Mobiles

Don’t worry, this is not a political post. Where and when Daylight Saving should happen is a seperate topic.
Parts of Australia changed to daylight saving today. Not all electronic devices kept up with the change. If your device swapped when it should not or didn’t swap when it should, here is what to do.
For an Apple device Click here for Apple support article.
For an Android device, go to Settings – Date and time
Go to Select time zone and ensure that the time zone is correct for your area.
Don’t trust the Automatic select if you are in Queensland as it may not cope with the time remaining the same.
Andrpid phone settings

My phone has been filling up! I’ve also been using my data allowance playing music from You Tube that I already own on CD. Fortunately I have a phone which is expandable by inserting an SD  card . Check on Google if you aren’t sure if you do (IPhones and Samsung Galaxy S5 are not), most previous Samsung models and many other Android and Windows phones are.  I recently purchased such a card and have just finished loading music and shifting some applications and photos to this card. As they were only $18 AU for a 322 GB card on EBay, I have ended up by purchasing a spare for backup.  It was a simple matter to slip the card into the phone and then copy the music from my PC. What took a bit more investigation was how to actually shift functioning apps and my photo library.

The steps I followed were:

1) Shift apps

Go to Settings – Application Manager . For each application that I wanted to move to the SD card, touch the Move to SD card button

2) Ensure new photos are saved to the SD card. The first time I took a photo after inserting the card, my Camera app prompted me asking if I wanted to do so, and I just accepted this. I used the MyFiles app to verify that new photos were being saved to the SD card and a small SD card icon also appears when I use the camera.

3) Shift existing photos. First ensure that all existing photos are backed up to cloud storage if you wish to do so. Then go to the MyFiles app, locate the photos/videos (usually in a folder called DCIM/Camera) and move or copy the folder to the SD card by selecting it and then touching the menu icon (on my phone it looks like 3 dots but yours may differ). Select move or copy from this menu. Move is quicker but copy is safer as it leaves the original unchanged and you can then check the copy before going back to delete the old ones yourself.

There are many resources on YouTube and other phone blogs if you are looking for specific information about a particular phone or let me know if you need a hand dealing with this.

 

 

Phone storage settings

Phone storage settings

Here’s a random collection of useful links. Check back from time to time as I will edit and add to it.
airplane mode
when and how to use
http://www.cnet.com/au/how-to/how-and-when-to-use-airplane-mode-on-iphone/
Facebook privacy, sharing family photos safely
http://www.forbes.com/sites/amitchowdhry/2013/11/19/facebook-privacy-tips/

Remote controls for TVs, personal video recorders (PVRs) and even air conditioners sometimes drive us up the wall. Their batteries stop working at the most inconvenient time possible or someone breaks or loses them.
However, if you have certain phones, there is an easy answer. Many Android smart phones and tablets contain what is known as an “IR Blaster” which means they can produce an infra red beam as does your remote control. For these phones, it just takes a simple, free app from the Play Store and your phone becomes a controller. For Apple phones and some others, an add on IR Blaster is required as these phones do not contain one.
I have tested this with a Samsung S5 smart phone, the Smart Remote app which came with it and an old (2006 , I think) LG TV and Beyonwiz PVR. The TV is a bit finicky, and would never work with the Byonwiz’s claimed universal remote though it did with an entry level Logitech universal remote. The user interface on the app is simple, and would possibly be easier to use for someone with eyesight issues than a physical remote. Sometimes it is slow to respond or takes more than one press of a button to work but generally it is pretty good and I have been able to switch to using it exclusively for the TV and lend the Logitech to a relative who needed it urgently.

For a list of phones which contain an IR Blaster see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infrared_blaster
Note however, the standard model Samsung Galaxy S5 is not on this list, but must contain one as it works for me!

Galaxy s5

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More IPad settings
1) Airplane mode aka flight mode.
Originally designed to make it safe to use the device on an aircraft, this feature turns off all cellular and wifi connections. In effect, you are running the device with no connection to the internet. Battery use is much less in Airplane mode. Some times you might use it are if you want to use the device as an alarm clock, have a break from interruptions, are on an aircraft flight or are watching a movie or listening to music stored on the device or are writing a confidential document which you want to securely upload later.
2) Cellular data (not available on all tablets) .
This turns on/off the device’s ability to use the mobile phone network. If you are spending a lot of money on data use, this one is worth exploring. Some devices allow you to turn on and off data use for each individual application.
3) Wifi
This turns on/off the device’s ability to connect to wi-fi hotspots
Hint: be wary of connecting to open (with no password) hotspots. Everyone on these networks can see every device connected, so there is nothing to stop someone spying on you. Once you have entered the details for a hotspot, your device will remember it so you can connect again next time you are near it.
4) Personal Hotspot aka Portable Wireless Hotspot
This enables you to set up your own WiFi access point to which other devices can connect. Always set a password and beware it will use your data allowance.
5) Bluetooth
Most frequently used for connecting devices like handsfree headsets and physical keyboards. This is very useful but turn it off when you are not using it as it can allow other people to connect to your device and it increases battery use. Bluetooth does not use cellular data – like WiFi it is a local communication method which only works over a short range.
6) Display and Brightness
This is where to go if you are having trouble reading your device in certain lighting conditions or if you are having trouble with batteries. A bright screen is a huge user of battery so unless you are having concerns with reading the screen, it is best to set this to auto – brightness. The device usually makes a good choice. If you know you are going to be somewhere glary, you can set it to a brighter setting and then change it back when you leave that environment.

7) Location Services (on Apple devices this is located under Privacy – Location Services )
This controls the GPS capability of your device. If you don’t like the idea of it knowing where you are, you can turn it off. You can also control which apps use it. Note that while it doesn’t use much cellular data, it is a very heavy user of battery so best to turn it on only when you think you are likely to want use a navigation app or similar.

8) Sounds
This is where you customise ring tones and alert tones. . You can turn the volume of these sounds up or down and customise them.

Useful device hint : Sometimes applications remain open on your device when you aren’t using them.
On an Apple device running IOS 7 or later – double tap the home button. Look through the list of open apps that appears and swipe upwards on any you want to close. This will immediately close them.
On an Android device (Nexus, Samsung, HTC and others)
Launch the recent applications menu. (Different on different devices)
Tap and hold the application and swipe it to the right to close.
Apple IPad settings

Rainbow tech accessories
Do you ever feel overwhelmed by the rainbow array of technology products and accessories you are offerred? I’ve been trying to find you for ages so I can help you make sense of it all. But because you don’t hang out much online, I just didn’t know how.

I credit my roomful of mentors in my Podpora group for helping me to find this target market. I was quite stuck and they suggested volunteering to give some talks to connect. I’m now teaching a course at University of The Third Age and meeting wonderful people who are teaching me so much. Connecting with my class has cleared my mental blocks and shown me the gaps in my preparation so expect new tailored products and services soon. Plus the class is fun and in a lovely location – Sippy Downs. A kangaroo watched part of my first session yesterday.

So thanks to my class and to my Pod! Exciting possibilities are opening up.

On a recent business trip, I was away from a power point most of the day. Unfortunately, the external battery pack I chose to take for my phone was a light weight one which started playing up during the trip. So, it was touch and go. The following tips and tweaks helped me make it home without running out of battery (though I only had 7% to spare)

1 Check what is using your battery

Does your phone let you view what is using your battery?
If so, use it! The prime suspects in my case were not the guilty parties. I blamed a GPS based app I’d downloaded to track public transport in the area I was visiting.
As it turned out, the main user was the screen application.
Look at your phone’s settings and look for something like Battery or Battery usage. On IOS 8 or above or on Android devices, you will find a page which lists the top users of your device battery. Detailed instructions on how to do this can be found here for IOS http://appleinsider.com/articles/14/09/26/ios-8-tells-you-what-app-is-draining-your-iphones-battery
and here for Android http://www.wikihow.com/Find-out-What%27s-Draining-the-Most-Battery-in-Android

2 Check your screen settings
In my case, the screen was set quite bright and setting it to auto-adjust itself significantly reduced its power consumption.
3 Check the other top power consumers
For each one that you judge as significant, consider if you need it to be on all the time. Maybe you can shut the app down and just open it when needed. If you use it a lot, examine its settings to see if there is anything you can change. Does it constantly “phone home” to check for updates etc? If so, that could also be eating into your mobile data allowance. You might want to turn that off or increase the interval between checking.
In my case , I changed the location method on Facebook. Again, GPS and location services are often responsible for high battery use so they are always worth checking.
4 WiFi and Bluetooth
Are these on? If so, do you need them? In particular, if WiFi is on and you are not near an access point, your phone will be constantly looking for one. It is well worth turning it off when you are not planning to connect.
I turned WiFi off and now keep it off unless I’m at home or near a hotspot and want to connect.
5 Power Saving Mode
Some phones have a power saving mode. If you really need to preserve battery until a power cut is over or you get home, these restricted modes are effective.

Without using power saving mode, I’m now getting several hours more out of my phone with the same usage. I haven’t noticed any unwanted effects so far, such as finding it hard to read the screen because of auto – brightness. I did use the ultra power saving mode to make sure I lasted the day on Monday and it did prove effective.

Phones on sale

Sunday 16 November
Summary Min 24 Max 39 Hot. Partly cloudy.
Brisbane area
Very hot. Mostly sunny morning. Slight (20%) chance of a shower in the afternoon. The chance of a thunderstorm in the afternoon. Winds north to northwesterly 20 to 30 km/h turning westerly 15 to 20 km/h during the day.
Severe weather
Hot and stormy weather! Schoolies Week! Christmas carols, cards and gifts in the shops!
That sounds like a typical Queensland summer. If I’m running a business, what should I be thinking about to make the best use of this weather and time of year?
1) Prepare for potential severe weather. Summer is the highest risk time of year for bushfires, heatwaves, storms floods and cyclones. What are the risks in my area and what can I do to prepare or reduce the risk? I won’t go into too much detail here as I’ve posted on this before. One thing I will say is, be prepared for power interruptions. These are the most likely issue in Brisbane and the South East. In Brisbane, there have been two severe floods in living memory but every summer there are several severe electrical storms in some part of Brisbane, frequently causing localised damage with things like fallen trees and interruptions to power supply.
2) Target your marketing message to clients who might be in “summer mode”. Your clients might have kids on holidays , be going to the beach, or preparing for a huge family Christmas. Social media and blogs might be more effective if they take on a summery tone.
3) Prepare for your own and your staff’s holidays. If someone who normally looks after your IT or social media is going away, what plans do you have in place. Do you want to continue “as normal” or will you just tell your clients you are on a break?
4) Can you target the holiday or gift markets in a new way? I haven’t got the answers on this one – it will be different for each business.

For myself though, I’m exploring how my target market wants to work with me in the holiday season and at other times.
I am holding a free drop in session in Brisbane to connect with my target market and understand their concern.
See www.electroniclighthouse.com.au/Events for details and if you know people who are struggling with tech gifts for children or grandchildren or just have smart phone or tablet questions, invite them to come along!

If you have a SIM pin, which is normally a 4 digit code you need to enter to start your phone, a few easy tips will make your life easier.
1) a PIN is a good idea, as it delays a thief or interloper trying to use your phone
2) chose something you will remember easily but is not easy for others to guess
3) know your PUK code or register with your telco’s online tool to manage your account. Your PUK code is the code you enter if your phone has been locked from entering a wrong PIN too many times. This happened to me yesterday due to a relative’s old flakey handset which occasionally has keyboard malfunctions. Even if you know the PIN, typos happen or a key or software can malfunction. Most only give you three tries. If you are registered online, it’s quick and easy to find the PUK and unlock it. Otherwise, find the code on your phone documentation or ask your telco and keep it written down in a safe place away from the phone.

Calaxy Nexus phone

My phone

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