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 monitor and restrict cellular data usage on your iPad

iPad-Cellular-Data

If you have an iPad with cellular data/LTE capabilities it can be a real life saver at times.  I know I use my iPad as a personal hotspot more often then I ever thought I would.  Sometimes I just want to save my iPhone battery for the rest of the day.  Sometimes I might rather have that larger screen to view videos, or check email or surf the internet–or whatever else I’m in the mood for on any given day.  If you have a shared family data plan, like many of us do now-a-days, then the device you use to consume the data isn’t as big of a concern as it once was.

However, one thing I have noticed as of late, is that I have been using my iPad to tether to my computer much more often that I thought I was.  What’s even more concerning is that sometimes I’m tethering without even realizing it at first.   When I’m away from home, or working at my day job, I often have my laptop with me.  In addition, I never turn Wi-Fi off in the computer settings.  If I forget to turn my personal hot-spot off on my iPad my computer automatically connects and begins sharing the cellular connection.  I might not be aware of this at first since I am using the computer and not looking at the iPad.  Tethering is a great convenience.  However, in times like these I need to be more aware and sensible about how I use it.  If I’m not careful I will end up exceeding my monthly data limits and incur additional data charges.

Continue reading

Share This:

How to connect to and use your iPad as a personal hotspot

Turn-on-WiFI-iPad

There are more and more free Wi-Fi hot spots available to us than ever before.  However, for the most part, coverage is generally spotty and/or intermittent on free public Wi-Fi networks.  In addition, there can be privacy concerns, not to mention overloaded networks that easily become more trouble than they’re worth in the first place.  In situations like these what options do you have if you want to surf the internet on your iPad and you’re away from your fast, secure and reliable home network?  For the sake of argument, we are going to assume that your iPad is a Wi-Fi only version, but the process is the same regardless which iPad you own.

Turn-WiFi-on

Continue reading

Share This:

How to make and receive phone calls on your iPad

iPad-Phone-call

Now with Continuity on iOS 8 you can actually make and receive phone calls on your iPad.  Want to hear more? It’s actually pretty simple, and it can be very helpful and convenient for those times when you hear your iPhone ringing, but realize it is in the other room.  Maybe you can’t answer the call in time, or you just don’t feel like getting up to go retrieve it to see who is calling you.  It’s situations like these that make continuity such a great feature.  As long as your iPad and iPhone are both running iOS 8, and are on the same Wi-fi connection, making and receiving calls on your iPad is both simple and convenient.

iPad-answer-phone-call

Continue reading

Share This:

The (5) best ways to use Spotlight Search on your iPad

Spotlight-Search

Spotlight Search is probably one of the most under used tools on the iPad.  I know I have taken it for granted for years.  I know it’s there.  I know it can be a very useful search tool, and I know that it was enhanced with iOS 8. But, how often do we really ever use Spotlight Search on our own without being prompted?  If you’re anything like me, the answer is probably close to never.  I know there have to be some seasoned veterans out there who take full advantage of the powerful search capabilities of Spotlight Search–and that’s great.  Most of us, however, don’t.  So I thought I’d highlight a few of my favorite benefits of this built in utility, in no particular order.

Wikipedia Search

Type in a term like “Florida Caverns State Park” and you’ll get a snippet of the Wikipedia article, including a picture and a summary. Select “see full article” and Spotlight takes you to the full article in Safari.

Spotlight-Search-Wikipedia

Continue reading

Share This:

Popular iOS app Todolist to receive major makeover with v.10 later this year

Todolist-update-coming-soon

Todolist the popular universal iOS task-manager app is slated to receive a major update that is described on their Blog site as a Completely new version for iOS.  I have a love-hate relationship when it comes to productivity apps.  I touched upon some of my feelings when highlighting a major update to Wunderlist earlier this month. Updates are good–hell, they’re needed to keep the user base loyal and happy.  Todolist hasn’t received any updates to their app this year.  I suspect they have been focusing their efforts into this new overhaul, and I for one, am excited to see what they have planned.  Their goal was to make Todolist iOS app faster, easier to use, and more beautiful–sounds like a good start!

Notable changes include…

  • Completely revamped task interactions will make it easier and faster to get your ideas out of your head and onto your to-do list, no matter where you are.
  • New organizational features will give you more control over how you view and prioritize your tasks and projects.
  • And much, much more– you may even see a few pops of color incorporated into our characteristically minimalistic design…

Via their Blog they go on to say that the update is coming up fast–which could mean anything, I guess.  Perhaps in the next few weeks?  If you want to hear about the release as soon as it happens you can sign up to have the news delivered to your inbox.  Once the iOS version is released the same features will also be available on the Web, and on your Mac or PC.

While this all sounds great, three bullet points are enough to get my attention, but that’s about it right now. Here’s to hoping we get some additional teaser updates before the final release.

Share This:

What is the current state of the iOS Jailbreak community, and does anyone care anymore?

iPad-mini-Jailbreak.jpg

What is the current state of the iOS Jailbreak community, and does anyone care anymore?

This is one of those questions that I find myself asking with more and more regularity than ever before.  I have always been an early adopter of sorts.  I enjoy beta versions of software, even if just for the thrill of trying something new. I fully accept that whatever I am “testing” might be a little buggy or unpredictable at times–that’s all part of the process.  Along with my love for the early adopter mentality, is my propensity to tinker.  However, this desire has tapered off in recent years with the maturity of iOS as a platform.

The first software version of the iPhone has come along way since it was introduced way back in 2007.  With the release of the iPad in 2009, iPhone OS officially became iOS, and the iPad was pre-loaded with version 3.2 at launch.  It wasn’t until iOS 4.2.1 was released in November of 2010, that all iOS devices were finally running the same software version.  The Jailbreak community was originally born from the lack of any App Store to run native apps on the iPhone (iOS 2.0 introduced the App Store).  Hackers, programers and users alike wanted to be able to add functionality to their iPhones that Web apps just couldn’t come close to providing.

Over the years, Apple has poached ideas and talent from the Jailbreak community in an attempt to keep iOS current and relevant in the quickly changing and evolving world of mobile computing.  This approach has had a mostly positive affect on iOS as a platform.  More importantly, though, it has also in many ways legitimized the continued need for a Jailbreak community.   Separate arms of the same team, Jailbreak programmers are free to continue their work to bring new, fresh ideas to the sand-boxed platform that is iOS.  Furthermore, Apple can watch from afar, while patching security holes (exploits) the Jailbreak community discovers and implement ideas and tweaks that these same hackers create.

Continue reading

Share This:

How to create and save an offline Google map on your iPad

Offline-Google-Map-iPad

I don’t know about you, but in my line of work, I often find myself off the beaten path in the middle of nowhere. In times like these it’s super helpful to have maps that I can still reference, even without an active internet connection.  For the most part, if you don’t already have the poor coverage area pre-loaded in your map program, you won’t have the ability to interact with the map.  This can be a huge inconvenience when I am trying to pin-point specific particular lat & long coordinates.

I really wanted to be able to accomplish this in Apple Maps.  However, after some searching around, I just couldn’t figure out how to make it happen, nor could I determine if it is even a possibility.  No worries, though, Google Maps is a perfectly good alternative, and even a preference for many iPad users.  Just in case it’s not already obvious, though, you will need to have an iPad capable of connecting to a data service (LTE + Wi-fi) in order to track your location on a saved offline map, since the Wi-fi only versions do not have built in GPS.

Continue reading

Share This:

How to manage your stored credit card info in your iPad Safari browser

Safari-Credit-Card-info

If you’ve ever signed into an account through your Safari browser on your iPad, you’ve been offered the opportunity to save usernames and passwords before. The same goes for your credit card information when you decide to purchase an item on your iPad.  Did you know that your credit card information is stored in the Settings app?  In addition, you can add, manage or delete credit card information at anytime, in the same location–and here’s how.

Safari-add-Credit-Card

Continue reading

Share This:

Apple online stores remain offline, iPad purchase requests returned “cannot connect to store” [UPDATE]

Apple-Support-System_Status

Apple has been experiencing a series of outages this morning to it’s Cloud services and online stores, including the App Store, iTunes, the iBook Store and the Mac App Store.  As of this posting, these stores remain offline, and have been since just before 5 am EST.  In addition, their iCloud services, including Mail and iCloud account management were offline from the same starting time, but were restored 4 hours later.

Apple-Support-System_Status

Continue reading

Share This:

iOS 8.2 is available for download–should you update your iPad?

iOS 8.2-update-iPad

Apple released iOS 8.2 for the iPhone, iPod and iPad this week.  The release notes indicate the bulk of the update is aimed at support for apple Watch and improvements to the Heath App.  In addition, the new software provides increased stability and bug fixes for your iOS devices.  The software update registers in at 565 MB for the iPhone, but on the iPad it is much smaller–a mere 256 MB.

Obviously with the announcement of the Apple Watch these week, the main focus of the update is the interaction between the iPhone and Apple Watch.  In addition, when you update your iPhone an Apple Watch companion app will also be downloaded with the software update that will make it possible to manipulate settings on the new watch as well as personalize the Home screen from your phone.  The Apple Watch is not compatible with the iPad, though, so this is most likely why 8.2 is half the size on your iPad.  As long as your aren’t still rocking a first gen iPad, this update is compatible on your device.

Other additional enhancements in the update not related to Apple Watch still make this update important for iPad users who value improved stability and everyone’s favorite–bug fixes.  Here are some of the notable highlights that affect iPad owners…

Continue reading

Share This:

How to use alternative apps to navigate to an address from Apple Maps

Navigate-Apple-Maps

Apple Maps have come along way since Scott Forestall first introduced them with iOS 6 in 2012.  I prefer them over Google Maps most of the time, especially with regard to navigation.  However, as one might suspect, they still are not on the same playing field with Google Maps when it comes to search results from within the app. This might not be the case for you, and even though you may know that you have countless alternative options when it comes to competing map programs–you do have options.  There is actually a quick and easy way to navigate to an address from within a different mapping app if you already have the address loaded into Apple Maps–here’s how.

Navigate-Apple-Maps-iPad

Apple makes it so easy, you don’t even have to have the alternative app downloaded to your iPad prior to starting this process. Like I mentioned previously, you need to have your address, or pin drop (approximate location) already loaded in Apple Maps.  Once entered, the location (address) will show a pin on your iPad screen with a label defaulting to the driving directions and the estimated time it will take to navigate the that location.  When you tap on that label you will see a split screen showing a satellite view of the location and options to drive to that location or to use that location as your starting point.  Selecting either will give you itemized turn-by-turn directions.  You can then select the “Route” button in the top right of the screen to see the full route on a map.

Continue reading

Share This: