All posts by Renkman

Son of the Windy City, and proud Father to two awesome boys. Rob is a displaced Chicago Bears fan living in the Orlando Florida area. When not obsessing about everything Apple, he can usually be found outside boating across Florida's natural resources and taking the road less traveled.

How to manage a Microsoft Office document in iCloud on your iPad


With their latest update to the Microsoft Office suite (Excel, Word & PowerPoint) Microsoft has finally added the ability to save and interact with your documents in your iCloud Drive.  As long as you are running iOS 8 you can now open, edit and save your work to iCloud Drive, as well as share your documents between multiple apps. This is a welcome addition to the existing locations you could already save your document to, which included a local version on your device, SharePoint locations, and cloud options like OneDrive and recently added Dropbox.

To open and edit a document that is already saved in iCloud, simply launch the app, tap on the Open folder and select from the more option.  When More is selected your iCloud Drive panel screen will open revealing all your current folders.


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iPad App of the Week: ESPN


Who doesn’t like great iPad apps? At iPad Insight we definitely do. With that in mind, we offer up a quick review of an excellent iPad app, or a few great iPad apps, here each week.

Our weekly picks for Best iPad App of the Week are published here every Saturday. Check out all out picks below and you’ll soon have a collection of stellar apps for your favorite tablet.

This week’s pick is ESPN, now _finally_ optimized for the the iPad, along with the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Released as an all new, updated version of the previously named SportsCenter app, ESPN now provides an easy, convenient way to follow your favorite teams no matter what screen you are viewing in app.  ESPN describes the app like this:

The ESPN App gives you up-to-the-minute scores and news with loads of video highlights, all while beautifully optimized for the iPhone 6, 6+ and the iPad! Sign in and customize the ESPN App with your favorite teams to get all of your favorite teams’ scores, news and alerts as fast as a Kam Chancellor pick six.

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How to create and share an iCloud calendar on the iPad

iCloud-Family_Sharing-calendarimage: Apple

With iOS 8 Apple introduced Family Sharing.  This feature might not be for everyone, as Thomas demonstrated for us in his early review back in October.  However, for my family it has been an excellent way to track and approve my 12 year old son’s app purchase requests.  In addition, we now have a calendar that was automatically created for our whole family to share.  The Family Sharing Calendar isn’t our default calendar for keeping all of our important appointments and meetings in.  Our personal calendars are ridiculously overloaded with information, so we choose to make use of seperate iCloud calendars for each member of the family for that purpose.  However, if we have a special event, or quick change of plans that the whole family need to be aware of, the Family Calendar serves that purpose well.

While we’re on the subject of the measurable utility of shared calendars, it is important to point out that you can also share your iCloud calendars with other iCloud users–even those not in your Family.  Shared calendars can be seen in their entirety by others, but you can also limit the user’s  access and permissions, too.  Since it is your iCloud calendar, you can decide who can add or change event within the calendar as well as if you want to share a read-only version for reference purpose only.

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How to prepare your iPad for sale or trade in


So, you decided you’re going to get a new iPad.  Maybe you need to sell your current iPad so that you can don’t have to come up with as much money out of your pocket, or maybe you plan on handing it down to your nephew or niece because it’s an older version that won’t bring much trade-in value.  Now what?  iPad owners often forget that there are some important steps you should always follow when you make that final decision to part with your older device.  No worries, we’ve got you covered.  All you have to do is follow these easy guidelines.  In the end, your data will be safe, and the ext owner will have a fresh iPad to start with.

Back up your device

Backing up your device can be easy to overlook.  However, if you are buying a replacement iPad, there’s no easier way to start using it then to restore it from a saved back-up version of your last iPad.


Sign out of your iCloud account

Again, here’s another step that’s easy to forget–but very important to follow.  Forgetting to sign out of your iCloud account can be catastrophic for iPad owners who decide to manually delete their data (contacts, photo streams, calendars, documents, etc).  When you don’t sign out all the content that you manually delete will simultaneously be deleted from the iCloud servers and devices that your are currently signed in to.  To sign out of your account in iOS 8 go to Settings–>iCloud, and sign-out at the bottom.  Then you need to select sign-out again–>Delete from my iPad, then enter your password to complete the command.


Erase all Content & Settings

I know that most iPad re-sale companies offer to erase all your content for you “safely & easily” when you sell them your used device.  Yeah–thanks, but I think I’d rather do that myself than have to reply on someone I don’t know to carry out that task.  It’s easy enough, so why not–right?  Just open the Settings app and go to General–> scroll down to Reset at the bottom of the screen–> then Erase all Content & Settings.  If you have previously turned on Find my iPad, you will now be prompted to enter your Apple ID & password as a precautionary measure to make sure you are indeed the owner of the device that is about to be erased.


Now all your data will be removed from your iPad–ALL of it.  Even the credit cards you added to your Apple Pay account!  In addition, erasing all content and settings will also turn off iCloud, FaceTime, iMessage and Game Center.  One caveat, though, is that your backed-up data will still be present in iCloud.  This way, you will be able to restore a new device from that back-up.  Lastly, you might need to contact your mobile carrier provider to transfer any new service if you your iPad is LTE capable.

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Quick Look: PhoneExpander, an easy way to free up space on your iPad


How often do you synch your iPad and find that the largest portion of storage is reflected by the ominous “other” category?  What the heck is this category, and why does it take up so much space?  Enter PhoneExpander–a tool that you run on your Mac to help clear space on your iPad or iPhone.  PhoneExpander is made up of a collection of different tools that help clear out different kinds of data.  Once PhoneExpander identifies what kind of media is stored on your iPad, you will be able to pick and choose what you want removed.

How to use PhoneExpander 

PhoneExpander is currently in Beta.  Now while this means that it isn’t the final product–one benefit is that it is free to download and install on your Mac.  You can also enable the auto-update feature to keep your version running the latest available product.  Once you download the file, all you need to do is connect your iPad to your Mac and launch the app.


Once launched, you are greeted with a splash-screen that asks you to register your beta with your email address.  The purpose for gathering your email info is to inform you when the final version is released, and for you to opt in to receive info about additional products made by the folks at NiceMowhawk.

Next, you are greeted with the PhoneExpander app control panel.  Here you have several options.


  • You can clear temporary files that apps store on your device
  • Select and quickly remove large apps that are taking up large amounts of space on your iPad
  • Select photos and videos to back-up to your Mac
  • And coming soon you will be able to remove unplayed songs from your music app

All of this is possible through the PhoneExpander app running on your Mac.  You never need to launch or interact with iTunes during the whole process, making it faster and easier than ever to remove unwanted apps, pictures and temporary files.


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How to remove your device from Find my iPad


If the time comes when you want/need to remove your iPad from Find my iPad, you have several options available to you.  The quickest, and easiest way is to do it right from your device.  To do this on your iPad, launch Settings–> iCloud–> Find My iPad–> Toggle Find my iPad to the off position.

However, perhaps your iPad is not currently in your possession, or maybe you sold it and forgot to delete your data and/or turn this feature off. No worries, you have options, too.  There are two additional options that are just as effective at removing your iPad from the list of tracked devices.

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The (5) most useful accessibility features on the iPad


One of the lesser know features of iOS that adds an incredible amount of functionality to the iPad is Accessibility. Unfortunately, not many people are aware of the many benefits gained with Accessibility–and even fewer are aware of how to access them on their iPad even if they wanted to.  For the sake of narrowing the focus of this post somewhat, I decided to list and give a brief overview of what I believe are the (5) most useful features found in accessibility on your iPad.  Obviously, if you have special needs that require assistance to use your iPad, you might have a very different list of features.  Luckily Apple breaks this feature into several sections that include additional help with Vision, Hearing, and Interaction with your iPad.

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How to set-up and use Apple Pay on your iPad


image credit: Apple

When Apple Pay was first introduced along side the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, the bulk of the attention for the service that allows customers to pay for products at participating stores that support NFC technology, was centered around the two new mobile devices.  After all, the new iPhones are the only Apple products that currently contain NFC chips capable of paying at merchant terminals.  While this is all true, few people realize that you can also use Apple Pay on your iPad.  Don’t worry, we’re not suggesting you walk into a Whole Foods store and buy your free-range eggs with your iPad, or attempt to pay for your next Big Mac at the Drive-Thru window–although that would be fun to watch.

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How to set-up and use iCloud Drive on the iPad

icloud drive

iCloud Drive was first introduced with the release of iOS 8 & Yosemite last fall.  Once set-up on your iPad it replaces Documents and Data, where, up to this point, you stored your saved iWork documents.  All documents currently stored in iCloud will automatically be moved to iCloud Drive when you decide to upgrade.  One word of caution before proceeding–once you upgrade your iPad to iCloud Drive, you won’t be able to open any documents stored in iCloud Drive from your Mac, iPhone or any other device until those devices are also upgraded to iOS 8 or Yosemite.

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The (5) most useful features in Safari on the iPad


The iPad really shines as a powerful media consumption device.  It’s also a great tool for finding and interacting with information on the internet as well as a repository for offline browsing of articles and links saved to your Reading List.  But how well are you really acquainted with all the benefits Safari for the iPad has to offer?  In no particular order, here are the (5) most useful features that make interacting with Safari on the iPad an enjoyable and productive experience.

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How to watch Super Bowl XLIX on your iPad for free


In less than two weeks now, on February 1st, the greatest show on earth will be plastered across the majority of TV sets in America and around the world.  This year, NBC has the honor of broadcasting the gala event.  As part of their TV Everywhere content promotion of Super Stream Sunday, NBC is offering 11 hours of free online programming.  The day’s events will include Super Bowl Sunday pre and post-game shows, the Super Bowl itself, and the half-time show featuring Katy Perry.  In addition they will also include a feature presentation of The Blacklist.

All this programming will be offered free of charge.  Users will able view all the Super Bowl content offered without even having to create a username or password.  The streamed content will be available on iPads (tablets) and via desktop computers.  However, mobile users on carriers other than Verizon will have to pay to watch the Super Bowl on their phones due to an exclusive deal.

The NBC Sports Live Extra app is available for the iPad in the App Store for free!


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