My new iPad is AT&T 4G LTE enabled. But to be able to text or call using it, I’d have to pay for an extra AT&T plan. Ha! Here’s what I do instead of adding another bill to my budget.
With my SKYPE app for the iPad, I can call any land line I want to in the US or Canada for almost FREE, and the sound is crystal clear. I pay $8.52 every 3 months so I can call land lines. Or if they’re on SKYPE, I can call their SKYPE handle as usual.
I’m digging the latest update for my iPhone (I’m still on the 4 model, and that suits me just fine).
Here are the top features that help me stay productive.
Control Center. If you swipe up from the bottom of the screen (from anywhere except the camera so far), the Control Center opens with shortcuts. I especially like that I can quickly play my music and set a reminder with the alarm. The flashlight is right there too. The other shortcuts there are either to features I don’t use or already have easy access to (e.g., camera). You can change the functionality of the Control Center in Settings (e.g., you might want to turn it off when inside an app). When it’s disabled, you’ll still be able to get to it on the Home screen.
Notification Center. If you swipe down from the top of the screen, the Notification Center opens. It shows new mail, missed calls, a calendar Today view, and more. You can customize what you see by tapping Settings, Notification Center.
Searching. Whether I’m looking for a contact or an app, if you swipe down from the middle of the home screen, you’ll be able to conduct a quick search.
Alter Data Usage. Under Settings, Cellular, you can determine which apps will be restricted to using WiFi as opposed to your data plan. I turned completely off and will use cellular plan only when I have to.
Zoom. Use your fingers to zoom. To turn the feature on, tap Settings, General, Accessibility, Zoom. After this is set, use three fingers and double-tap to zoom in and out. Double-tap and drag three fingers to move around the screen.
Easier Tapping. I’ve realized that the more streamlined interface makes it easier to tap the keyboard.
Automatic Updates. You can set your unit up to automatically update apps. Tap Settings, iTunes & App Store, and scroll down to Automatic Downloads and tap it on. You’ll also see where you can opt to use your cellular data plan for updates instead of the default WiFi. I left this off.
Quick Preview of Apps. When you double-tap the Home button, you’ll be able to swipe through preview screens of the apps you have open. Tap one to open. To quit an app, just swipe it up and out of preview.
Organize More Apps Inside Folders. I have most of my apps organized into folders using broad categories such as Media, Travel, etc. I just noticed that I can add more than the nine I can see. To preview the others, tap the folder to open, then swipe to the right to see more. (To get them into a folder in the first place, press down on any icon until all start to shake. Then slide an icon on top of one that you want to group. When you release, you’ll have the opportunity to name the folder by tapping the text, deleting, and typing as you normally would.)
Media Organization. I’m a professional organizer and organize everything. I appreciate having my photos separated from videos in albums. Tap Photos on the home screen, Albums. Another feature is Summarize Photos and show in collections and by year. Tap Settings, Photos & Camera, tap to turn the feature on or off.
Close Apps. Double-tap the Home button. Close apps by swiping them upward. You can see more of them by swiping left and right. Double-tap the Home button when done.
Message Templates. I love the message templates. Go to Settings, Phone, Respond with Text. Create your own custom messages. When a call comes in, Message will be one of your options. Tap that, and choose one of your templates.
Selecting Text-Paragraph. Only if you’re in typing mode (e.g., replying to an email message), you can double-tap (use two fingers) a paragraph to select it.
Selecting Text-Word. To select a word, double-tap it (use one finger). Then drag the pointers to extend the selection.
Timestamps for Messages. It’s easy to check for the exact time every message was sent and received by swiping message bubbles to the left.
Blocking Unwanted Calls and Messages. You can block someone by first adding them to Contacts, Settings, Phone, Blocked, Add New, find that contact you want to block.
Always Bcc Yourself. When I send a message from my iPhone, I automatically send myself a blind copy so the message will end up in my Outlook Inbox. Under Settings, Mail, Contacts, Calendars, scroll down to Mail, and turn on Always Bcc Myself.
Customize Your Signature. I wanted to add a couple of lines to my auto signature. Under Settings, Mail-Contacts-Calendars, scroll down to Mail, tap Signature, tap inside the signature space, and tap your text.
View in a List. If you’d rather see your appointments in a list, open Calendar, and tap the magnifying glass at the top. You can search your calendar from here also.
Reminders. I don’t use iPhone’s Reminders as mine are in Outlook and synched. Plus, I have a separate app (Alarmed) that I use. But if you do use Reminders, here is a great article about that.
I make my living as an international conference speaker. I just edited this video and posted to YouTube. I combined some photos and videos and edited them using Camtasia software. I used my iPhone and iRig mic to create all photos and videos. I used PowerPoint to create intro and exit slides, including the last two with the animation.
I’ll send a link to my client, potential clients in a similar industry, and seminar attendees. The last time I did this, within hours, I’d booked multiple speaking gigs.
Stay tuned for information on a bootcamp I’m putting together for people who want to learn how to do all this as a slick marketing tool. Join my private email list and be the first to know.
Most of my videos are screen recordings that show tips and tricks in software. But recently, I’ve started getting in front of the camera. I’ve wanted to use a teleprompter, but didn’t have an iPad and didn’t want to spend any money buying a traditional one. Here’s what I came up with.
First, I wrote my script. The key to writing a script for the teleprompter is to write exactly the way you talk. Then practice, practice, practice until you don’t sound like you’re reading.
Second, I composed the text in Notepad, saved it, and pasted it on http://www.CuePrompter.com when I’m ready. This is a free online teleprompter service.
Third, I put my laptop behind my camera, just above it. This way, I can see the scrolling text on my laptop, and it looks as if I’m looking right into the camera’s eye.
Finally, I had to figure out a way to control the laptop when it’s not in front of me (e.g., to start the cueprompter, start and stop the video recorder for my webcam, etc.). My Logitech Wireless Keyboard with Touchpad is the perfect solution.
So I’m all set, and here’s the video on this setup.
Are you using a teleprompter? If so, what’s your setup?
I’m not the chick with 200 pairs of shoes. I’d much rather spend money on tech gadgets and gizmos for my business. My latest toy is this Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920. The video on this Web camera is far superior to my internal Webcam, and is even better than my iPhone. It also has a built-in microphone that sounds pretty good (I’ll use a separate mic though. Here’s my Samson C03U when I want the absolute best sound quality).
I was surprised at how small this Webcam is (about 4×1 inches). I can use the built-in mechanism to clamp it to my laptop, a monitor, or a tripod. I can capture videos or photos. One thing that surprised me was that the .MP4 format was audio only when I inserted it into Sony Vegas for editing. I ended up having to convert the video to H.264 format first. (I use software called Movavi Video Converter for that. There are other products on the market, but this turned out to be the best one for maintaining the level of quality I want).
The first part of this video was recorded with my iPhone with its built-in microphone. The second part was recorded with the Webcam. Be sure to click the Quality Wheel to see the video in HD.
On a recent trip to see Mom, I didn’t have fast Internet access. The first two days, I used NetZero dial-up and wanted to cry. To maintain my sanity and good nature, I called AT&T customer service (611 on my iPhone) and added tethering to my plan (using my iPhone as a modem over Bluetooth, WiFi, or via a USB cable).
Tethering will cost me another $20.00 a month…total rip-off! I have a 2GB data plan, and the tethering capability is a built-in feature in my iPhone. It shouldn’t matter how I use my data, tethering or not (according to FreePress.net, the FCC is examining this issue).
To activate this Personal Hotspot on my iPhone, I went into Settings, General, Network, Personal Hotspot). I was immediately cruising at a very decent speed. I didn’t want to go over my monthly data limit before heading back home three weeks later (another 1GB of additional data would cost me another $10.00!). Here’s what I did to make sure I didn’t.
Downloaded free Onavo app. Named a “money-saving, must-have app for EVERY iPhone data user” by TechCrunch, Onavo for iPhone/iPad is free and simple to use. It runs in the background, reporting data usage and compressing downloaded traffic. Once installed, you can continue to use your iPhone/iPad just as before.
UPDATE: For some reason, the Onavo app has recently caused my Personal Hotspot option to disappear. I had to delete the app in iTunes and restore the iPhone. I’d never done this before so I called Apple to walk me through it. Note: On some phones, you may be able to just delete the app and restart to get the Hotspot back.
Checked in with AT&T. Although AT&T sent me text updates on my data usage, I also dialed *3282# to see with my own eyes in a text message where I stood.
Avoided downloading anything. I waited until I was in a café on my laptop with WiFi before downloading anything (most of the time).
Monitored number of streaming videos. I love YouTube, and anytime I need to learn how to do something, I go there first. I also use Netflix a lot, especially when I’m somewhere waiting. I watched a few videos, but kept track of my data usage to make sure I wasn’t hogging all of it.
Unplugged iPhone from laptop when not using. The hotspot feature goes to sleep when nothing’s connected (you can leave the iPhone’s Personal Hotspot command turned on).
Blocked automatic download of large messages in Outlook. If a message is over a certain size, you can block it. You’ll see just enough of the message to determine if you want to finish downloading it or not. I always waited until I was back on regular WiFi and off my Personal Hotspot before a complete download. (To set this up in Outlook 2007: Ctrl+Alt+S and Edit, All Accounts. Under Folder Options, tick the Download only headers for items larger than box, and choose the size you want. I’m doing 50 KB.)
I’m back home now, and I was able to maintain my connection to the world, enjoy as many videos as I wanted (almost), and stay on top of email with data to spare.
IMPORTANT: When I travel outside the US, I’ll purchase some type of temporary service and gadget in whatever country I’m visiting.
If you’ve found other ways to save on your data plan, please leave a comment.
I travel a lot for business, training everywhere from Australia to Orlando, Florida. On occasion, I’ve been caught with no fast Internet access or cell phone service. Dial-up and NetZero to the rescue. This configuration has come in handy numerous times, and I don’t want to be without it.
I recently purchased a new HP laptop with all the bells and whistles. But the one thing it lacked was a modem. No modem, no dial-up. Fortunately, I found a USB modem at Amazon and ordered it right away. My NetZero account is worth the $5 a month I pay for local access to the Internet everywhere I go.
My new laptop has two 3.0 USB ports, so this should work (I’ve read where people couldn’t get this to work in a lower-owered port). I don’t have a land line at home so I haven’t tested this yet. I’ll update the post if I have problems.
I like to be as prepared as possible, and being the only one in the group who can still download email and get on the Internet to check a flight makes me smile. If you travel, it’s worth every penny.
If you’re not satisfied with the sound quality when you record videos with your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch, get the iRig microphone. In the video below, I’ll show you the difference in the sound quality when the mic is used. It has three settings that will change how the sound is picked up in various situations.
Low intensity setting will capture all the sounds around you.
Medium intensity setting cuts out the noise around you and is ideal for busy tradeshow interviews, podcasting, and other similar work. This is the setting I use.
High intensity setting cuts down the background noise, but records loud.
I want to use my iRig mic with other gadgets other than the iPhone or iPad (if I had one). I found an adapter that works. It turns the iPhone connector into a standard mic plug. K-AD-IMIC (iPhone iMic to standard mic plug Adapter, 3.5mm TRS Male to 3.5mm TRRS 4 conductor Female).
I also want to use my other microphones with the iPhone so I purchased the adapter, KM-IPHONE-MIC (iPhone 1/8 inch microphone adapter – 3.5mm 4 conductor TRRS Male to 3.5mm Microphone Input Jack).
Have you been away from your home base and your gadget battery was dead, or close to it, and there was no electrical outlet anywhere? Or have you been at the airport, coffee house, or bookstore, and the few available outlets were taken? Me too. That’s why I’m so excited about the iGo. It’s a battery and charger in one. You can use it to charge various gadgets without an outlet, just by changing the tip.
I made this quick video to demo using my iGo to charge my iPhone (you can order various tips to fit whatever gadget you use, including a laptop).
So don’t get caught with another dead battery and nowhere to plug it up. Impress your friends and colleagues with this simple but powerful technology and charge your battery anywhere with iGo. Let me know what you think.
Send Your Product for Reviews
If your company manufacturers a gadget or software that improves productivity or helps with small business marketing, send it my way to review. First, email me with a brief description of your product and include a link to your Website. I’ll respond if I’m interested. No returns. Thank you!
It’s incredible how brains and money can merge and inventions that keep getting more amazing come onto the scene. I LOVE my Square. I slide it into the headphone jack of my iPhone and swipe credit cards right there on the spot.
No monthly fees, no hidden charges, no commitment.
The Square unit is free.
Payment on each sale is only 2.75 percent.
Customer signature created with their finger.
Receipts can be emailed right from the sale.
Available for the iPhone, iPad, and Android.
I was at a conference book signing today. When people appreciate the information I share, they want to continue their learning.
Most of the people who bought from me with a credit card bought more than one book, often purchasing a set of four. If your customers or clients carry little cash and you don’t want an expensive credit card machine, SquareUp.com is it!