Thursday, November 21, 2013
We recently installed a Nest thermostat into our hour and we love it. It works seamlessly with our iOS and android devices.
Being upfront, we have an Apple ecosystem in the house, iPads, iPods, and Apple TV. We have not taken the last step to a Mac as we have had a PC desktop or Laptop in the house for a long ,long, long time.
Secondarily we had someone who knew what they were doing it install it. It's not that I couldn't install it, it is just that it would be quieter and calmer in the house than if I did it. I guess if peace is necessary in your house have a professional install it.
Now why do we like it. Let me start by saying we upgraded to the Nest from a programmable thermostat which in itself was an upgrade from what came with the house. Unlike that unit, there is no programming or punching buttons as the Nest sets the schedule by learning your heating/cooling habits. Secondarily via your home wifi network it measures not only the inside temp but it also humidity, and movement. The latter is used to determine if anyone is home. If the house is empty it goes into the away mode which sets the temp to presets for either heating or cooling.
We also installed the nest app on our iPads.
When you tap on energy history you get the above bar graphs showing your energy usage of heating and cooling on a daily basis. You will also note the weather indications to the right of the bar.
All in all we are still learning about it, but so far it is worth our investment. Only time will tell if it lives up to its claim to reduce costs.
The only con, at least so far, is the cost it isn't cheap but nothing of value is.
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
It’s largely accepted that miniature versions must compromise on something. Fancy sports cars lack back seats, snack-size candy bars are missing a whole lot of chocolate and the iPad mini wants for high quality screen resolution and speedy performance.
Apple’s new iPad mini, which starts at $399 and became available last week, has virtually the same specs as its big brother, the full-size iPad Air. Both offer the same head-turning Retina display with a super sharp screen resolution. Both have the same new chip for faster processing and improved graphics performance. Both have better technology for connecting to Wi-Fi or cellular networks. And both have improved front-facing cameras that work better in low light.
Apple’s iPad mini with Retina display has a processor that’s four times as fast as the original mini, which helps with apps like iMovie, second screen from the right.
This means you basically just choose what size screen you prefer, the 9.7-inch iPad Air or the 7.9-inch iPad mini with Retina display, without compromising.
I’ve been testing the iPad mini with Retina display for the past week and a half, and this miniature version doesn’t make me feel like I’m compromising on anything. My everyday iPad is the iPad 3 with Retina display, but I found myself reaching more often for the new mini, tossing it into a bag to use on the go. I also carried it around the house more than I do my full-size iPad. And in my taxing battery test, it lasted 11 hours and 17 minutes, which is longer than Apple’s estimate of 10 hours.
This iPad mini with Retina display is the second iteration of the iPad mini. The first version, which came out about a year ago, has now dropped in price and is only available in a 16-gigabyte model; the Wi-Fi version costs $299 and the Wi-Fi and cellular model costs $429.
When I picked up the new iPad mini with Retina display, it looked and felt like the original mini. Technically, it’s slightly thicker and heavier, but these differences are barely noticeable.
The real changes can be seen when this thing is turned on. While the original iPad mini’s screen wasn’t sending people back to the store with complaints, I noticed pixilation in it after being spoiled by the larger iPad with Retina display. This new iPad mini fixes that problem with a resolution of 2048 x 1536, compared with 1024 x 768 in the original mini. And since it has the same resolution as the larger iPad Air but has a smaller screen, it actually packs in more pixels per inch, 326 versus 264.
Apple included its A7 chip in this device, an addition that gives the mini a processor that’s four times as fast as its predecessor and graphics that are eight times as fast. It zipped from one screen to the next, downloading apps and movies much faster than previous iterations of the iPad. And I edited video clips in iMovie without any hiccups or delays.
Apple’s App Store now has over 475,000 apps for the iPad and all run on the iPad mini without any distortion or magnification required. As of Sept. 1, all new Apple mobile devices come with free versions of Apple apps, including iPhoto, iMovie and iWork (Apple’s version of Microsoft Office-like programs called Pages, Numbers and Keynote).
I tested the new iPad mini’s battery life by playing a nonstop loop of video with the screen set to 75 percent brightness and Wi-Fi turned on to collect email in the background. The 11 hours and 17 minutes I got was impressive on its own, but also notable considering that the iPad Air got over 12 hours in the same test. Needless to say, you won’t often worry about charging either of these tablets.
The front- and rear-facing cameras on the new iPad mini are improvements to their previous versions, as I noticed while capturing photos and videos or while making FaceTime calls. The front-facing camera now uses what Apple calls its next-generation FaceTime HD camera and it has improved sensors for low-light situations. I especially appreciated this new feature because, with a new baby, I make a lot of FaceTime calls to relatives from dimly lit rooms where the baby is sleeping. Thanks to the new chip and the new iOS 7 software, the rear-facing camera now captures still images and video with enhancements like faster autofocus and up to three times zoom in videos.
This new iPad mini uses two antennas for its Wi-Fi connection, instead of just one as in the original mini, and a flavor of Wi-Fi that doubles its data rate compared with older iPads and the iPad Air. If you want a new iPad mini with a cellular connection, these start at $529 and support more ways of connecting to cellular networks in various countries — great news for heavy travelers.
I’m still not a fan of Apple’s cases. I tried the $69 Smart Case, which is new for the iPad mini family and protects the entire device, including its back. But I still found myself frustrated when the device frequently fell over from its propped-up position.
Overall, the iPad mini with Retina display is a winner. Plenty of people will now consider this a viable alternative to the full-size iPad without any of the miniature downsides.
Write to Katie at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monday, November 18, 2013
Believe it or not, there is a lot that an iPad can do that many people do not know. Some look at it as the future of technology and others think of it as a plaything. If you want to learn how to use your iPad as a tool, read this article for helpful tips.
iPads now support folders. To create a folder, move an app and put it on top one. The result will be a folder containing both of your apps together. If you would like to name the folder yourself, that can be done as well.
You can access all of your running apps on your iPad. If you double-click on the Home button, it will show you all running apps in a bar on the bottom of your screen. If you want to go to one of these apps, just click it on the bottom bar. To remove the bar, swipe your screen downwards.
Pay attention to how much you spend on all those apps you buy. It is very easy to spend a lot very quickly when you have your CC details stored. Therefore, you should closely watch your spending.
If WiFi join notifications annoy you, simply get rid of them. Go to Settings and opt for the Ask to Join Network option. Once set to no, you won’t be nagged again.
You may be annoyed by the chiming whenever you get an email. This can be turned off! Go to the settings and tap on general. When you are in General, then go to Sounds. This should display all of your sound options, including the ability to mute or damped new email notifications.
Does the battery charge icon distract you on your iPad screen? If so, then it’s possible to turn this off, and it’s quite simple. Start by going to the Settings. Then click Usage under the General Settings. Under this menu, you can easily switch off your battery percentage display.
You are now able to quickly mute your iPad. When the iPad first came out, you couldn’t quickly mute it. Once iOS 4.3 came out, there was an option added where your lock switch can mute the sound. If you want to mute the sound, just hold down the volume-down button.
If you bought an iPad for a younger child and don’t want him or her to access certain things, make sure your settings are set to block mature content. You can do so in the settings area. A quick button click will stop mature content from being viewed. You can block any material that has been labeled as having adult content and bad language.
How do you avoid the frustration of an unknown hyperlink when browsing on your iPad? There is an answer. True, you can’t hover like on a regular computer, but you can touch and hold on the word. That will show you the underlying URL.
The preloaded apps that came with your iPad might not correspond to your needs. Since these apps are part of the OS, they can’t be removed. Put the programs you don’t use elsewhere so you can make room for the ones you do use. You can then focus on getting down to business.
To see a list of running and recently-used apps, double click the home button. That will give you a bar that includes all the running apps, and you can access them by pressing on the icon in the bar. This way, your remember the apps you have going, and you can shut down the ones you don’t need anymore.
It does not matter if you believe the iPad is nothing more than a large gaming device or something more, you can choose to make it more. This article just helps you with a little of what you can learn with the iPad. Continue to learn, and you will soon be an expert.
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Apple has made the Retina iPad mini launch officially official, by issuing a press release confirming the details of the availability of the new tablet. It seems initially – possibly down to supply constraints – that purchases are going to be limited to online customers, though can be reserved for in-store pickup. Though without saying when in-store pickup reservations would go live. In fact, beyond the United States, we're still left wondering if in-store pickup will be an option, and when.
The Retina iPad mini will also be available in the U.S. through carrier partners AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile, and selected authorized resellers. As we heard last night, the list of countries that may be seeing availability through resellers is pretty slim, and indeed here in the UK there is no sign. In fact, beyond the United States, we're still left wondering if in-store pickup wil
The full press release is below. What do you think to this product launch? Should Apple have waited a little longer, or are you just glad it's finally here?
CUPERTINO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Apple® announced iPad® mini with Retina® display is available starting today. The new iPad mini brings all the pixels from the 9.7-inch iPad to its 7.9-inch screen, delivering razor sharp text and detail in an amazingly thin and light design. It features the powerful and power-efficient Apple-designed A7 chip with 64-bit desktop-class architecture, ultrafast wireless with faster built-in Wi-Fi and expanded LTE cellular connectivity, iOS 7 featuring hundreds of great new features and access to all 475,000 apps designed specifically for iPad.
“We think customers will love both of these thin, light, powerful new iPads, and we’re working hard to get as many as we can in the hands of our customers.”
“The response to iPad Air has been incredible, and we’re excited for customers to experience the new iPad mini with Retina display,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “We think customers will love both of these thin, light, powerful new iPads, and we’re working hard to get as many as we can in the hands of our customers.”
Pricing & Availability
iPad mini with Retina display will be available starting today in silver or space gray. iPad mini with Retina display Wi-Fi models will be available for a suggested retail price of $399 (US) for the 16GB model, $499 (US) for the 32GB model, $599 (US) for the 64GB model and $699 (US) for the 128GB model. iPad mini with Retina display Wi-Fi + Cellular models will be available for a suggested retail price of $529 (US) for the 16GB model, $629 (US) for the 32GB model, $729 (US) for the 64GB model and $829 (US) for the 128GB model. Additionally, the original iPad mini continues to be available at the more affordable price of $299 (US) for the 16GB Wi-Fi model and $429 (US) for the 16GB Wi-Fi + Cellular model for either AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile or Verizon.
Custom-designed polyurethane Smart Covers for iPad mini with Retina display and iPad mini are available for $39 (US) in a range of vibrant colors, including blue, green, pink, yellow, black and (RED). Additionally, a beautiful aniline-dyed leather iPad mini Smart Case is available in six rich colors, including yellow, beige, blue, brown, black and (RED) for a suggested retail price of $69 (US) for both models of iPad mini. Smart Covers and Smart Cases are available through the Apple Online Store (www.apple.com), Apple’s retail stores and select Authorized Apple Resellers.
iPad mini with Retina display is available to order through the Apple Online Store (www.apple.com) to ship or through Personal Pickup at Apple’s retail stores, and through AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless and select Apple Authorized Resellers
Sunday, November 10, 2013
November 10th 2013
What is iCloud Keychain?
iCloud Keychain is a new feature Apple introduced in iOS 7.0.3 or later or OS X Mavericks 10.9 or later. iCloud Keychain keeps track of your Safari website usernames and passwords, credit card information, and Wi-Fi network information and keep them up to date across all of your devices on which you’ve set up the iCloud Keychain. You can sync the following information across iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch and Mac devices using iCloud Keychain:
- Safari website usernames/passwords
- Credit card credentials
- Wi-Fi network info.
- Mail, Contacts, Calendar, and Messages (Mac only)
- Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or any other accounts in Internet Accounts (Mac only)
This stored information comes in handy wherever a web page prompts you for your information; your device will AutoFill it all for you using iCloud Keychain feature. iCloud keychain stores and transmits all the information using 256bit AES encryption, preventing unauthorized use of your information.
Also check out: How to Set a Song as Alarm Sound on iPhone
How to Set up and use iCloud Keychain
This guide will teach you how to set up iCloud Keychain on iOS devices (iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch) and Mac running OS X Mavericks or later for the first time and also how to add another device to sync with iCloud Keychain, including the Mac OS X Mavericks. Tehn we’ll talk about how to use this feature.
Set up iCloud Keychain on iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch
On first boot after upgrading your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch to iOS 7.0.3, you will be prompted to set up iCloud Keychain. But, if you skipped it then, you can easily setup iCloud Keychain on iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch by following these steps:
- Go to Settings > iCloud > Keychain.
- Turn ON the Keychain toggle.
- Enter a four-digit code that is easy to remember. You’ll need this code to setup Keychain on other devices. (You can either choose your device passcode as iCloud Keychain security code or set up a a new code for Keychain.)
- Type in your phone number on next screen. You’ll receive SMS on this number when adding a new device to iCloud Keychain.
That’s it! You’ve successfully setup iCloud Keychain on your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch.
Adding a new device to sync with iCloud Keychain
After setting up iCloud Keychain on one of your devices, you can add your other iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch or even a Mac running OS X Mavericks to your iCloud Keychain to sync all the stored information across all devices.
Adding an iOS Device
- Go to Settings > iCloud > Keychain.
- Turn ON the Keychain toggle.
- Now tap “Approve with Security Code” and input the four-digit code you created when setting up iCloud Keychain on your first device.
- An SMS will be sent to the phone number you provided for the activation of a new device. Enter the six-digit verification number you received via SMS to approve the iOS device. You may also be prompted to enter your Apple ID to approve the device.
Adding Mac OS X Mavericks
- Go to Apple menu > System Preference > iCloud > Keychain.
- You can either skip the next step or set a password to unlock your screen after sleep.
- Enter your Apple ID credentials. and then enter the four-digit code you created when setting up iCloud Keychain.
- An SMS will be sent to the phone number you provided for the activation of a new device. Enter the six-digit verification number you received via SMS to approve the device.
How to Sync / use iCloud Keychain
Now that you’ve set up iCloud Keychain on your iOS and OS X devices. Now it’s time to learn how to use Keychain with Safari to automatically save usernames, passwords, credit card information and other accounts credentials that you enter in various websites. Using iCloud Keychain features isn’t very different from using Safari’s AutoFill feature.
on iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch
- Go to Settings > Safari > Passwords & AutoFill.
- Choose your desired options you wish to be saved and used in Safari’s AutoFill service.
Saturday, November 9, 2013
October 7th 2013
AirPlay Mirroring is one of the coolest features on iOS. As the name suggests, it allows you to mirror your iPad screen to a nearby Apple TV or a Mac – so everything done on the iPad is shown instantly on the bigger screen.
This is a superb feature for presentations, screencasts and demos, and for entertainment and gaming.
In iOS 7 the controls for AirPlay Mirroring have moved. In iOS 6 they were found on the Multitasking Bar where you switched between recently used apps. iOS 7 now uses a card style view to show running apps and switch between them – and the controls for AirPlay Mirroring are no longer shown along with those.
Here is how you turn AirPlay Mirroring on and off in iOS 7:
– Swipe up from the bottom bezel (the black area just below the iPad dock).
– This will bring up Control Center, where you have quick access to many useful controls.
– Right in the middle of the bottom row of Control Center you’ll see the Airplay icon, as shown in the screenshot at the top of this post.
– Tap on the AirPlay button and then tap on Apple TV to mirror to that device, or on iPad to, in effect, turn mirroring off.
Wednesday, November 6, 2013
Well two days ago I upgraded from an iPad 3 to an iPad Air, and to say it is better and faster is an understatement. To start, I was amazed at the thinness of the Air. I know that factor was hyped but to see and feel it makes you a believer. That size change and other internals also reduces the weight which also lives up to the marketing.
Well now to the particulars. The setup went off with only a small hitch during the activation process. I got an error message and that error message was very unusual so I called Apple support. Even to them the error message was weird. The end result was turn it off and start again,which I did and all things went well. Depending on the number of apps, data, and pictures you have, expect about an hour to bring your new iPad total ready to use. Oh by the way, the Apple support staff was great, cheerful and very helpful.
As you most likely know Apple reduced the LED bar's to one and as far as I can tell, it made no difference in brightness or clarity. The readability is equal to or slightly better than my old iPad.
Aside for size and weight, the biggest changes are the processor, touch screen, and wifi components. First the processor. The A7 chip speeds things right along. Compared to the iPad 3, it is measurably faster and I expect this will continue to improve as apps progress to 64 bit.
To these old hands, the touch screen is a bit more sensitive. I am a tapper, as my iPads 1,2, and 3 required a firm hand. This new touch screen does not seem to need that same approach. In fact to those of us with a bit of unsteadiness in their hands, the increased sensitivity and speed can take you to places you didn't intend to go.
The two antennas combined with the multiple in and multiple out (MIMO), and dual frequency radio really sped up my download speeds as compared to my old iPad. Not that I am in any hurry, however I seem to get a bit more out of my internet service than I did before. I say this with one caveat, I use a dual frequency router as well.
The back camera produces pictures that aren't bad but still not great, however they can be vastly improved with iPhoto. The face time camera is improved however the one complaint I do have about its improvement, is that it shows all the bumps, scratches, wrinkles, and scars that come with age.
With the new iOS devices you get Pages, Numbers, and Keynote (Apple's version of Office) as well as iPhoto, Garage Band, and iMovie for free. I have used all of these apps except Garage Band and they more than meet my needs.
Was the upgrade worth it? Absolutely. With these changes, I have moved one step further away from my PC.
November 5th 2013 2:59 PM
There's a newer, sleeker iPad in town, which for many, means it's time to throw their old garbage iPad into the street while running to the nearest Apple store.
The only problem is that the shiny new iPad Air will cost you between $479 and $929 depending on what features and data storage you choose. Thankfully there are a few ways to get money for your old iPad to put towards your new one. Or, you know, your bills.
If you can get to a Target store before Nov. 9, it's your best bet. You can trade in a working iPad of any model for a Target gift certificate of $200 or more. You are guaranteed at least $200 before Nov. 9 and the gift certificate can be used for any Target merchandise, Target spokesperson Erin Conroy told The Huffington Post. If you like Target and can get there in the next few days this is without a doubt your best option.
After Nov. 9 you can still trade your old iPad in, but will no longer be guaranteed $200. This promotion is only available in stores. Target will also give you a $25 gift card if you buy an old iPad Mini for $299.
If you're not a Target fan or won't be able to sell your iPad until after Nov. 9, you have other options. Here are a few of the best:
You can trade your old iPad in for Amazon credit. How much money you'll get depends on what kind of iPad you have and what condition it's in. Amazon will give you between $54 and $115 for a 64 GB first generation iPad with WiFi and 3G, depending on what shape it's in. You can get between $247 and $302 for a 32 GB fourth generation iPad with WiFi.
Walmart will give you a Walmart gift card for your old iPads. You can get $90 for a working 64 GB first generation iPad with WiFi, or $180 for a working 32 GB iPad 3 with WiFi, for example. You don't have to use the gift card for a new iPad, but you do need to spend it at Walmart.
Apple has its own trade-in program where you can get an Apple gift card for an old Apple device. They'll ask a bunch of questions about your device's condition and what components you're including in your trade-in, so it's hard to say how much money you'll get for your iPad. For example, Apple will give you $50 for a non-water damaged, fully functioning 64 GB first generation iPad that has never been engraved. Did you get all that? It's complicated, but you can use your new Apple gift card on anything Apple makes, if you want to trade your old iPad in for a new MacBook Air.
Gazelle, a company that exclusively exists to buy back old electronics, certainly doesn't guarantee you $200 for your iPad, but it will do something no other company will: give you real money. When you sell to Gazelle, you'll get paid in the form of a check, an Amazon gift card, or via PayPal. Your choice.
Gazelle will pay you $70 for a 64 GB first generation iPad with WiFi in good condition and $240 for a 32 GB fourth generation iPad with WiFi in good condition.