Getting Real Work Done
It might seem impossible to write a book, create a business presentation, or manage your finances on a small display such as the one on your iPhone. However, this is not the case. Apple has a great productivity suite called iWork. It consists of Pages, a word processor; Numbers, a spreadsheet app; and Keynote, an app for creating slideshow presentations. All these apps feature a uniquely Apple approach to work that makes it (dare I say) fun. Better yet, each of the three apps can be had for $10 apiece, much less than any Microsoft productivity program has ever been available for. And if you bought an iPad or iPhone since September, you can download the suite for free.
Each app works incredibly well, even on the iPhone’s small display. While you might not want to write an essay on the virtual keyboard, you can pair it with a wireless keyboard, and type an entire book on just your iPhone, and fill it up with images and other media. Keynote adds slick graphical twists to any boring presentation, livening it up and keeping your audience awake. Using a small adapter or an Apple TV, you can show your presentation to anybody on a big screen. Numbers is useful and well thought out, and can calculate nearly anything you’ll need.
It’s the Little Things
On your iPhone’s lock screen, you can swipe up from the bottom to view Control Center (excuse the American spelling – that’s just what it is called). From Control Center, you can tap the flashlight icon to use your camera’s flash as a flashlight. That’s great, but you don’t have to summon Control Center again to turn it off – simply tap the camera shortcut on the lock screen, and the flashlight will turn off.
Make Mail More Productive
Mail is a great app – but it’s not fun tapping back and forth through different levels of your mailboxes. Fortunately, there’s a better way. Open Mail, and tap the back arrow (whatever it says) until you get to the very bottom stack. It should say Mailboxes in bold text at the top of your display. Right beside that, in blue, there is an Edit button. Tap that. You’ll see the list of mailboxes expand, some of which have blue checkmarks beside them. These are the mailboxes that you can access from the main Mail screen. Check off the ones you’re using most regularly (and uncheck the ones you don’t use), and drag them up or down to rearrange the order the mailboxes appear in. Then tap Done. That’s it! You can now access your oft-used mailboxes with fewer taps.
If you’ve never heard of FaceTime or haven’t used iMessage, you are missing out on something truly great. This is no social network time-vampire like (well, I won’t name names). No, Apple’s two free communication services are proper tools to keep in touch with people you know. FaceTime has two flavours – one version lets you both see and hear who you’re talking to, and FaceTime Audio is just like a phone call, except it uses Internet instead of cellular minutes. iMessage is like texting, but once again, it doesn’t eat up your monthly texting allotment and allows you to send photos and videos as well. Both services require an Internet connection and an Apple device on both ends, meaning you can’t chat face-to-face from afar with your Android-toting friends.
On a new device, activating iMessage and FaceTime is part of the set-up process, but if you opted out or forget whether you activated them or not, it’s easy enough to check and do it now if necessary.
1. Go to Settings and scroll down to FaceTime (or iMessage).
2. Tap the switch at the top of the screen to turn it on.
3. If prompted, enter your Apple ID and/or password.
It’s set up, just like that!
People can FaceTime or iMessage you via your phone number or your email address.
To contact someone else via FaceTime or iMessage, you must have that person’s contact details in Contacts on your device. Then head over to the Messages or FaceTime app. To start an iMessage conversation, tap the pen-and-paper icon in the top corner and address it by typing someone’s name. Blue names, bubbles, and text indicate an iMessage. Green names, bubbles, and text indicate a regular SMS message. Write a message, tap Send, and it’s off! Handily, iMessage can tell you when a message is delivered and even when it has been read.
FaceTime is simple to use as well. Just find the person you want to contact in the list and tap their name. On their contact card that appears, to the right of the FaceTime heading, tap the phone symbol to initiate a voice-only FaceTime call, or tap the video camera icon to start a video chat.
You can do the same thing from the Contacts app as well: beside the FaceTime heading on their contact card in Contacts, you can tap the phone symbol for a FaceTime Audio conversation or the video camera icon to keep an eye on them. To send an iMessage, go to the contact card in question and tap Send Message near the bottom and select an email address or phone number.
Turning iPhone Off
As you probably know, you can put your iPhone to sleep by pressing the Sleep/Wake button near the top right. When it’s asleep, it can still receive phone calls, text messages, FaceTime calls, iMessages, emails, and the like. However, like any other computer, it can be turned completely off. This is useful in the rare case that you won’t be using your iPhone for some time, or something’s gone funky. All you have to to is press and hold the Sleep/Wake button until a slider appears, then slide it to power off. A little pinwheel will indicate that your iPhone is powering off, and then it’s done!
Turning iPhone On Again
Of course, you’ll need to know how to bring it back to life. There are two ways: press and hold the same Sleep/Wake button until you see the Apple logo on the screen, or plug iPhone into its power adapter. Either way, iPhone will turn on again and be ready to go in about a minute.
Quick Tutorial topic suggestions are welcome. Contact me to suggest a topic!