Tips & Tricks: 6 new uses for your old iPad

Getting a new tablet? Before you sell the old one, consider putting to use in other ways.

 

 

 

By Rick Broida of CNet

If the arrival of Apple’s latest iPad is tempting you to upgrade, you might be debating the fate of your old iPad.

Two options: keep or sell. The latter can net you some funds to help defray the cost of the new tablet; here are some tips on selling used iPads for maximum profit.

But there are plenty of reasons to keep that old iPad around. The most obvious, at least for parents: Fill it up with educational games, e-books and the like, and give it to the kids.

You can also devote an old iPad to a specific task or set of tasks. Let’s take a look at some practical ways to wring more life from that aging tablet.

1. Full-time photo frame

The digital photo frames of yesteryear were small, low-resolution and a pain in the neck. But your iPad can deliver the ultimate photo-frame experience, revolving through hundreds or even thousands of photos in a never-ending slideshow.

Unfortunately, Apple removed the iOS Picture Frame mode years ago, which was designed expressly for this purpose. But you can accomplish more or less the same thing by setting up a dedicated iCloud photo album, then tweaking your iPad’s settings so it continues to display a slideshow of that album.

I’ll explain how to set that up in a future post. In the meantime, or as an alternative, check out LiveFrame, a free app that displays photos from not just your photo library, but also your Facebook, Flickr, Instagram and other accounts. (If you want to remove ads, it’ll cost you $1.99.)

From there, you’ll just need a good iPad stand and a nearby outlet so it has full-time power. Trust me: Once you start using a photo frame, you’ll never want to live without it.

2. Dedicated music server
You may not think of your iPad as a music machine, as that big screen would seem to lend itself more to books, movies, games and the like. But let’s not forget it’s an iOS device, and therefore capable of providing infinite music options.
Your own library, yes, but also Apple Music, Pandora, Spotify, TuneIn and lots of other great music apps.
Just pair your iPad with an AirPlay or Bluetooth speaker, then tap to queue up some tunes. And if you leave it on a side table sitting in a stand, you can enjoy some nice cover art while you listen.

3. Dedicated e-book and magazine reader

 

For hard-core readers, it’s hard to beat an iPad — especially the easier-to-hold iPad Mini ($335.00 at Amazon.com). It gives you access to just about every e-book reading app (and ecosystem) under the sun, from Kindle to Kobo to Nook to iBooks. Stock your old iPad with books and keep it at your bedside for an endless supply of nighttime reading.

And don’t forget magazines. The Mini feels a little small for them, but a full-size iPad works beautifully.

Many print subscriptions come with digital editions you can access via their respective apps. There’s also Texture, which was recently acquired by Apple and offers unlimited magazine reading for a flat monthly rate.
Finally, don’t forget digital magazines you can check out from the library. They’re free, meaning you can turn your iPad into a full-blown magazine rack.

4. Kitchen helper
iPads and cooking go together like peanut butter and jelly. Or maybe that should be olive oil and balsamic. Either way, an iPad makes a great kitchen companion — not just for searching and viewing recipes, but also for watching demonstration videos (like this one for a simple oven-baked chicken parmesan, a favorite in my house).

In fact, you could install an under-cabinet tablet mount and keep your iPad at eye level, at the same time protecting it from cooking splatter.
And don’t forget all the great cooking apps, like How to Cook Everything, Butterball Cookbook Plus (essential around Thanksgiving), and the ever-popular Epicurious.

5. Secondary monitor
A dual-monitor setup can be a huge boon to your productivity, but if you work with a laptop, it’s not exactly convenient to schlep an extra LCD everywhere you go.

Ah, but guess what? Your iPad can pull monitor duty. Just install an app like Air Display, then use the tablet as a second screen alongside your PC. Put your mail client in there, or a stock ticker, or anything else you like to refer to throughout the day.

The desktop client is available for Windows and Mac; the iOS app will cost you $9.99.

6. The ultimate AV remote
If you’ve ever tried using your phone to control your TV, you know it’s not typically a great experience. Know why? The tiny screen.
An iPad, though, is pure home-theater luxury. You can use it with dedicated apps for your Apple TV ($179.00 at Walmart), Amazon Fire TV ($69.99 at Amazon.com), Chromecast, Roku and/or Logitech Harmony Hub system. That big screen makes it so much easier to navigate program guides, menus, virtual buttons and other items that feel extra-cramped on a phone.

What you do with your old iPads? Sound off in the comments below!!

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Weekly Round Up 3/30/18

 

 

 

Facebook can’t have all the fun…
It’s Amazon’s Turn in the Tech Hot Seat

It should be for any business that handles people’s data.
Backlash against tech companies is a wake-up call

Edward Snowden said it best, “Voluntary surveillance.”
Why do people hand over so much data to tech companies? It’s not easy to say ‘no’

As I was a watching a clip of this, I got the feeling Uncle Timmy might be running for office one day soon…
Recode Daily: Tim Cook talks Facebook, data privacy, domestic manufacturing and tech in education

This is super creepy and cool all at the same time.
A Prediction About Future Tech From The 1990s Has Gone Viral Because It’s Spookily Accurate

They never seem to get any better…
Women and Minorities tech; By the Numbers.

I don’t need Alexa cooking any meals for me, thanks.
To Invade Homes, Tech is Trying to Get Your Kitchen

I’m telling you, that tech episode of the X-Files scared the crap out of a lot of people.
How Tech Can Make Retirement Harder For Couples

App of the Week: FlightLogger

Real-Time Flight Tracking for Worry-Free Travels

 

By John Voorhees of Macstories

Air travel can be stressful. FlightLogger, which is available on iOS and Android,
reduces the stress of travel by making it simple to search and save your flights, get up-to-date notifications on any changes to gates and terminals, share your travel plans with friends and family, and much more.

Too many flight tracking apps are a cluttered mess. FlightLogger’s design reduces the number of taps and information you have to input. Combined with a clear, glanceable timeline of your itinerary, FlightLogger is the perfect companion for the modern traveler.

FlightLogger is packed with innovative features:

• Track the flights of over 1500 airlines and 30,000 airports worldwide for worry-free travel.
• Add flights in-app or by forwarding flight confirmation emails to FlightLogger.
• Track departure and arrival times, delays, cancellations, and gate and baggage claim information.
• Receive flight status notifications on your iOS devices and Apple Watch.
• Track flights on your Apple Watch and other iOS devices with iCloud sync.
• View the approximate location of aircraft during flights.
• Keep family and friends up-to-date by sharing your travel details.
• Organize flights by trips, so you only see the information you need, when you need it.

The spring and summer travel seasons are just around the corner. Make your life easier by heading over to FlightLogger’s website to learn more and download the app today.

Do you have a favorite travel app? Tell us about it in the comments below!!

 

How to: find a lost iPhone even when it’s set to vibrate/silent

 

 

By Michael Potuck of 9to5 Mac

It can be a frustrating experience to try and find a lost or misplaced iPhone, particularly when it’s set to vibrate/silent. Follow along for two easy ways to locate your iPhone.

Apple offers a couple of handy ways to find your misplaced iPhone (and other
Apple devices) even when it’s set to vibrate/silent. Whether you’ve never used these features before or it’s just been a little while, let’s dive in!
One last thing to keep in mind, your lost iPhone will need to be powered on for the best chance of success, although there may be some hope if not.

Option 1
Find My iPhone is a super handy app that will make your iPhone ring even when it’s set to vibrate/ring. Keep in mind you’ll need to have the feature turned on in settings under iCloud → Find My iPhone. If you happen to be reading this before you’ve lost or misplaced your device it’s also helpful to turn on Send Last Location which automatically uploads this data to Apple just before your battery is about to die.
1 Open Find My iPhone, or download it from the App Store here
2 Tap on the device you’ve lost from the list shown
3 Tap Play Sound

Option 2
If you have an Apple Watch, there is a slick iPhone ping feature built right in. You also don’t need Find My iPhone to be turned on in iCloud settings for this to work.
1 Swipe up from the bottom of your Apple Watch to open Control Center
2 Tap on the ping iPhone icon as seen below

If your lost iPhone or other device has a dead battery, make sure to try and use the Find My iPhone app to at least see its last location. Sometimes that may be enough to jog your memory or put you on the path to finding it.

Do you have any clever ways to track down your missing phone? Tell us about it in the comments below!

Tips & Tricks: Buying an Android Phone in 2018? Here’s What to Expect

 

By Jeffery Van Camp of Wired

Yeah, it’s only March, but phone season has begun for 2018. Dozens of new handsets were unveiled at Mobile World Congress, the largest smartphone show on Earth, (here are the highlights) and Samsung’s Galaxy S9 is already on its way to early birds. Also, Google is now circulating a developer preview of the next Android version, currently codenamed Android P.

With all this action, we’re beginning to get a picture of what smartphones in 2018 will look like. Here are some of the more interesting trends you may see on your next phone.

Notches Galore

It’s been years since smartphones didn’t all look mostly the same. In 2018, we can expect mobile manufacturers to once again get on the same wavelength—with that wave coming straight from Cupertino. Apple put a controversial notch at the top of its

iPhone X screen and we’ve already seen Android phones start to adopt it.
Asus has already shown off a line of phones with Apple’s new signature notch chopped out of the top, and the LG G7 and others will likely follow it into Notch City.

With Google offering support for “display cutouts” in its early Android P developer preview, it looks like the notch invasion is just beginning. The Essential Phone already had a camera cutout in 2017.

By year end, the phone market will be full of phones with really long, edge-to-edge screens, and a notch cut right out from the top. Many iPhone X users don’t seem to really like the notch, but don’t expect that to stop anyone. When the iPhone makes a design change, the industry tends to follow.

Knockoff Animoji

If you were creeped out by Apple’s new face-tracking animated Animoji, you ain’t seen nothing yet. Samsung has already debuted “AR Emoji” on its Galaxy S9, which mimics your face in a Nintendo Mii style and animates it. Asus’s Zenimoji are coming next, which look more like Apple’s version. And now that Samsung has its own Animoji, you can bet its Korean rival LG probably will soon too. Goofy animated faces, not to mention pigs and dogs, are just beginning to seep out of the woodwork.

Helpful Android Enhancements

In its new developer preview of Android P, Google pulled the lid off a few tasty new things you’ll start to see on Android phones in the next year or two. As usual, Google’s Pixel phone will get these features first, and the next Pixel is likely coming out around October. Once the new features launch on Google’s flagship device, they’ll start to trickle out to other phones.

To start, Google is adding support for Wi-Fi 802.11mc, which will let it give more accurate indoor mapping directions in places like museums, casinos, universities, and malls that have shared their indoor layouts. New Android devices that support the wireless protocol will be able to ping nearby networks of Wi-Fi hotspots to pinpoint your position indoors and give more precise guidance. Google Maps may soon be your go-to app when you need to navigate an unfamiliar airport.

Photos and pictures are also coming to Android notifications, along with those quick replies you may have seen in your Gmail, allowing instant responses right from the notification tray.

Google introduced the idea of Instant Apps last year, and you’ll likely start to see more of them pop up in 2018. They’re stripped-down apps that don’t require installation. The goal is to end the annoying requirement of downloading and installing full apps to perform simple tasks. You can access these Instant Apps from a URL, just like webpages.

Finally, security is getting a boost, too. You won’t be able to see it, but apps running in the background won’t have the ability to turn on your camera, microphone, or other sensors. Why they were ever allowed to do these things in the first place is a good question.

Thumb Wars

Apple did away with its Touch ID sensor entirely on the iPhone X, but Android phone makers won’t, partially because most (or all) of them just don’t have the security in place to make facial recognition work as securely as it does with Apple’s new Face ID. Instead, fingerprint sensors on Android handsets have almost all been moved to the backs of the phones, making way for those edge-to-edge screens.

This shift started years ago, thanks to innovations from companies like LG, but it’s the end times for home buttons and fingerprint buttons on the front of phones. You’ll be hard-pressed to find new devices coming out in 2018 that don’t use your index finger for biometric unlocking.

Face Off

It will take a while for Android manufacturers’ facial recognition tech to catch up to the secure systems already in place.

Samsung

Facial recognition technology requires some strict security measures to be an effective way to verify a user’s identity, and most Android manufacturers remain behind the curve. Even though many of the systems being demonstrated now can be fooled by a simple photograph, the big Android players will continue to show off new face detection unlocking features this year, if they haven’t already. They’ll likely call it a new feature, even though several companies have been building it into their devices for a while. Remember: Google showed off basic, insecure face unlocking years ago.

Faster LTE

Most of the fanciest phones this year will run on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 845 processor, a chip that has gigabit LTE capability built right into it. Qualcomm thinks it will offer a real-world speed boost of 20 percent over current phones, but the platform is capable of 1.2 Gbps speeds.

The big holdup will be your wireless carrier. Providers like Verizon and T-Mobile are testing gigabit speeds, but bandwidth like that won’t be widespread for years. Your next phone will be a lot more capable than your wireless network.

Other perks of the 845 processor include a new dedicated security chip to protect things like payment and fingerprint data, enhanced video capabilities, and some improvements to battery life.

Double the Cameras

Apple’s iPhone 8 Plus (left) makes use of dual cameras to judge depth and add effects to photos.

Apple

Most high-end phones already have dual rear cameras, but Android P will bake in more support for the feature, so you can expect a lot more mid-range and cheaper phones to start doubling up their camera hardware. Dual-camera setups use a second camera to more accurately judge depth (this is why you have two eyes) and offer features like 2x zooming, depth effects for portrait shots, and wide-angle photos.

Some phone-makers, like Apple, do a great job utilizing the extra lens, but others still struggle to show a big improvement in photo quality. Who wants to take bets when we’ll see a tri-camera Android phone? It’s not as far off as you think. Rumors are swirling that Huawei is working on a camera with three lenses.

Wireless Charging Everywhere

Samsung has pushed wireless charging for years, but now that Apple has adopted the feature on the iPhone 8 and X, you can bet that the rest of the industry isn’t far behind. Here is a list of phones that have wireless charging now. Chances are high that your next phone will have it. We’ll also start seeing wireless charging stations pop up in places that aren’t McDonald’s and Starbucks.

Future Shocks

Vivo’s Apex phone is just a prototype, but it has some tech inside that signals where Android devices of the future are headed.

Vivo

You may wonder: What’s on the horizon for 2019 and beyond? I won’t get too deep into it, but there are a few innovations worth getting excited about. At Mobile World Congress in February, a company named Vivo showed off a concept phone named the Apex that had a fingerprint sensor and speakers built right into its screen.

Features like these could become commonplace. Before it showed off Face ID, Apple was rumored to be testing a Touch ID sensor built into the iPhone X screen. Sony is already selling a Bravia TV with speakers built into its screen, as well.
Smartphone companies have been pursuing foldable screens for many, many years, but they may finally arrive sometime soon. ZTE’s Axon M launched with a fold-out screen last year, and less clunky devices without hinges (or next to no bezel between the screens) are on the horizon.

Such a device may even come from Microsoft. Redmond is believed to be working on a tablet-like device, codenamed Andromeda or possibly a foldable Surface Phone. Samsung and others have also filed patents for foldable device tech. But don’t start buttering that smartphone pretzel just yet. Unlike all the other features actually coming to phones this year, folding screens still have many wrinkles that need ironing out.

Does anyone else see the similarities? Or is it just me? Sound off in the comments below!

Weekly Round Up 3/23/18

 

 

Apple’s looking pretty good right now, huh?
Facebook scandal could push other tech companies to tighten data sharing

Facebook may have just pushed our society back to the dark ages where tech is concerned.
It’s Not Just Facebook. The Big Tech Revolt Has Begun, Says Nomura

#deletefacbeook
The new tech divide: social media vs. everyone else

I thought I did. I didn’t.
Want to #DeleteFacebook? You Can Try

Um, they’ve never been held accountable for anything until now. How can it get worse?
Big Tech’s accountability-avoidance problem is getting worse

After the story of what Facebook did broke this week, there was no way this bill wasn’t going to pass…
Senate passes sex trafficking bill in defeat for weakened tech industry

I weep for our future.
People were asked to name women tech leaders. They said “Alexa” and “Siri”


Right, because they’ve proven so trustworthy with normal data….(eye roll)

Tech company using facial recognition technology to combat revenge porn


Oh, good. We found him.

This White Tech Guy Has an Idea to Make Tech Less White

App of the Week: The Great Coffee App

 

 

 

By Preshit Deorukhkar of Beautiful Pixels

Coffee lovers and connoisseurs have never been far from some excellent content about their favorite brew. Be it sites like Brew Methods, ventures like Ethical Coffee Chain or apps like Barista or Spro — a lot of us take pride in our love for coffee and knowing about the various coffees out there.

The Great Coffee App is another stunning coffee app for coffee lovers by the team at Mobile Creators. The app has a gorgeous collection of photos of 17 (including one that you have to unlock by sharing) different coffee cups, along with a short description of each. Each of the coffee cups has been meticulously crafted to perfection, showing you what ingredients make up that perfect cup.

You are presented a cut section of each cup, showing you how your coffee would look from the sides. You can toggle through three different views for each coffee by tapping once on the screen — either a beautiful shot of the coffee with a side item to go along with it against a blurred background, a cropped shot next to a description of the coffee or the cut section with labels for each layer of ingredient. There is some incredible detail in the shots of each coffee, including steam rising out of the hot cups. The developers also commissioned some custom music to be played in the background and while it’s good, it tends to get annoying a while later.

The app is essentially a slideshow of different coffees, so you can swipe left or right in whichever mode you’re in. You can star your coffees so you know which ones you’ve already tried or like. There’s even a grid view that shows you all the coffees at a glance. Unfortunately, while the app excels in terms of pixels, it severely lacks content. I wish the app also included recipes for the coffees or any additional info about them. I’d have loved to see some best practices or simple brew methods about those.

The Great Coffee app is only available for iOS.


Do you have a favorite coffee (or similar) app? Sound off in the comments below!!