For some reason, Apple does not seem to want to make it easy for us to set up Contact Groups on our iPads and iPhone using its standard apps.
Why are Contact Groups important? Let's look at an example.
You may regularly want to send an email to your Book Group, which perhaps has 10 people in it. Wouldn't it be great if you could just choose a 'book group' Contact group and have all the email addresses filled in automatically in your 'To' field of the email. This would be far easier than typing the names of each member of the group every time you send such an email.
For those of us who have a computer, we can get around this limitation of the iPad and iPhone by creating a group on the computer and emailing the group from there.
However, many people these days don't actually have a computer. They only have an iPad, and perhaps an iPhone.
I've done some research on this. The good news is that there IS a solution for the iPad and iPhone.
You CAN actually create a Contact Group on your iPad or iPhone and you CAN select that group and insert the corresponding list of contacts into your Mail's To field (or Cc, Bcc field) with just a tap.
Find out how in the following Handy Hint for iTandCoffee Club members. Not yet a member? Join the club today!
Related Handy Hints for iTandCoffee Club members (Find out how to Join the Club here)
I do so love seeing technology being used to make things easier.
Take, for example, the old 'Silent Auction' at a fund-raising event. There are now some amazing solutions out there that can not only help make the silent auction process easier to manage, but can also extend the period and reach of the auction's fund-raising.
Our kids' primary school, St Dominics Primary School in Camberwell East is this year, for the first time, using one such technology solution for the Silent Auction at their Italian Festa, to be held at the school on Saturday March 5th from 2pm to 8pm.
St Dominics is using an online service called 32auctions to manage their Silent Auction.
Bidding is no longer limited to 'on the day, in person'. Using this online solution, bidding opened this week (10 days prior to the event), and will close on the day at 6pm.
This link top the Silent Auction web page has been spread via Facebook, the Festa website, the school website, email and text.
Visitors to the web page can see all listed silent auction items, their value, current bid, buy now price and more - as shown in the below image.
The organising committee for the school's Festa are thrilled with the results already. Within 24 hours of opening bidding on Thursday 25th Feb, they had already matched the revenue from the 2014 Festa's silent auction, with bids coming in from as far away as Perth.
I look forward to seeing many of iTandCoffee's subscribers and clients at this fantastic event next Saturday. Now I need to go and place my bids!
This is such a handy feature of iOS 9!
When I schedule events in my calendar, I get an alert when it is time to leave that is based on current traffic conditions. So, if traffic is bad, the alert will pop up earlier than I anticipated, prompting me to get moving!
I have always had a default alert for my Calendar events, meaning that a reminder for 30 minutes before each event always pops up. (Check out this handy hint if you are not sure how to do this.)
But I now also get an alert earlier than 30 minutes before the event if the traffic conditions are such that I need to leave earlier!
All I have to do is to make sure that I include the location of my event when I add the event to the calendar.
The location must be an 'official' location that is recognised by the Maps app. But this is fairly easy, as suggested locations are popped up as I type, allowing me to select the applicable address/location as soon as it appears.
But where did I turn on the 'Time to Leave' feature of my Calendar app?
Find out more in this week's Handy Hint, for iTandCoffee Club members. Not yet a member? 'Join the Club' today!
Related Handy Hints
As the control-freak mother that I am, I like to do the occasional 'audit' of my 12yo son's school iPad. In particular, I want to ensure that there has been no inappropriate content accessed from Safari or downloaded to his iPad.
(I know. He is so unlucky to have me as a mother!)
Did 'Limiting Adult Content' really do the trick?
I have already set up his iPad to 'Limit Adult Content' in Safari and set him up as a 'child' in my iCloud Family, who has to 'Ask to Buy' when he downloads any apps from the App Store. Restrictions are in place to limit any apps he sees in the App Store to 'age appropriate' apps only.
With all this, I was fairly confident that nothing too bad would be found when I did this audit this week.
I had a look through his web browsing history to see what sort of sites he had been accessing. There were a LOT of YouTube pages accessed in Safari. I had not put the YouTube app on his iPad, so Safari was his only way of accessing YouTube content.
Most of what I saw fairly tame - some fairly crude 'boy-stuff', but not too bad.
But I have to say that I was very shocked at a couple that I saw. One was an animation, first showing a male having genetalia hacked off (with lots of animated blood), and then a woman being mutilated (again with lots of animated blood). While it was only an animation, it really was very sickening to watch.
Now, I don't know if he actually watched the full video, and I don't know if he only accidentally stumbled across it. But it made me realise just how much inappropriate content and appalling language is still able to be accessed on YouTube - even when you have the 'Limit Adult Content' control in place.
Restricting a particular website is sometimes also necessary
So, I added an extra restriction to his iPad, to cut off access to the YouTube website in Safari - at least until we could have a conversation and work on some rules and expectations (again) around future YouTube use.
I was surprised that, for the few days that he had no YouTube access, I had heard no complaints!
When we finally had our 'mother/son' chat last night, I found out why.
'Ask to Buy' may not stop unexpected apps appearing your child's i-Device
To my surprise, I discovered that, when he found he didn't have access to YouTube through Safari, he simply downloaded the YouTube App.
How could this have been allowed? Hadn't I had set him up as a 'child' Family member when I set up this iPad, so that he would have to ask permission for any purchases/downloads? I checked - and yes, I still had in place the 'Ask to Buy' setting in Settings ->iCloud->Family.
How was he able to download the YouTube app without me giving any permission?
He told me that he found the YouTube in the list of Apps that have been purchased or downloaded by me.
Here's the trick. As a family member of our iCloud Family, he could download any of my (or other family member) Apps without asking permission, and with no notification to me as the 'parent' in the iCloud Family.
This morning I have looked into this further and realised that, if he had bothered to try, he could download many other apps that are registered as 'purchased' against my iTunes account - including Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Kik Messenger, etc etc - all the apps that I specifically DON'T want him using at this stage, especially not on his school iPad.
In the App Store, these apps are all rated as 12+ or 4+ apps, so fit within the 'age restriction' I have set up in Restrictions.
Oops. Drat. The iCloud Family was not working the way I intended, especially when the family member is a fairly tech-savvy 12yo boy.
An extra 'restriction' to apply when you set up iCloud Family for a child
The good news is that there is a solution for this.
The apps that you have purchased/downloaded previously, but don't want your child Family member to download, can be 'hidden' so that they are no longer able to be seen in the list of your previous purchases.
This will prevent your child from downloading them without your permission or knowledge.
Apps can be 'unhidden' again if this is ever needed (for example, if you should need to re-download to your own or another device).
So, today I will be going through the list of Apps listed against my iTunes account - and against other family member accounts - and 'hiding' those that I don't want appearing on my son's iPad.
A 'handy hint' on the topic of 'hiding' and 'unhiding' apps will be published soon, so keep an eye out for it in the iTandCoffee Newsletter.
Have you set up any Parental Controls on your own child's i-Device? iTandCoffee can help.
The topic of how to set up 'Parental Controls' on an iPad (or iPhone, iPod Touch) will be covered on Friday March 4th at 9am at an information session being held for Glen Iris Primary School parents (in the school library). We will also look at this issue of 'hiding' and 'unhiding' Apps.
Glen Iris Primary School parents can book here to attend this session.
If you would like a similar session run at your own school, or are interested in attending a class on this topic at iTandCoffee, call 1300 885 420 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
One-on-one assistance is also available if you need it. It is not easy to understand all the setup that is required.
At a discussion group at a retirement village this week, the topic of internet access was raised.
At this particular village, the majority of residents cannot get ADSL or Cable internet connections to their units, so must rely on mobile data.
We all know that Mobile Data can be very expensive. For the residents of this village who perhaps would like to watch a lot of catch-up TV on their iPads, the cost can really make this impossible.
I remembered seeing this SMH article a few months ago (click here to read), describing a new Optus product and plan that can provide 50GB of monthly mobile data, at a cost that is 'relatively' competitive with a home internet plan.
The cost is $70 per month on a 24 month plan. Month-to-month plans are also $70, but incur an 'up-front' fee for the modem that is not applicable if you commit to the 24 months.
This is certainly a far cheaper 'cost per megabyte' plan than a lot of other mobile data options.
For example, on other plans, you might get something like 4GB or 8GB for $30 per month. Telstra provides a 10GB/month plan for $60.
Read about this relatively new product and plan from Optus here. You can check on this Optus web page if the service is available at your address.
(And for those of you at Cameron Close in Burwood, I have checked that the service is available in your village. I'll talk more about this topic when I visit on March 8th to present at the March Computer Club meeting at 4pm.)
"You don’t stop laughing because you grow old. You grow old because you stop laughing."
In March 2016, Rylands Retirement properties at Hawthorn and Kew will be hosting a two-day 'Wellness Festival' at their Hawthorn and Kew properties - at Hawthorn on March 5th, and Kew on March 6th, from 10am until 1pm. (Addresses are shown in the below image.)
Special guest Dr Sally Cockburn (aka Dr Feelgood) will be attending, hosting "a fun and lively chat about how to maintain a healthy mind and body as we age".
There will also be an array of health and well-being experts from the local community (including iTandCoffee), nutritional food samples from Rylands in-house chef, and a presentation of "travel hotspots for retirees".
Not only will iTandCoffee will be one of the 'stall-holders' at this festival, Lynette Coulston (founder of iTandCoffee) will present on the topic 'The Hidden Wonders of the iPad' at 12:00pm on each day. She will inspire retirees to consider the iPad is a 'lifestyle accessory' - not a computer - and look at how its features can greatly enhance the life of a retiree.
Everyone is welcome to attend this festival - just RSVP by calling Genell on 9015 7104.
Why not pop by to sample the hospitality that has always been so evident during iTandCoffee's many visits to Rylands (for classes and appointments with resident).
(And I might take myself on one of the Apartment tours, given that I will qualify as an over-55 (so can move in) in the not-too-distant future!)
Here's a question: What would happen to all your valuable photos, contacts data, document, texts, and more if your broke or lost your iPhone or iPad?
If you don't sync your device with iCloud, back your device up to iCloud, or use iTunes to sync and backup your device, all your important data that is housed on your device will, most likely, be lost. It is devastating when it happens. For kids, it can mean the loss of important school or uni work.
(Did your eyes just glaze over when I mentioned backups, iTunes and iCloud? Don't worry - you are not alone!)
At the start of another school year, it seems like a good time to talk about backups again.
Backing up your iPad and iPhone can be so easy - as easy as turning on a 'switch' in your iCloud settings. Do you know if you have done this?
Many people choose not to do this, perhaps because they don't even know that the option exists, but often because they are worried about using iCloud - worried that it is something tricky, worried about their privacy and security, worried that they just don't know what it is or what it does, worried that it might cost them lots of money.
If this sounds like you, why not come along to iTandCoffee's 2-hour session called 'Understanding and Using iCloud' on Wednesday 17th February, 10am-12pm.
We will unravel that 'glorious mystery' that is iCloud and help you make sure that you don't lose any important contents of your Apple Mobile device/s. It can all happen seamlessly for you - a 'set and forget' that gives you great peace of mind.
Those who attend this session will receive iTandCoffee's digital guide on the topic for FREE.
Select the button below to find out more about this session, and to book your place. There are very limited places, so don't delay.
If you would rather book by phone, call 1300 885 420. Or email email@example.com.
Related Handy Hints and Articles
Some of the below tips are accessible only by iTandCoffee Club members. Find out more about the iTandCoffee Club here.
This week, iTandCoffee ran a couple of classes where the Notes app was used to teach Typing and Editing skills (part of the Introduction to the iPad and iPhone and Bring your Busy Life under control using your iPad and iPhone class series).
This highlighted that many users of iPads and iPhones have not updated their devices to make use of the new, improved Notes app - which became available in iOS 9.
The new Notes app has a variety of new features that have, for me, made it a much more useful app:
If you are an iTandCoffee Club member, read more about how you can upgrade to your Notes app, and watch a video showing how you can use its great new features (and witness some very bad typing/drawing by me!).
Here is the members-only article:
Not yet a member of the iTandCoffee Club?
Join today for access to a huge list of handy hints and tips, and for other members-only offers.
If you want to know more about the iTandCoffee Club, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
A client has been in touch with iTandCoffee this week, asking for advice on what iPhone to get and where to go to get it.
She has seen how much I LOVE my iPhone 6S Plus and is thinking about getting one for herself. She wanted details of cost and plan options for that phone, as well as an idea of other iPhone alternatives.
My email reply to this client is shown below - for anyone else who might be wanting to ask the same question.
Since I wrote that reply, I have read an article that adds another option to this mix of iPhones.
The internet is littered with reports that a new iPhone (which they are saying might be called the iPhone 5se) will be announced on March 15th, and then available as early as March 18th.
If you are looking to get a new iPhone, and prefer the smaller sized iPhone 5S, it might be worth waiting to see what is actually announced on March 15th.
Here is an article about the current rumours: iPad Air 3 and iPhone 5se to Be Available on March 18 Following March 15 Introduction
Reply sent to this iTandCoffee Client
News of another i-Device killing problem has appeared in a couple of overseas publications today. The follows closely after the Error 53 problem also reported in this blog.
At the time of writing this article, I haven't yet seen anything about this one in the Australian press (to further confirm its veracity), but I am not about to verify the report by trying it out on my own iPhone or iPad!
This particular problem is, apparently, caused by setting the device's date to January 1, 1970 - after which the iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch will cease to work - and will not be able to be 'resuscitated', even using iTunes.
While I'm sure that the iTandCoffee readership is very unlikely to try this, it did occur to me that a malicious person might use this glitch to destroy an innocent victim's device.
With so many kids taking iPads to school, this is something to perhaps warn them about.
Make sure that they understand NOT TO TRY IT themselves (or fall for the trap of doing it based on a suggestion by someone else),
Also ensure that they have a good passcode lock on their device (or a fingerprint lock) to keep out those who might do harm to their device.
Here is the link to the article in The Guardian today.
Update Mon Feb 15th
More recent reports say that the problem can be fixed by completely draining the battery or removing and restoring the battery within the device (not exactly useful for most of us and would certainly impact any warranty).
Again, I'm not about to try this out to see if draining the battery works! If anyone else has been caught out and finds this to be a solution, please leave a comment.
For anyone who is interested in being the home internet control freak (like me) - as mentioned in this article published yesterday - this is the device that I purchased and set up recently.
There are others that offer similar capabilities, but I liked this one because it got good reviews and it was a Netgear router. It was also being offered at a reasonable price by eStore, the online technology store that I use for a lot of my technology purchases.
I have had several previous Netgear devices and have loved the app that goes with these devices, Netgear Genie.
I can even control the home network from the Netgear Genie app on my iPhone - yesterday I did this as I sat by the pool!!
Power to me!
If you decide to purchase a device like this and need assistance setting it up (and you live in Melbourne), contact iTandCoffee on 1300 885 420 or email@example.com.
(This article is an independent article, and in no way an advertisement for either Netgear or Estore.)
Read this article - then make sure you block adult content on your child's (and your own) iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch and computer
I saw this article in The Age today (Sunday Feb 7th) that really made me think about how much more easily kids today can gain easy access to damaging material - perhaps causing lifelong damage, as described in this article.
The SMH.com.au article talks about how just one early contact with pornographic material (through the Playboy magazine) opened a child's eyes - far to early - to adult concepts and sexuality. This was at a point where the child was too young to understand that what she saw was not representative of healthy male/female relationships.
Back then, it was not quite so easy for a child to gain access to pornographic material, so less came in contact with such damaging material at an early age.
These days, it can be as simple as opening their Safari app on an iPod Touch, iPad or iPhone - or perhaps on mum and dad's computer - and typing in some words.
Perhaps these words have been heard and not understood at school. Our kids are tech savvy at a young age, and can easily Google to gain the answers to questions they don't want to ask someone else.
What has been seen cannot be unseen. This article really rams home this reality and the potential lifelong impacts of what has been seen at a too-young age.
At iTandCoffee, we are passionate about educating parents about how to keep kids safe on Apple technology - iPads, iPhones, iPod Touches and Macs. We want to close that 'adult content' gate before the horse bolts - because it is too late then.
The 'Keeping kids safe on iPads, iPhones and iPod Touches' class is run on a regular basis at iTandCoffee (at 34 High St Glen Iris, Vic) and is next scheduled for Wednesday February 10th, 10am-12pm.
If you have not set up parental controls on your child's device, please come along and find out how easy it is to protect your own child, and any other children that might also use your family's device/s.
Bring this iTandCoffee class to your school
If you are interested in bringing this class to parents at your child's school, call iTandCoffee on 1300 885 420 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are only too happy to present this class to parent groups in schools or other venues. Special discounted pricing may apply depending on the location and the number of attendees. Talk to us about this.
It's been a busy time for iTandCoffee over the summer break.
During that time, there has been a lot of time spent working on a great new set of products that are now available from iTandCoffee - with more to come soon.
The Introduction to the iPad and iPhone set of nine guides - which complement the 5-class iTandCoffee series of the same name - have been published and are now available as individual booklets, or as a full set of 9 booklets.
Coming in the next couple of weeks will be the published guides for Bring your Busy Life Under Control using your iPad and iPhone and Understanding and Using iCloud, with more to follow very soon after than.
These guides are a great way of learning more about your iPad and iPhone, and make a wonderful gift for beginners and seniors.
If you are interested in purchasing one or more of these guides, email iTandCoffee at email@example.com or call
1300 885 420.
(They will be available online at the iTandCoffee online store in the near future.)
Many clients that I see are very frustrated by the 'minimalistic' design of the new Photos app on the Mac (which replaced the iPhoto app during 2015).
If you find yourself longing for a left-hand sidebar - like the one you had in iPhoto - there is good news.
The sidebar has not been taken away from you. It is just hidden unless you say that you want to see it.
This week's handy hint for Mac users tells you how you can turn on this sidebar.
If you are an iTandCoffee Club member, you can this tip here: How to enable the 'Sidebar' in the Photos app.
If you are not yet a member, here's how to join! Membership gives you access to a huge number of great tips like this.
Related handy hints and articles
Handy Hints (for iTandCoffee Club members):
How I took control!
Something tells me that the 'Geniuses' at Apple are going to be heavily booked over the next few weeks and months.
I wonder if Apple Stores will have enough stock to service the adaptor replacement needs of so many people!
Now I need to go on a search of my home and office, to track down each of the the dodgy adaptors in our possession, and pay a visit to Apple.
Alternatively, I might go to one of Apple's registered re-sellers, such as Pentagon Digital, at 546 Whitehorse Rd, Surrey Hills VIC 3127.
Perhaps phone Pentagon first (9895 2960) to make sure they have some replacement adaptors in stock - at the time of writing this article (1/2/16), Pentagon is waiting for more stock to arrive mid to late this week.
Call 1300 885 420
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