How to Do It Yourself!

Swipe Up for Control, Swipe Down for Search in iOS 7

When iOS 7 ships next month, it will include quick access to key controls, search and information. You’ll be able to swipe up to Access Control Center, and swipe down from the top to access the Notification Center. But if you place a finger anywhere on the Home Screen and pull down, you’ll start a Spotlight search. The first two…


Features You Will Love or Hate in iOS 7

Although there has been no official announcement, Apple will likely release iOS 7, the next generation of their mobile operating system, next month. It is the biggest overhaul to the OS since its introduction, and while visual differences will draw most of the attention the changes that are less apparent are the ones people will truly love… Or hate. I’ve…


How To Customize Your Pebble Watchface

Pebble has been in the news the past few days since they have signed a deal to be sold in Best Buy retail stores. The once almost impossible to obtain smart watch will be available to everyone. Early reviews of the product were mixed at best. I think people were underwhelmed by the functionality of the $150 watch. Basically, out…


How To Replace an iPhone 4S Battery

Carly was having huge battery issues with her iPhone 4S. It would run down in a matter of hours and, as a result, it was pretty much useless. That’s when she went out and picked up her Nokia Lumia 928. (Read her first impressions.) I asked Carly what she planned to do with the almost-non-functional iPhone now that she had…




Turn Off iMessage Before Switching Away from iOS

I ordered a new Lumia 928 yesterday, and am anxiously awaiting a shipping notification from Verizon. In the meantime, I am beginning to research this huge leap into a whole new platform. Microsoft has a very helpful website that gives you an idea of how to transfer your calendar, contacts, and email, as well as answers some frequently asked questions….





Tiny Tiny RSS: DIY Android Google Reader Replacement

I am still lamenting the decision Google made to kill off Google Reader.  While I am generally ok with Feedly, I am actually in the same boat I was with Google Reader when I use another service like Feedly.  If Feedly goes away, then I am stuck yet again.  So I began searching for other alternatives and had a friend…


The Aftermarket Smart Home – a Gear Diary Journey

While we were attending CES 2013, friends in the congregation emailed me and said, “Dan, as you know we are building a new home. We know you are at CES and would appreciate it if you would keep an eye out for any home automation that looks cool. We really want to build some “smarts” into the house.” I did…


How to Shop for a Realtor

Sarah and I recently sold our house and bought a new one …  or to be accurate, the house is new to us and was built in the 1920’s, which is part of what drew us to it. I’ve received numerous questions from friends about the criteria we used to find our realtor. Since a home can be the biggest,…


How to Remove Gum from a Smartphone Screen

I am the go-to person among my friends and family with smartphone troubleshooting questions. Last night was definitely a first, though, as someone (who has requested to remain anonymous) managed to stick their iPhone in a pocket with a piece of used chewing gum. The result was a sticky mess all over the iPhone screen, but with some quick searching…


How to Maximize Do Not Disturb on iOS

I admit, I did not make much use of the “Do Not Disturb” setting on my iPhone when it first appeared. But Apple’s commercials for the Do Not Disturb on iOS feature with the Williams sisters playing ping pong caught Sarah’s attention, and she insisted I learn how to maximize the setting. Apparently my iPad and iPhone echoing each other with…



How to Listen to Text on Your iOS Device

Remember the commercial that went something like “Reading is fundamental”? It is but there are some times when it is far better to listen to an email or a document than read it. I had done this via an iOS app but then I learned that iPhones, iPads and iPod touches have the capability built right into the operating system…


How to Maximize iOS Notes App

I have a confession to make. Despite an Evernote account, and a Catch.com account, being a dedicated Todo and Pocket Informant user … I use Apple’s Notes App more than almost any other piece of software on my devices. Sometimes, when you’re taking notes, you don’t want lots of bells and whistles, you just want to take notes. There’s a…


Create Shortcuts in iOS, Your Gear 101

One terrific (but often unused) tool baked right into iOS is the ability to create keyboard shortcuts. With them, you can type in just a few brief letters and have a much longer piece of text appear in the body of whichever document you are working on. They are particularly useful when you have a block of text that is…


How to Get Your Google Contacts onto Your iPhone

In the past week, we’ve heard results from AT&T and Verizon, and in the particular case of Verizon which had iPhones account for TWO THIRDS of its smartphone sales, 20% of those sales went to former Android users. I have detailed my years long Android exclusivity, which just ended in late December with the purchase of an iPhone 5. I…