Jul 28, 2011

The Easy Way to Make a Genius Appointment

I had some trouble with my MacBook Pro that required an appointment with someone from the Genius Bar at the Apple Store.  The  "geniuses", as they are called, at the Genius Bar, are Apple's in-store technical support specialists.  They provide tech support for everything from Macs to iPhones to iPads to iPods. To get a chance to show them your problem and hopefully get it fixed, you do the following:
  1. Make a Genius Bar appointment online.
  2. Go to the store at the appointed time.
  3. Check in with an Apple employee.
  4. Wait for them to call your name.

Jul 26, 2011

Check Your Heart Rate with Your iPhone...Seriously

OK, that sound's crazy, doesn't it?  Can your iPhone tell your heart rate, your pulse?  How's that possible?  It turns out there is an app for that and how it does this is seriously innovative...and it doesn't need any additional hardware.

Jul 19, 2011

Google+ on the Go

It's only been about three weeks since the new social networking application, Google+ launched.  So why another one and what does this have to do with what you can do with your iPhone or iPad?

First, let me answer the first question.  I've heard it said that Google+ is what would be born if Facebook and Twitter had a child. I'm not sure that's a fair description though, given it has features that are not even present in the other two but are incredibly powerful as social tools:
  1. Circles - These are a central concept in Google+.  Put simply, the are groups or categories that you put people in that allow you to share different thing with different people.  For example you might want to share Suzie's piano recital with your Friends circle but not with your Coworkers circle.  This is actually quite powerful.

Jul 14, 2011

Essential iPhone Apps

With this blog, I typically write about things that you can do with your iOS device (your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch).  Though I don't review apps, per se, I talk a lot about specific apps because apps are what give you the ability to do so many things.  Over the past seven months since this blog started, I have mentioned a lot of iPhone apps. Below are what I would consider the twenty more essential apps that I've written about:

Jul 12, 2011

Podcasts: An Alternative to iTunes on iOS Devices

If you are unfamiliar, a podcast is a series of audio (or video) episodes that you can subscribe to and listen to using special software, sometimes called a podcatcher.  There are podcasts on nearly every subject from news to politics to sermons to sports to education to technology to old radio show...I could go on.  Some are short, just a few minutes or so.  Some are over an hour.  My own church has a podcast of each Sunday's sermon.  On my drive home from work I listen to MacOS Ken, a podcast with the latest news on the Apple world.

So how do you enter the world of podcasting?  You need a podcatcher.  If you are reading this blog, chances are good that you have one of the most well-know podcatchers in iTunes.  With iTunes, you can subscribe to podcasts (which are listed in the iTunes store) and then sync those podcasts to your iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad.  I used to subscribe to podcasts via iTunes and then sync them to my iPhone.  I got away from this and turned to other options for two reasons:

Jul 7, 2011

Watch the Final Space Shuttle Launch on Your iPhone or iPad

As I write this, it's about 12 hours from the last launch of the Space Shuttle program with the final mission of the Space Shuttle Atlantis (STS-135).  If everything goes as planned, the Atlantis will launch at 11:26 EDT on July 8, 2011.  But what if you are away from the television and the computer for this historic event?  What if you're sitting in an airport, relaxing on the beach, or drinking coffee at Starbucks?

There are a couple of apps that will let you watch this event.  Both apps are free and will show live streaming video from NASA TV. The first one is Ustream for iPhone. With it you will need to search for the NASA TV channel, though it should be listed on the Live tab of the app once the countdown begins.