When the first generation Apple TV was released in 2007, there weren't many streaming services, so they focused on the ability to store your own movies on it the built-in hard drive by syncing with iTunes. They originally offered a 40 GB and 160 GB version, but they eventually dropped the 40 GB version so people could store a lot more content.

When the next generation was introduced, they eliminated the hard drive entirely, so they could focus on streaming from online services. Without the hard drive, it became more complicated to play your own movies, because you had to setup your computer as an iTunes server.

Although there has been a USB port in every generation of Apple TV, it can't be used to play your... [More]

Continue...Play From USB on Apple TV...

Wireless iPhone Charging

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I hate wires.


I went to Ikea the other day and discovered that they sell all sorts of wireless charging devices, including quite a few that are fully integrated with their furniture.

Wireless charging isn't new, but it was the first time I saw a non-tech company embrace the idea. Some of their chargers can be built into various desks, tables and lamps, while others were standalone units that look like drink coasters that can be placed anywhere.

All you have to do is place your phone on top of the charging pad and viola... it starts charging. There's one small catch, none of Apple's phones support wireless charging.


In order to use Ikea's chargers with an iPhone, you have to buy a special case with a wireless charger receiver, but that adds bulk to the phone. It w... [More]

Continue...Wireless iPhone Charging...
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Yesterday Apple Released WatchOS 2.0, including more Faces... that still don't show seconds.


I don't like repeating myself, but as I mentioned in a previous post: Apple should allow the seconds as an option on more Watch Faces., but even after the first major update to WatchOS, they still don't offer the option to show the seconds on more than half the Watch Faces.

It's great that they rolled out a bunch of new features, they forgetting that one of it's most important features is telling time. Their ads even call it one of the most accurate timepieces in the world. If more than half the faces don't offer the option to put the seconds on the face, anyone checking the time can't tell if the time is 11:09 and 1 secon... [More]

Continue...Show Seconds on Apple Watch Faces... Isn't About Time?...

iTunes Purchases Should Be Downloadable Forever.

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What good is a digital purchase if you can't find it?


If you've been using iTunes for a while, there's a good chance that some of your earlier purchases are no longer available in the iTunes store. Whenever those items are removed from the store, they also vanish from your online library, which means that unless you make copies of the original files, there's no way to download them again. How dumb is that?

So, many of your old music, movies, books, apps, and audiobooks may be missing right now, and you won't even notice until you look for them.

I first discovered this after I purchased a bunch of Audible audiobooks from iTunes.

Since audiobooks tend to be pretty big files, I would periodically delete them from my local computer, under the assumption that I could re

... [More]

Continue...iTunes Purchases Should Be Downloadable Forever....

Apple TV Should Support 4K Video

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4K TVs look amazing... with 4K content.


As the prices of 4K TVs continue to drop, consumers are having a hard time finding content that takes advantage of the resolution. Right now, the only way to get 4K content is to stream it online, or create it yourself.

This week Apple released the new iPhone 6s, which can shoot 4K video, and a new iPad that's powerful enough to edit it. The problem is that the new Apple TV doesn't play 4K videos in their native resolution. So, if you want to see your own 4K videos, or the latest Hollywood movies in full resolution, you'll need to buy a third party media player.

Considering Apple's support for 4K, and even 5K video in the Mac and iOS platforms, leaving it out of the new Apple TV is a pretty big mistake. While the new Apple TV will... [More]

Continue...Apple TV Should Support 4K Video...
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Apple should make a Bluetooth keyboard that is exactly like the one on the MacBook Pro.


I love the keyboard on the MacBook Pro, especially because of the integrated Multi-Touch Magic TrackPad. It would be great if you could get the same exact layout for your desktop iMac or Mac Pro.

Right now, iMac and Mac Pro owners looking for an Apple branded keyboard can choose between wired and wireless keyboards that have the same basic feel, although the wired version also has a numeric keypad on the right. Then they can choose between the Magic TrackPad and / or Magic Mouse.

I think they should have a third option... a fully integrated Bluetooth keyboard and TrackPad that is exactly like the one on the MacBook Pro. L... [More]

Continue...MacBook Pro Style Bluetooth Keyboard and TrackPad...

Tap Apple Watch To Unlock Your iPhone

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I hate passwords, especially on my iPhone.


I never let my iPhone out of my sight. It's either on my desk at home, or it's secured to my belt in a holster, so I never had any reason to set a passcode to turn it on. That changed when I decided to try Apple Pay on my Apple Watch, which doesn't work unless you secure your iPhone with a Passcode.

While I'm not thrilled with the idea of having to enter a Passcode every time I turn on my iPhone, I can understand why they require it for Apple Pay. It's still a pain in the neck, because you need to unlock the phone quite often.

I configured the Touch ID for at least four of my fingers, so I can unlock it without having to actually typing the password, but the problem is it doesn't work when I have wet hands or if I'm wearing glov... [More]

Continue...Tap Apple Watch To Unlock Your iPhone...

Browse Photos By Camera Source

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Every time you take a photo, it records what camera was used to take it.


While this may not seem important, but the fact that every photo in your library has that information can come in handy, especially when you are looking for a photo somebody sent you. When you've got thousands of photo, finding a photos like that is like finding a needle in a haystack.

So, let's say you've got 20,000 photos, and your friend sends you a picture, but you can't find it. By browsing by Camera Source, you can narrow the choice down quite a bit.

With a photo library that large, a photo manager with an option like this would show you lots of photos taken by your own cameras and cell phones, then a few from cameras you've never owned. By browsing each of these additional camera sources, you... [More]

Continue...Browse Photos By Camera Source...
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Apple needs to create a dedicated library for audio recordings.


One of my favorite things about Apple is the way they pay attention to detail. They were the first to have dedicated places for photos, videos and music, making it easy for people to organize the most common types of media.

We take it for granted that when we take a photo or shoot a video, it's going to be in our photo library, or if we store our music, it'll be in our music library on iTunes, but what about the other media we accumulate?

The trouble is, there is no dedicated place for things like voicemail archives, voice memos and other audio recordings.

Without a library for audio recordings, Voice memos recorded using the Apple Voice Recorder App can't be accessed by other Apps. Ideally, any App that sa... [More]

Continue...Audio Library For iOS and Mac OS X. A Place For Voicemail and Voice / Audio Recordings....
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Isn't it strange that there isn't a way to save or forward voicemail on the iPhone?


The iPhone changed the way people use voicemail. It was the first phone to have "Visual Voicemail", giving you the ability to see a list of messages, rather than having to navigate through a series of voice prompts to play back and manage your messages.

Apple made this possible by downloading messages directly to the iPhone, rather than forcing you to call a number to hear them. This not only made it easier to select and play message, but even play them back without relying on over-the-air reception.

Since the iPhone already downloads messages for Visual Voicemail, saving it as an MP3 should be easy for them to implement.


Although you can save a message indefinitely on the iPhone i... [More]

Continue...Save or Forward Voicemail as MP3 Files on iPhones...
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There needs to be an easy way to turn texting off with one button.


Its extremely dangerous to send text messages while driving a car. Even people who have no intention to send messages can be easily distracted if they receive a message while driving.

Countless lives have been destroyed because of texting, so there should be some method to disable texting while driving.


Most mobile devices already have a quick and easy way to enable "Airplane Mode", so device makers should add a button to disable texting too. After all, more people drive each day than fly.

It's surprising that there isn't an option to disable texting anywhere in the settings menus of any of the major smartphones on the market. This option should not be added, but it should be added someplace like... [More]

Continue...Driving Mode Button. Block Texting With One Touch....

What Happened To Siri Confirmations?

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After a recent iOS update, Siri stopped offering confirmations before it saves reminders... Now it sucks.


Like most people, I have a love / hate relationship with Siri. I tolerate all the times that Siri misunderstands what I ask for because it at least gave me a chance to confirm what I asked for before it saved my reminders.

Confirmations of reminders are essential to people who use headsets to create reminders because you can't see the screen to make corrections if the dictation is wrong, which it frequently is.

Before the change, I said something like: "Remind me to get chips", and Siri said "Here's your reminder... it says Ketchup. Shall I create it?" If Siri was wrong, I said "Cancel" or "Change title" and I could fix it.

Now that Apple removed the confirmation... [More]

Continue...What Happened To Siri Confirmations?...

Undo Option in Apple's Mail Apps

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It drives me crazy whenever I accidentally delete an email using my iPhone.


Apple's Mail Apps for iOS devices makes it easy to delete unwanted mail. It also makes it easy to delete mail you intend to keep. To minimize the problem, they give you an option to turn on confirmations before deleting emails, but slows you down.

If you accidentally delete an email, you can still get it back, but it's a real pain in the neck. Assuming you have multiple InBoxes turned on, you first need to determine which mailbox it was deleted from. Then, you need to drill down to that particular mailbox and go to it's trash folder. Once you find the mail, you can move it back to the InBox.

If you ask me, that's way too many steps to undo something that you did in a split second. An easier ap... [More]

Continue...Undo Option in Apple's Mail Apps...
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It drives me crazy that I can't make the display stay on longer on my Apple Watch.


One of the great things about the Apple Watch is that you don't have to hit any buttons to see the time. This is made possible by using a series of motion sensors that can detect when you are positioning your watch in front of your face.

In order to save power, this also means the Watch turns off the display a second or two later. The trouble is, that also means it turns off the display when I'm still reading it.

Not only does it shut the screen while I'm reading the time, but it often shuts the screen while I'm waiting for an App to load. That's an even bigger problem because whenever that happens, the App stops loading. So you shake your arm and the spinning dots that indicate the App i... [More]

Continue...Configurable Screen Display Length on Apple Watch...
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Don't you hate it when you start to ask Siri for something and it cuts you off before you finish asking?


This happens to me almost every day. I'll push the button on my headset and say something like "Remind me to get some", and before I even have a chance to say what I wanted, it cuts me off and says "Okay, I'll remind you". Since I never even finished the sentence, it adds a worthless item to my Reminders List that says "Get some". Brilliant.

Sometimes this happens if I pause for a fraction of a second between words, so I find myself talking fast to avoid any pauses, but it still cuts me off mid-sentence more often than it should.

What I don't understand is why Apple doesn't offer an option to let Siri know when you're done talking. When you're pushing the home button... [More]

Continue...10-4 Siri. Siri Needs a Better Way to Know When You're Done Talking....

Apple Activity App For Mac

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I love my Apple Watch. I just wish I could use see my progress on a bigger screen.


One of the most popular features of the Apple Watch is how it works with your iPhone to monitor your activity. The fact is, when people monitor and track their activity, including walking or other exercise, they tend to do it more often and with greater intensity.

When you look back at your activity, you get the satisfaction of seeing your progress over time as your once sluggish activity level gradually increases, along with your overall health.

What odd is that Apple doesn't have a desktop App for the Mac / OS X that lets you see your progress with a larger screen. To me, if they can motivate people to exercise more often, just think how much more effective it would be if they gave peopl... [More]

Continue...Apple Activity App For Mac...
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Most of my daily tasks started out with somebody sending me an email.


Isn't it odd that none of Apple's email Apps integrate with things like Reminders, Calendar, or Notes?

Let's say you are in your office and you've got 100 new messages. What are the odds that at least some of those messages are things you are going to have to take action on? As you open each message, you have to make a decision about what to do with it. If it's something you have to do, what many people do is mark the message unread or create folders or some kind of tag so you can find it later.

Meanwhile, Apple has great Apps for things like Reminders, Calendars and Notes. Wouldn't it make a lot of sense to just add the email to a one of those? So if somebody asks you to come to a meeting, you can j... [More]

Continue...Apple Mail Apps Should Integrate With Reminders, Calendar and Notes....
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Remember when Apple had a button on the lock screen to turn your iPad into a Digital Picture Frame?


I've been a fan of digital photography for quite a long time. When digital picture frames started to catch on, I was eager to pop one on my desk to see my favorite photos. As it turns out, it was too much work.

Digital picture frames seem pretty simple. You pop in an SD card full of photos, and turn it on. The trouble is, the hardware and software are slow and difficult to use, making it hard to constantly update the photos.

When iPad was introduced with a 9.7 inch screen, and the ability to automatically sync my photos, one of the first things I wanted to do with it was use it as a digital picture frame. For a while, all you needed to do was hit an icon on the lock scre... [More]

Continue...Rediscovering Picture Frame Mode, While Charging Tablets....
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Apple Watch is first and foremost an incredibly accurate timepiece... Sort of.


One of the first things Apple said about their new Watch was that it is one of the most accurate timepieces you could buy, with an accuracy of about a billionth of a second. The trouble is, most of the time when I look at my Watch, it's off by up to 59 seconds, depending on when I look at it, because the Face I use doesn't show the seconds.

Without the seconds, I find myself staring at the Watch when I'm waiting for an exact time, which of course could be almost a minute away. What makes matters worse is that the time only displays for a couple of seconds before it goes black to I keep dropping my arm and lifting or tapping it to get it to display again. By then, I often miss it.

Of the 9 exam... [More]

Continue...Apple Should Allow The Seconds On More Watch Faces...
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Sometimes the Apple Watch eats up power doing absolutely nothing.


One of the BEST things about the Apple Watch is that it has it's own CPU and memory and it can run it's own Apps.

One of the WORST things about Apple Watch is that it has it's own CPU and memory and it can run it's own Apps.

This may sound strange, but the fact that the Apple Watch can run it's own Apps, doesn't mean it HAS to. The fact is, some tasks clearly take up more processing than others and are too much of a drain on the battery.

I've noticed that on the days I used the GPS on my iPhone, the battery was low on my Apple Watch. That's strange because I didn't even look at my Watch while driving, so why should it drain the battery?


The point here is that regardless of whether you ask for dir... [More]

Continue...Extending Apple Watch Battery Life Using Screen Only Mode...

Sending a Code To Bypass Silent Ringers

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When you call for help, the last thing you want is a silent ringer.


Most phones have a feature to make them silent, but I've never seen a feature to allow a caller to bypass that feature when it's urgent that their call gets through, and that the ringer is as loud as it can be.

The key here is that when a truly urgent call needs to get though, the best way to insure the ringer is not only turned on, but at the loudest possible setting. To make this happen, the phone would have a feature to enter a password that will trigger the ringer, at the loudest setting.

Although Apple has a mode called "Do Not Disturb" that can by bypassed when a caller makes a second attempt within 3 minutes, this merely means that the phone will get through. So, if the recipient has set their rin... [More]

Continue...Sending a Code To Bypass Silent Ringers...
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For people who love to tinker.


Sometimes when I sit down to write about one of my "Original" ideas, I find out that it's not original. While some people might think that would upset me, it actually makes me feel great, because it only serves to validate the idea. This is one of those ideas.

I recently updated my phone to the latest iPhone 6 Plus. The main reason was that I love photography, and the newest model has a lot of improvements to the camera itself... besides, my iPhone 5 camera has something wrong with the lens, so it's not as clear as it used to be.

The point is, just because I wanted the new camera, I upgraded the whole phone. So, I thought to myself, wouldn't it be great if I could just upgrade the camera?


That's where this idea started.

While it... [More]

Continue...Modular Cell Phones - Smartphones With Interchangeable Parts...
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More often than not, the Recovery Partition is useless.


As a tech guy, people often come to me when their computers start acting up. Most of the time, I can fix their problems by removing a few programs and adjusting some settings. However, sometimes the problem simply can't be fixed that way, so the best solution is to simply wipe the computer clean and put everything back to the factory settings.

Sounds easy enough. After all, most Windows computers today have a Recovery Partition that is specifically designed to put everything back to the way it was from the factory.

Once I determine that they need to do a factory reset, my first question is always the same "When was your last backup?"

Sadly, the answer is always the same "I never back up."

That's when things ge... [More]

Continue...A Recovery Partition With Backup Options...
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Apple Watch has dozens of bands to choose from. That's not enough.


When I first saw the Apple Watch, I loved the variety of bands they showed off. They have a great mixture of rubber, metal and traditional leather bands, so what's not to like?

I wanted the Stainless Steel Milanese band, but those were backordered for months, so I settled for the blue rubber one for now.

It's functional, but it stands out like a peacock when I'm at a meeting, and while it's nice to get noticed, sometimes you don't want all that attention. So for at least a few more weeks, that'll be the only band I'll use.

Since Apple knew they would have a shortage of bands in other styles, wouldn't it've been better if they sold adapters for people to use whatever band they want?


By selling... [More]

Continue...Apple Watch Band Adapters - Use ANY Watchband....
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Wouldn't it be great to launch your favorite Apple Watch Apps right from the face?


One of the great things about the Apple Watch is all the different ways you can customize the face. Some of the faces look like a traditional watch, and others look distinctly modern.

Most of the faces have at least a couple of customizable zones, where you can select from a number of options such as Stopwatch, Date, Timer, Stock Market, Temperature, Alarms, etc. What's great about those zones is they don't just show you the information; when you tap them, they launch an associated App.

For example, if you tap the current temperature, it launches the full Weather App. Tapping the Date launches the calendar.

So, I wondered...

Why not let people put launch icons for all their favorit

... [More]

Continue...The ULTIMATE Apple Watch Face... 16 Custom App Zones...
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You don't hear much about the potential uses of the Apple Watch for deaf or blind people.


I recently saw a blind person wearing a wrist watch. At first, I wondered if he wore it as a fashion accessory, or if there was some kind of special feature that made it possible for him to determine the time. Rather than ask, I searched online and saw that there are quite a few watches made for blind people. Some have a traditional looking face that people can feel, and some have sand entirely different face that only a blind person could understand.

After I got my Apple Watch, I thought of some ideas of how blind people could use the Apple Watch, and I discovered that Apple had some of the same ideas, but they haven't promoted them yet.

The most obvious feature is having a voice t... [More]

Continue...Apple Watch Features For Deaf or Blind People....
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Time to stand?... but I'm driving!


Now that I've used the Apple Watch for a couple of weeks, I've noticed a few of the features don't seem to factor in things like speed.

The first time I noticed this was when I was driving for about an hour and the Fitness / Activity App sent me a signal telling me it was time to stand.

If you're not familiar with the Activity Apps, they keep you motivated by reminding you to get up and move when you've been sitting too long.

Since the Apple Watch is linked to your iPhone, whenever the built-in GPS detects that you are moving faster than a human can walk, run, or even cycle, it should know when you are in a car or bus, and suppress or change the alerts to stand up. If nothing else, it should change the alert reminding you to stand, t... [More]

Continue...Apple Watch Needs More Speed Sensitive Features....
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I love the Apple Watch. I just wish it was easier to see the time.


One of the features that people don't talk about with the Apple Watch is changing the faces. I've tinkered with most of them, but the one that seems the most flexible to me is called the "Modular" Face.

The Modular Face essentially has 5 customizable zones:

- The upper left has a small box.
- The center has a large box that spans the whole width.
- The bottom has 3 small boxes.

You can change what goes in any of the 5 zones... except the time itself, which is always on the top right, and there's no room there to show the number of seconds. Keep in mind, the Apple Watch has an accuracy of within a billionth of a second, but using this face, that level of accuracy is completely useless, because I could... [More]

Continue...Better Options For Customizing Apple Watch Faces...
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Smart Albums are missing from the iOS and iCloud versions of the new Apple Photos App.


One of the biggest problems with digital photography is that it's getting harder and harder to organize and find photos. That's why I get excited whenever I find a new way to organize my photos and videos.

Before Apple's new Photos App came out, one of my favorite tools for organizing photos was using Smart Albums in iPhoto, which allows you to automatically organize photos without spending hours sorting them by hand.

Unlike regular albums, where you have to manually add each photo to the album, all you need to do to make a Smart Album is set up a series of rules and filters and the Photos App does all the work.

For example, you could set up a rule that says "Month is July and Day is... [More]

Continue...Smart Album Support in Apple iCloud and iOS / iPhone Photos Apps...

Apple Should Put More RAM in Base Models

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Why is Apple using only 4GB of RAM in their base models?


One of the biggest complaints people have with their computer is that it's too slow. More often than not, the best way to speed it up is by adding more RAM, because it allows your computer to read and write information directly into chips, rather than writing them on your hard drive, which is much slower.

When I explain this to people, the next thing they ask is "How much RAM should I get?". My answer is always "As much as you can fit", because as far as I'm concerned, adding memory is the most effective way to speed up any computer, and it's foolish to use anything less.

For many years, the maximum amount of memory in a desktop computer was limited to only 4GB because older 32 bit operating systems couldn't addres... [More]

Continue...Apple Should Put More RAM in Base Models...

Siri Should Be Able To Record Voice Memos

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Sometimes, Siri has no idea what I'm saying.


One of the most popular uses for Siri is to create reminders. I love pushing a button and telling Siri whatever I want to remember and there it is... on my to-do list. Just a few years ago, that would've been science fiction.

My problem is if say something like... "Remind me to buy Tostidos, Salsa and Queso for Ray's party.", Siri will say "Here's your reminder. It says ... Buy toasty so Sal's ankle sorrys party... Shall I create it?" I say no, then I say it again and again and it never gets it right.

Instead of struggling to get Siri to understand you, Siri should give you an option to simply store the actual recording into the to-do list.


Technically, since the to-do list doesn't currently store or play audio, they w... [More]

Continue...Siri Should Be Able To Record Voice Memos...
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The iPhone Contacts App does a horrible job of letting us organize contacts into groups like Family, Friends, or Business.


My contact list is way too big... and growing.

If you're like me, you've got a contact list that contains a mixture of family, friends and business contacts. I've had a smart phone since 2004. That's 3 years before the first iPhone came out, so my list has grown quite a bit in 14 years, and many of those contacts are older that that, because I had a PDA years before that.

Luckily, Apple has a feature called Groups that lets you place your contacts into groups, so you can see just the people in the groups you want when you go to the contact list. The trouble is that feature is completely half-baked. Frankly, it stinks.

First, you can only assign n... [More]

Continue...Contact Groups Should Be Editable on iPhones... And Easier to Select...
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Dum Dum Dum ... Dum Dum Da Dum... Dum Dum Dum... Dum Da Dum


One of the great things about technology is that it gives people tools to tap into their hidden talents. For many musicians, Apple's Garage Band was a revolution, because it allowed anyone with a Mac to have the same production tools that were previously only available to big record companies only a few years ago.

This meant that musicians could compose, record, mix, edit and distribute their own songs without the backing of a record company.

Another great feature of Garage Band was that even people who couldn't play any instruments could create music using loops and other digital instruments. However, to truly compose a melody, you still need some skills that are too complicated for people without a musical back... [More]

Continue...Control Garage Band With Your Voice - Compose Music Without Instruments...
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No matter where you go, there you are.


One of the most popular features of smartphones is the way they can tell you the local weather, even while traveling. Thanks to GPS and other location services, you don't even need to tell it where you are.

Checking the weather was so popular, Apple made it the first thing you saw in the "Notification Center". Before Notification Center, you had to launch separate Apps to get the same information.

As time went on, Apple improved this feature by adding more functionality. For example, every Sunday morning, when I check my iPhone, it tells me it will take 14 minutes to get to the address of my church. Keep in mind, I never told Apple or my iPhone I had plans to go there, or that I needed to be told how long it takes to get there. It... [More]

Continue...A Built-In "Local App" That Updates Based On Where You Are...

5 Ways The Apple Watch Can SAVE LIVES

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Digital watches have been around a long time. Why is the Apple Watch different?


We all know technology companies love to hype their new products as the next big thing, so it's not surprising that a lot of people think the Apple Watch is nothing new. In fact, there are millions of people already wearing SmartWatches from companies like Samsung, LG, and Sony wondering what all the fuss is about.

The fact is. The Apple Watch IS different, and it's going to surprise a lot of people, and even save lives.

That may sound like a bold statement, but it's entirely true, and it's only going to get better as new Apps and future models roll out.

Even with the first generation models and Apps, there are already a number of potentially life saving features.

1. Integrated into eve... [More]

Continue...5 Ways The Apple Watch Can SAVE LIVES...
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Me: "Launch Pandora"
Siri: "You'll need to unlock your iPhone first"

If I could unlock my phone, I wouldn't need to use Siri in the first place.


One of the great things about Siri is that you can tell it to do things without even touching your phone. This is perfect for running or driving, because you can't easily reach for your phone.

The trouble is, Apple doesn't let you launch third party Apps without unlocking the phone first. That's pretty pointless. There are plenty of Apps like Pandora, Audible, iHeartRadio and Amazon Music that are completely harmless to launch without unlocking the phone first.

They already have a section in the Settings Menu to designate which features Siri can access while in the lock screen. The trouble is they don't allow any thir... [More]

Continue...Siri Should Let You Launch Some Apps Without Unlocking The Phone...

Thunderbolt Display Is Out Of Date

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When Apple released the Thunderbolt Display, it was groundbreaking, and expensive. Now, it's just expensive.


It's been quite a while since Apple has updated their "Flagship" monitor, the Thunderbolt display, so it's showing it's age.

When you look at the list of features, you have to wonder why they haven't replaced it with a new model by now. By the name, you know it's connected via Thunderbolt... meanwhile Thunderbolt 2 has been available for quite some time, and it's twice as fast.

The most obvious problem with the current Thunderbolt Display is that it uses USB 2.0, not USB 3.0, which is over 10 times faster.


As of today, the Apple website still proudly says: "The fastest, most flexible I/O ever lets this display do things others simply can't." and "... With tw... [More]

Continue...Thunderbolt Display Is Out Of Date...

Siri For Apps

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Play the Michael Bolton Channel on Pandora.


"Sorry. I don't know what you mean by Play the Michael Bolton Channel on Pandora."

Siri can do a lot of interesting things, but other than a few of Apple's own apps, you can't use it to interact with your apps. I think there are a bunch of apps that would work great if they worked with Siri.

Right now, the only thing you can do with most of the third party apps is launch them, but I think there should be at least some support for developers to tap into Siri to make them better.

Giving Apps access to Siri control is important to people who use third party Apps like Pandora while jogging or driving.


Since Siri is part of the operating system, Apple would simply define an API that developers could use to accept commands... [More]

Continue...Siri For Apps...
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I hate when I can't read the text on my iPhone and I don't have my glasses.


Sometimes the fonts on an iPhone screen are simply way too small, even with the super-sized iPhone 6 Plus Retina screen. It's frustrating, because I bought the larger model specifically because I had a hard time reading emails on my previous phone, which I got because it was larger than the one before it.

After tinkering a bit with the settings, I managed to find a setting that lets you boost the size of the fonts, but sometimes the text was perfect, and sometimes the fonts were literally on top of each other in a big blob of text. So, I had to lower the default size again. Then most of them were hard to read again. Eventually after going back and forth, I ended up putting it back close to the orig... [More]

Continue...Font Zoom Using Headset & Volume Controls When Sounds Are Not Playing....

Run iPad Apps On The Mac

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Wouldn't it be great if you could run many of your iPad Apps on your Mac?


The technology to run iPad Apps on a Mac isn't actually new. Developers have used iPhone and iPad emulators to test Apps before they install them on physical devices since the first iPhone came out.

Emulating an iPhone or iPad on a Mac is actually pretty easy, because technically, they share a lot of the same software under the hood. These emulators run so well, it makes you wonder why Apple doesn't include an iPad emulator with every Mac sold. It would be a great next step for people who enjoy their iPads, but would like a larger screen and keyboard from time to time.

This wouldn't turn your Mac into an iPad. It just lets you run your iPad Apps in a separate window or secondary desktop.

Techni... [More]

Continue...Run iPad Apps On The Mac...

Apple TV Should Support Amazon Instant Video

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What are they waiting for?


One of the things holding Apple TV back from widespread use is the lack of support for Amazon Instant Video. While it's still a great way to play photos and videos from your phone, a lot of people buy it just to play streaming movies using services like Netflix. Now that Amazon Instant Video has a lot of original and exclusive programming, a lot of people are forced to purchase other devices, such as Roku because it works with all the biggest video streaming services.

The heart of the problem is that Apple doesn't like putting subscription services on Apple TV unless they get 30% of the revenue, but since the revenue for Amazon's Instant Video service is linked to Amazon Prime, which extends beyond just streaming videos, they have to way to quanti... [More]

Continue...Apple TV Should Support Amazon Instant Video...
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I guess Apple thinks iPod Touch owners should pay extra to pause music, change the volume or use Siri & FaceTime with a headset, because they left those out of the iPod Touch headset.


If you take a quick look at the iPod Touch page on Apple, they say it includes Apple EarPods, which you may recognize as the headset that comes with the iPhone, but what you come to realize is that the headset is missing the familiar set of buttons on the right side.

Are they trying to force people to make a separate $29.99 purchase of the other headset. Interestingly, Apple doesn't even sell a replacement set without the buttons or microphone. My guess is because nobody would want a set that doesn't include those features, especially customers who just shelled out $200 - $300 for their iPod To... [More]

Continue...iPod Touch Should Come With The Same Headsets as iPhones...

Longer iPhone / iPad Cables

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Why doesn't Apple make longer cables?


When Apple designed the iPhone, they made some assumptions, including how long the cable should be. The length they chose was about 3 feet long (1 meter), the perfect length if you plan on plugging it into your computer. Not bad, assuming your computer is a laptop.

But is 3 feet long enough if you don't use a laptop... and it's a big tower under your desk? Or if you don't even have a computer, and you just want to plug it into a wall?

So, Apple eventually released a 6.5 foot cord (2 meters)... That may solve the problem of using a tower under your desk, but it's still not long enough for people who need a bit more flexibility in where they charge their devices.

If you plan on using it from your sofa or near your bed, unless the ou... [More]

Continue...Longer iPhone / iPad Cables...

Music Shuffle, Should Actually... Shuffle.

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Didn't I just hear that song 20 minutes ago?


Call it a case of Deja-Vu, but have you ever noticed that your music player seems to play some songs over and over, but other songs never seem to be played at all. How can that be? Most of the time, it's because Shuffle isn't really a Shuffle. It's Random.

Contrary to what some people think, Shuffle and Random are two different terms, so let's be clear about the definitions of Shuffle, and Random.

When you take a deck of 52 cards and Shuffle them, you change the order. When you're done, you still have 52 cards, but the sequence changes. If you deal them out from the top to the bottom, you won't repeat any cards.

Random, on the other hand simply describes taking something in no particular order. To use the playing card an... [More]

Continue...Music Shuffle, Should Actually... Shuffle....
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If your laptop or desktop acted more like an iPad or Chromebook, you would never get a virus. Really? Yes.


The reason I write about this topic so often is that so many people contact me with computer problems related to crashes, unwanted popup ads, spyware, ransomware, malware, viruses, trojan horses and all sorts of horrible attacks on their computers that they can't seem to get rid of.

There are many ways to avoid this kind of problem, but most people simply don't have any idea what to do to prevent it, or how to clean up the mess when it happens.

What amazes me is that the problem is getting worse, much worse, and the stakes are getting higher. Today's attackers are not just a nuisance, but they are looking for ways to make money, at your expense. In some cases, by e... [More]

Continue...Cloud Only Mode For Windows and Mac. Nothing Is Saved Local....

Answer FaceTime Calls With Just Audio By Default

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What if you accidentally answered a FaceTime call while you were in the bathroom, or even while... naked?


Now that everyone has a mobile phone, and they have it with them 24/7, the idea of answering the phone while on the toilet or while laying in bed naked isn't that far fetched. People answer the phone out of instinct, even while enjoying some quality time on the ceramic throne.

But what would happen if you didn't realize you just answered a FaceTime (video) call... and you aren't exactly decent?

If you're lucky, you've got about 1-2 seconds to turn the camera away or try to hang up. Even if this has never happened to you by mistake, I'm sure there are times when a FaceTime call comes in, that you are simply not quite ready for your closeup.

Right now, when a FaceTi... [More]

Continue...Answer FaceTime Calls With Just Audio By Default...

A Firewall... for SOFTWARE.

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Why are there no firewalls for software on regular computers?


I've had a computer since the 70s, and I've seen so many people lose all their family photos, videos and other important files because they were too inexperienced to know when they were installing a malicious program.

I can't blame them. As doctors, lawyers, and business executives, they were all very intelligent people, but time and time again, they would come to me to help them get their files back. The reason they were victims of these kinds of software attacks was because they never imagined that the programs they were running were specifically designed to destroy their files, and in some cases steal information or money.

Don't most computers already have a Firewall?


No. What most computers have is... [More]

Continue...A Firewall... for SOFTWARE....
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WKRP In Cincinnati was a lousy radio station until they brought in Andy Travis, the new Program Director to help them pick better content. iTunes Radio needs people like that, because it's a mess right now.


Full disclosure. I love Pandora Radio. I've used it from the first day it popped up in the iPhone App store mainly because I love music and it does a great job of finding music that fits my mood.

When Apple introduced iTunes Radio, I had high hopes. I picked a few of their hand picked "Stations" and I was impressed by the songs it played. The trouble is, in spite of the huge catalog of music in the iTunes store, the songs it picks are sometimes completely out of the genre I was trying to listen to, and they repeat the same songs within an hour or so. If I wanted to he... [More]

Continue...Apple's iTunes Radio is a Mess. They Need a Community of Music Curators....
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Got backups?


Apple's Time Machine is the easiest backup system ever. Once you connect a storage device, it asks you if you want to use it for Time Machine. Answer yes, and it take over from there. That's it. That's why so many Mac owners use it.

Time Machine gives people peace of mind knowing they can easily restore any file they may lose, or even restore the entire system on a brand new Mac in a matter of minutes. The only trouble is, if you lost your data because of a flood, a fire or other disaster, your backup will likely be destroyed too.

Now that cloud storage is becoming more mainstream, I think it's time Apple expanded Time Machine to support cloud platforms. Since many people already have cloud storage accounts, they could easily store backups there, givin... [More]

Continue...Apple Time Machine Should Support Cloud Platforms Like iCloud Drive and Dropbox...
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It bugs me that I need to buy third party software to access Windows drives on my Mac and vice versa.


Here's the issue in a nutshell.

If you own a Mac or share portable drives with somebody who has one, you need to buy third party software to fully access the drive. To me, that's pretty strange. It's not like there isn't a need for such a feature. Apple and Microsoft just don't want to pay a license fee to cross license their file systems. How petty.

Back in the old days, there was a happy medium. You could format your portable device using and extended version of Microsoft's older FAT, like FAT32 of exFAT. Both systems can read and write to disks in this format, but as portable drives got bigger, people like me stopped using it because it's not as robust or fault tol... [More]

Continue...Apple and Microsoft Need Better Support for Sharing Portable Drives....

Session Undo. Groundhog Day For Your Computer.

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Can I use your computer?


For many people, that's one of the scariest questions since cavemen first asked... "Does that tiger bite?"

Put it this way, even if you restrict access to your private files, there's a strong chance that giving access to your computer to a stranger, or even a close friend or family member can lead to more trouble than it's worth.

An inexperienced user may accidentally change settings, install unwanted programs, and even completely crash your system by moving or deleting system files.

Apple has a great "Guest Login" option, that pretty much gives your guest access to the Internet and not much else. I applaud them for that, because for many guests, that's all they need. However, some guests may require access to other programs and features. That... [More]

Continue...Session Undo. Groundhog Day For Your Computer....

3 Ways Apple Can Improve the Clock App

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The Clock App is one of the hidden gems on the iPhone and iPad... here's how it can be made even better.


The Clock App doesn't get any headlines and it's never the subject of any big Apple events, but the Clock App is one of the most commonly used features of the iPhone and iPad.

The Clock App was one of the first Apps included with the original iPhone and it soon became the perfect replacement for an alarm clock, especially for frequent travellers, because it was always accurate, and you could easily configure multiple wake times and sounds.

Apple didn't just re-invent the Alarm clock, the Clock App also included slick timers and stopwatch features that are popular for timing speeches, sports and cooking.

Here's a few ways to make the Clock App even better.


... [More]

Continue...3 Ways Apple Can Improve the Clock App...
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This has been driving me crazy for years. I like full sized keyboard with a number pad, but I hate wires. The trouble is, Apple still doesn't make a wireless full sized keyboard.


I love the feel of a genuine Apple keyboard. It took a while to get used to, but the slimline design and tactile feedback are perfectly tuned for speed and comfort. So, although I can find third party wireless full sized keyboards, I've patiently waited for Apple to release a wireless full sized keyboard.

The trouble is... I've been waiting since 2007. Every time they have a big launch event, one of the first things I do is skip the big news and jump to the accessories page of the Apple website, hoping to finally see a wireless Bluetooth keyboard. Time after time, nothing new.

We'll never see b... [More]

Continue...Why Doesn't Apple Offer a FULL SIZED Wireless Keyboard?...
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Don't you hate when somebody plays a video on their widescreen TV that was shot vertical?


Yes, I know people love to hold their phones vertically. It's more comfortable. The trouble is when you shoot videos that way, they look terrible when you play them back on anything but the phone.

The solution is so simple, but somehow the major manufacturers haven't addressed it. The video should be recorded in landscape regardless of what position you hold it. Naturally, there should be an option to turn it off, if for some reason you actually want to shoot a vertical video.

Frankly, unless you are trying to film somebody who is standing right in front of you and you don't want the person standing next to them in the shot.... you will always want to shoot horizontal. If you have... [More]

Continue...Phones Should Let You Shoot Landscape Videos... Regardless of How You Hold Them....
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When we check the weather, what do we look for first?


The answer seems too obvious to me, but I'll answer it here, because apparently some of the people at Apple's sunny Cupertino office haven't thought this one out.

9 times out of 10, it's because we want to know what to expect when we go out.


Here's the thing. Before stepping out for lunch, I grab my phone, hit the button and drag down where I expect to see the current temperature.

Currently Sunny. The high will be 70, the low 59.


Yes. I have a window. I can see it's sunny. I just want to know if I need my jacket.


With an 11 degree split between the high and the low, I have no clue if I need my jacket. I've got news for you, when I do a quick check like that, I don't care what t... [More]

Continue...Mostly Sunny Currently - Why check to see that? What's the temperature?...

Apple Should Add User Accounts to iOS

LARGE-96

Do you share your iPad with other family members?


If you do... how do you keep your kids from reading your email?... you can't.

What about Apps... do you hate sorting through screen after screen of Apps about Justin Bieber just to find the Weather App?


Here's an easy fix.

Apple needs to add User Account to iOS, just like on a regular computer.


By creating a User Profile for each person who will use your iPad, they can have their own password, Apps and settings. This not only makes it easier for you to find and arrange your Apps, but it also keeps your data private.... so your teenager won't read your email... and you won't read hers.

It boggles my mind that after all these years, Apple hasn't introduced User Profiles to iOS devices.
LARGE-95 It's great that iOS devices have passwords that protect your information from strangers. However, they don't offer a way to control access by friends or family to individual Apps like Mail.

Have you ever handed your iPad to a toddler?


There's a great joy that comes from handing a toddler your iPad so they can learn the alphabet, draw some pictures or play a game. The only trouble is you just hope they don't accidentally open your eMail App and start deleting your mail.

There's an easy solution... give people the ability to put Mail and other private Apps into a folder that has a separate password, so they can't accidentally access your sensitive information.

Another bonus... it'll keep your teens from reading your emails too.


LARGE-94

Swipe Right to Mark Read or Archive


This sounds so obvious to me, but for some reason Apple only gives you one option when you swipe right... Mark as Read. Why is there no quick option for archiving?

My Inbox is stuffed is because I configured my left swipe for "Deleted Mailbox" (so I can delete Spam). Now, I have no quick way to archive the other messages using my iOS devices... so the Inbox keeps growing.

I'm fully aware I can change the "Trash" setting to "Archive Mailbox" which will make a left swipe say "Archive" instead, but that means I will also be archiving Spam, Facebook notifications and tons of things I want gone for good... not archived.

The bottom line, some messages you want to delete, some you want to archive. Just give us the choice and we'll clean up... [More]

Continue...Apple Should Give You the Choice to Archive or Delete Emails on iPhones / iPads...
LARGE-93

Congratulations. The new law that requires auto-locking phones can kill you.


That may sound a bit extreme, but the new law that requires cell phone makers to include anti-theft protection also prevents emergency responders from using your cell phone to contact your designated "In case of emergency" (ICE) contacts.

Emergency responders and hospital doctors often need to make quick medical decisions, so every minute counts. Anyone with special medical needs such as diabetes, allergies, etc. is risking inadequate or incorrect treatment.

Cell phone makers need to make emergency contact information accessible at all times, without unlocking the phone.


This information should be part of the initial phone setup, and cell phone owners should be encouraged to insure that... [More]

Continue...Emergency Contact Info Needs to Bypass Locked Phone...

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* Note: The ideas on "Idea of the Day" were posted without any formal research into existing inventions.

In some cases, patents may already exist for these ideas, in other cases, there may not be any existing patents and you are free to develop and explore the viability of developing and patenting the ideas.

The authors make no claim that any of the ideas are safe, practical, or suitable for any particular purpose. You are responsible for the results of trying, developing, patenting or using any of the ideas on this site.

For some people, our ideas are just an interesting read, but our goal is to encourage you to take action. If you see an idea that you like, do something with it... Take action.


- Joe
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