Moving around in my new city of Charlotte, I totally depend on GPS. I have zero sense of direction and without it, I’m clueless. Yesterday, I was cruising along but realized something wasn’t right. I’d been riding too long and wasn’t seeing any exit names that I recognized. I glanced at my iPhone and saw this. I had on my sunglasses and couldn’t read the warning. I knew it wasn’t good though so I pulled into a service station, put on my glasses and read the alert.
BAM! My iPhone (and GPS) had stopped working because the car was too warm (I don’t use a lot of AC and had windows up). As it turns out, I was on my way to South Carolina!
Life Lesson: When you don’t know where you are or where you’re going, you don’t know when you’re lost. This applies to your life and business too.
As someone with absolutely zero sense of direction, I need all the help I can get. I’ve created some maps at maps.google.com, and was anxious to use these saved locations. I downloaded the Chrome browser to my iPhone so I could see my saved maps (only way I know how…if you know otherwise, please leave a comment).
Getting to my maps via Chrome didn’t feel convenient enough so I started creating Saved Locations directly on the iPhone. Here’s how I’m doing it. If you know of a better way, please leave a comment (I know about tapping and holding down the map pin, but I ended up saving addresses I didn’t want).
Create Saved Locations
On iPhone and inside Google Maps app:
Search for desired address. Map will appear with location name at the bottom.
Tap location at the bottom and tap Save. Star turns gold when saved.
Now when I want to go somewhere and need voice commands:
Tap the Profile icon in the Google Maps app. You’ll see all your Saved Locations listed under Home/Work in the “Recently Saved and Shared” section.
Tap desired location, then tap travel time to display your current location along with where you’re going.
Tap travel time again then, tap Start.
When I’m headed back home, I click the up/down arrows for reverse directions. Nice! I don’t see how to describe the locations, but at least now I’ll have driving directions a tap or two away.
UPDATE: I’ve figured out how to add location name (description) to a saved map. When I search for a location, I add the business name to the search. Then when I click to save it, that name is there too! For example, I wanted to add my closest post office to maps. When I searched, I typed “Post Office, then the street address, city and state.” When I saved the directions, the words “Post Office” appeared with the address. Hope this makes sense.
Edit Saved Locations
You can edit, including delete, your saved locations using Maps history. To view your Maps history on the iPhone:
Navigate to the Maps history page (My Profile , Settings , Maps history).
Touch the Edit button in the upper right to enter editing mode.
Touch the red minus sign next to the entry you wish to delete, and click Delete in the confirmation window.
Once you’re done editing, click the checkmark icon in the top-right corner of the screen to exit out of editing mode.
Remember to let me know if you know some shortcuts.
Have you wanted great action shots and took a ton of photos and still didn’t get exactly what you wanted? Try video instead, and set up a do-it-yourself photo shoot. With my iPhone and tripod, I was set. I looked at frames from the video and created high res photos. With frames, you can capture just the right move.
The first time I created the video, I opened the video in RealPlayer, and clicked Trim. I clicked on each frame using the right arrow key on my keyboard. When I saw something I liked, I held my mouse over the video, and clicked Save Picture. However, I didn’t like the quality of the pictures, so instead of saving the pictures in RealPlayer, I did regular screen captures. I inserted the pictures onto a PowerPoint slide, cropped them, and created high res output using ImageExport (I have a video series here with more information.
After I had all the pictures I wanted, I uploaded them to Animoto.com to snazzy up the photos and turn them into a video (I paid $6 to download that video as high res). Then I opened the MP4 video in Sony Vegas Studio 11 to trim off the Animoto logo at the end and add my Subscribe video at the end. After that, I rendered to the MP4, HD video format.
After I uploaded the video to YouTube, I created a spotlight annotation on the Subscribe button that links to my YouTube Subscribe page. This was fun!
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.
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).