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.

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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What to do if you lost or forgot your iPad passcode


So you created an awesome passcode for your iPad.  You were extremely proud of this passcode, too.  For once, you selected one that wasn’t a birthday, or anniversary or special day that was easy to remember.  You finally listened to all the published articles about how important it is to use arbitrary info with a combination of numbers _and_ letters.  However, for some reason one day you simply forgot it or lost the “cheat-sheet” you typically use to save all your passwords?  For the sake of this tutorial, let’s just assume that you didn’t set-up Touch-ID, no one else knows your code, and you have no other known way to retrieve it.  Now what?

After that sixth time of entering the wrong code, your iPad is now disabled, and you are locked out.  No worries yet–if you just remembered your passcode, you can try again in one minute.  However, if you enter the wrong code one more time–you will now have to wait an additional 5 minutes to try once again.  For the sake of expediency, let’s assume this is where your passcode game ends.  Now you’re locked out of your iPad for good–right?  Now what options do you have–if any?

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