Tag Archive | iPad

An Apple a day

Photo Sep 20, 11 46 26 PMI guess I consider myself somewhat of a “Techie.” My business as a Graphic Designer keeps me engrossed in computers, software, and electronic devices.

This month ended up being a “Techie” month. I decided to upgrade my desktop computer from Windows XP, to Windows 7 (too many bad reviews with Windows 8). Windows XP will be toast by April 2014, and many manufacturers are already not supporting XP. If you don’t upgrade, your computer becomes a security risk. I also decided to upgrade my Adobe Graphic software, and add more memory to my computer. Upgrading certainly has its risks, but with a bit of help from my “Techie” husband and his Engineer, all went well.

This week was also the release of Apple’s iOS 7 and today’s iPhone 5S and 5C launch in stores. I always find it fascinating when Apple comes out with a new device operating software. It’s a little bit like Christmas in September. Apple has a way of packaging new and innovative features to its OS. While many users encountered a lot of frustrating server errors while upgrading, the numbers show that a lot of people were successful in updating. Within 48 hours of its launch on Wednesday, iOS 7 made its way onto 32 percent of the Apple (AAPL) devices in the U.S. and Canada, according to digital ad network Chitika.

I updated my iPhone 4S on Wednesday evening around 12am PST. I usually do quite a bit of research before taking the plunge. I was aware of possible battery drain issues, so I was prepared. The next day my iPhone started out at 100%, but I was loosing batter fast, even when it was shut off! I decided to let the battery completely run out until the phone shut itself off. I plugged it into its charger, and the white little apple appeared for quite some time, and then the battery icon appeared. The next day, all was normal.

All this “Techie” stuff can be quite scary to some, and as the boomer generation moves further away from the office environment, into retirement, technology gets left behind. I’m fortunate that my Graphic Design business forces me to stay current with technology on a daily basis. Here are a few apps that make my life a bit easier each day:

Carbonite.com – I use this site to back up my computer everyday. It backs up automatically. This made my computer upgrade a piece of cake. I can also access files from my computer from anywhere. There’s even an App.

Dropbox.com – I use this site to remotely share files with customers, and family members. It’s also a great way to keep large files off of your computer. I can also access this from anywhere.

Grocery IQ (App) – Now that it has a bar scanner, I scan my groceries as they run out. By the end of the week, I have a list.

Shazam (App) – A very cool App that recognizes music and media playing around you. Tap the Shazam button to instantly tag songs and purchase later.

Candy Crush (App) – Stress reliever, and very addicting game.

SnapChat (App) – This is how I now keep abreast of what my college daughter is up to. It’s a fast way to share a quick moment on iPhone. The photo is only seen for a few seconds.

DirecTV (App) – I watch TV from my iPad. I don’t think I’ve turned on the TV in my bedroom in over a year.

Quizlet (App) – A study tool for my son. Flashcards created by the community from school textbooks. He studies right from his iPad mini. He is getting good grades on test with help from Quizlet

Amazon Student (App) – I used this App to sell my kid’s school textbooks back. The barcode feature makes it so easy. When your done scanning the books you send a shipping label to your email and print it out. Shipping is FREE. I got about $100 back.

iTunes Radio – Launch with the latest iOS 7. Works just like Pandora, but you can purchase a song right from iTunes while listening. They have fewer ads, and the songs play more hits.

I am not my mother’s flip phone!

Photo Jan 26, 3 30 57 PMOn more than one occasion I’ve hung up my cell phone in awe with a family member (who will remain nameless) after being asked to look up a phone number, information or directions. “Googling” is a house hold name in my family. It’s your “go to”, “get all”, one stop shop for information. It’s second nature when I need information, and “Siri” is starting to take the reigns! In this day and age with technology right in front of your fingers, there is no excuse, but in all reality it’s a growing concern.

Baby boomers — those born in the U.S. between the years 1946 and 1964 (missed it by a year) — have carried a lot of demographic weight through the years. Boomers are now retiring from the workplace in droves, but without an office, company computer and cell phone, are Boomers keeping up with technology?

It’s not that baby boomers aren’t connected to the internet. According to an August 2011 Pew Internet survey, three out of four boomers between 50 and 64 years old use the Internet. Surprisingly, more than half (53 percent) of American adults age 65 and older are going online.

But not all baby boomers are connected. Among current non-internet users, almost half (48%) say the main reason they don’t go online now is because they don’t think the internet is relevant to them—often saying they don’t want to use the internet and don’t need to use it to get the information they want or conduct the communication they want. Many boomers find it difficult to use the new technologies because of their complexities. Interfaces that are not intuitive with buttons that are too small and not easy to touch, and text that is too small to read make boomers hesitant to adopt smart phones, tablets, netbooks, and especially computers.

There is a growing technology gap within the Baby Boomer generation.

Many Boomers are determined to keep up with technology. They use the Internet often to stay relevant at work and connected with their friends and families. Accessing instant news and weather, and keeping in contact with grandkids and childhood friends is a necessity.

But many Boomers are resisting digital technology, and still long for the printed newspaper and land line connection. Unfortunately they will find fewer and fewer viable options.

Technology moves very quickly, and within a few years, a lack of Internet access and technology ignorance will certainly doom those that don’t conform. Those that don’t conform widen the gap. This gap is what is starting to affect Boomer communication with other Boomers as well as other generations.

Owning a cell phone and checking emails used to be enough to stay connected, but the “flip” phone today is archaic. Most Boomers fail to realize that the technology of a “flip” phone is cumbersome. Flipping back and forth from menu to menu can drive you crazy!! No wonder Boomers have difficulty with the hardware and interface! Smartphones are actually designed for ease of use.

The way that I see it, technology is not just about the hardware, it’s about changing the way we “think”. Smartphones are not just for calling anymore. Boomers still check emails once or twice a day — on their PC at home. When I leave my mother an email, I’m lucky if she checks it in a few days. Many boomers only think of their phones as a voice device, but today it’s much more than that.

My Millennial kids use their smartphones to text, chat, video, search, listen to music, bank, and play games. They do everything but use the phone to talk. They make calls as a last resort, and their voice-mails aren’t even set up!

Boomers will eventually find themselves losing touch with peers, and colleagues, and friends who refuse to text, message, or check email frequently. It becomes increasingly difficult to communicate when the response time is often days or weeks.

So what are some things that you can do (if you’re a Boomer, or have a Boomer parent) to help keep up with technology and keep the gap from widening?

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How I use my iPad

  1. Surf on the Couch. Let’s start with the most obvious use for the iPad. Have you ever been watching TV and wondered where you’d seen a particular actor before? Having IMDB, Wikipedia and the rest of the web at your fingertips from the comfort of your couch can be a wonderful thing
  2. Word Games. I’m not much of a gamer, but I do enjoy word games, so I play Word with Friends, and SpellTower casually to clear my mind. It’s also fun having a social relationship with old friends and family just by playing a simple game.
  3. Blogging. I use my iPad to write articles for my blog. WordPress has a nice app for posting and editing articles. The iPad is great for surfing the net for research and handles photo storage and export through Dropbox nicely.
  4. Say Goodbye to Premium Cable. Have you ever wanted to ditch premium cable? The ability to stream Netflix and Hulu Plus directly to your HDTV via Apple’s Digital AV Adapter means you can replace your premium channels without being forced to watch movies on a smaller screen. And considering the amount of television available on those two services, some people could dump cable completely.How to Connect the iPad to Your TV. I haven’t taken the full plunge yet, but accessing Direct TV on my iPad is a great option right now.

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