Inateck’s BP2001Bluetooth Speaker Has A Unique Feature

Inateck has released it’s BP 2001 Bluetooth speaker, a speaker specifically designed to work with iPads and iPhones. A groove across the width of the speaker holds an iPad, iPad mini, or iPhone and any one of them will instantly pair with the speaker. The design of the groove means that it should work equally well with future versions of iPads or iPhones.

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The built-in lithium battery offers 5-6 hours of play time. There is a single built-in high sensitivity microphone. Pairing is instantaneous once the device is in place the the speaker is turned on. There is a fold out stand on the back that allows the speaker to hold the iPad or iPhone straight up for easy viewing. Connections for the charging cable, auxiliary port, and on/off button are located on the back The package includes a USB charging cable, a 3.5mm audio cable, and a manual. The speaker weighs 11.64-oz (330g).

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The MSRP for the BP 2001 is US $59.99, but is is currently available on Amazon for US $29.99.

The speaker is 9.5 x 2 x 1.5-in (24.13 x 5.08 x 3.81-cm). The speaker supports all venues of media playback, and is of a size that can fit into many bags or cases.

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Using The Product

There is instant pairing as soon as the speaker is turned on. I tested it using an old PBS series wherein the actors all had Scottish accents. My thinking was that the primary use of this speaker may well be for listening to, and viewing, streamed videos because of the convenience of mounting your iPad or iPhone using the groove. It really is quite convenient to use the speaker this way. I choose a series with Scottish actors because I find the Scottish accent to be the most difficult to understand during casual conversation. I viewed about three hours of the series and had absolutely no problem understanding the actors, which I consider a major element when rating the quality of a speaker’s sound. I viewed the series using an iPad mini.

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I also want to point out that the groove designed in the top of this speaker is of a size and depth that it should continue to function well as the size of iPads or iPhones change sizes. Note though that the devices need to be free of cases when using this speaker.

I recommend this speaker and feel it would be a good buy.

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Getting Help At The Genius Bar

Apple Retail Stores have this wonderful feature called the Genius Bar. You can take your Apple device in and a genius will diagnosis the problem and if possible, fix it right there. If it can’t be fixed on site, they will shop your computer off for repair and notify you when it comes back in for pickup. There is never a charge unless parts have to be replaced.

You can not just walk in off the street and see a genius. You must make an appointment via computer.  The URL for this is  http://concierge.apple.com/reservation/us/en/techsupport/.

Here is a tip for getting the best service.

  • Don’t tell the genius the whole litany of things you have tried. To do so just wastes their time and yours.
  • Be on time for your appointment or you will lose it.
  • On a post-it or other paper that size, write down the problem in three sentences or less. That helps you focus on the problem and the genius to focus on the solution.
  • Assuming you registered your device during the initial setup, the genius will be able to instantly access necessary information about your device, including the status of any warranty.

All of this said, I have seen some unusual behavior at the Genius Bar. From adults, not kids. The kids are all too busy playing with the Mac’s that are in place for just that purpose.

There was the man who wanted his phone replaced at no cost even though it had been out of warranty for 5 months and the damage to the phone was self inflected. This guy was in his late 30’s. He used “dude” to start every sentence. He kept on and on trying to get the Genius to do what he wanted. Eventually his wife came up and he started telling her that the phone was no longer covered. She said “nuhuh”. The last time I heard someone utter that phrase was from my 5 year old great grandson.

Then there was the lawyer who was in a panic because his case was going to trial in three days, but his computer had crashed and his whole case information was gone. Well, no, he hadn’t backed anything up. He was a busy lawyer and didn’t have time for that kind of stuff. Yeah.

The staff at the Genius bars are well trained and customer oriented. It is pleasure to do business with them.

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Helping The Blind To Get From Point A To Point B – Exactly

In my other life I am the president of a Mac Users Group, CapMac, in Austin, TX.  We are an active (175+ members) and involved group of people who use Apple products. One of our purposes is to serve our community. We have worked with the local school district to train teachers, provided computers to needs students, and sponsored opportunities for low income students to learn to film in just the last few years. However, our biggest and most meaningful activity yet is in progress now. We call it Here For You.

HFY smallConsider that you are blind and need to get around – from point A to point B. You are current with all the new technology and have a GPS system that allows you to be more independent. If you are a member of CapMac you can use your GPS system to get you to a meeting, via the local bus system.

But guess what, the GPS system (all GPS systems) use street addresses. CapMac meets in a building that is part of a strip mall. All 21 buildings in that mall have the same street address. Your GPS system will lead you to the first building in the mall which is a parking lot away from where you need to be. Those of us who are not visually impaired can just look around, find the sign, and head to the building. Those of us who are visually impaired immediately stop being an independent adult and turn into someone who has to ask for help.

The solution to this is for the GPS systems to use latitude and longitude to guide people to the right place. They don’t.

It has taken us six months of research and experimenting to find a solution. We would still be looking were it not for a developer in Greece who has an app that works on an iPhone. Apostolos Samaras created myLocation. It is a marvelous app that lets you use longitude and latitude. Other apps do that to some extent, but with myLocation, you stop at the exact place you want to mark, such as the front door of a building, tell the app to create a tag, and once the tag is set, the app lets you send a v-card to anyone you wish. The v-card contains a specific URL and when the user taps it, they are sent to either Apple Maps, or Google Maps, where they can follow precise, verbal directions. The v-cards will also contain additional information like the street address, phone number, hours of operation, etc. Reminder though that this app only works on iPhones. Android phones do not have the necessary technology to make it work.

We asked our members to start tagging important places in Austin, such as the libraries, doctor’s offices, major bus stops, etc. After one week we had over 300 tags and we are just getting started.

The second part of our project is to create a database, a comprehensive collection of bookmarks as it were, that we can store on our users group website. Once the database is up and running (this coming week) anyone who is interested can access what they need. It won’t be necessary for someone to use all the memory on their phone storing v-cards because they can just access them when needed.

We will share our project information, including how to make it work, with other groups at no charge. We will even train, but training only takes about ½ an hour and can be done via Skype. Groups who want to participate will need to have access to their own network. The one thing we can’t do is be the depository of information for the whole world.

Want to know how we came up with this?  One of our board members offered to give one of our blind members a ride home one night after a meeting. Turns out the street address wasn’t much help. There were several buildings of apartments and no numbers on any of them. Obviously our blind member couldn’t tell the driver which was his building. An hour and a half later it was obvious that there had to be a better way.

You can read an article in The MacObserver about this effort here.

 

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Deleting Videos From Your Device Running IOS 7

Like many other things pertaining to IOS 7, the step for deleting videos is different from previous versions. (For versions other than IOS 7 directions are here.) There are more steps involved, but in a way the process is simpler. These are the steps,

Settings > General > Usage > Storage > Videos > Edit > Delete Item

When you get to the last screen, you will see your movies, tv shows, and music videos listed and there will be a minus sign that you just click on.

Screen That Allows User To Delete Videos

Screen That Allows User To Delete Videos

 

When you get to the Storage screen you may not see Videos as one of the options. That is because you have a lot of apps on your device. Just scroll down to the last one listed and select “Show All Apps.  Then you can select Videos and open the list.

Posted in Apple Mail Tips, Beginner Mac Tips, iOS 7 Tips, iPad Tips, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, iPhone Tips | Leave a comment

Some How-Tos For Brand New Mac Users

Everybody has to start somewhere, and if you are a brand new Mac user, you may find the following tips helpful.

Using The Trashcan Icon

There are four ways to discard items to the trashcan. One is drag and drop. The second is to right-click on the item and select “Move to Trash” from the contextual menu. For the third one you must be in the Finder window. Choose Finder > Empty Trash from the menu bar. For the fourth one you must also be in the Finder window. Use the keyboard shortcut Command-shift-backspace.

Items remain in the trash can until you purposefully empty it. Empty it by right-clicking on the trash can icon in The Dock and selecting “Empty Trash”. Should you wish to retrieve something from the trash can prior to emptying it, just click once on the trash can icon and when it opens, find the item you want to salvage. You much drag that item back onto the Finder window before you can open it.

If you are particularly concerned about security, then you can make items deleted from the trash absolutely un-recoverable by choosing “Finder > Secure Empty Trash” from the menu bar.

Using The Dock

The Dock is one of the Mac’s great organizational tools. It primarily serves as an application launcher.

To select an item in the Dock, simply click its icon. For example, if you want to listen to some music, click the iTunes icon (the icon with music notes) to open iTunes. When an application is running, the Dock displays an illuminated indicator light beneath the application’s icon. To make any currently running application the active one, click its icon in the Dock to switch to it (the active application’s name appears in the menu bar to the right of the Apple logo).

As you open applications (or open files to launch applications), their respective icons appear in the Dock, even if they weren’t there originally. That means if you’ve got a lot of applications open, your Dock will grow substantially. If you minimize a window, the window gets pulled down into the Dock and waits until you click its icon to bring up the window again.

The Dock keeps applications on its left side, while Stacks and minimized windows are kept on its right. If you look closely, you’ll see a vertical separator line that separates them. If you want to rearrange where the icons appear within their line limits, just drag a docked icon to another location on the Dock and drop it.

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When you quit an application whose icon resides in the Dock (such as Safari or Mail), the illuminated activation light disappears, but the icon remains. When you quit an application whose icon doesn’t reside in the Dock (for example, you just finished playing Chess), its icon disappears from the Dock.

Note: Control-click or right-click a Dock item to see a contextual menu of additional choices.

 

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Catalyst iPhone 5/5s Case Protects Your Phone In Water

Lost your phone in the pool lately? Ever lost your phone in the pool?  I have a friend who has lost his phone in the pool four times in the past two years. Too many people and too much drinking, equals an expensive experience.

If he used an iPhone I would have the perfect solution for him. The waterproof case and lanyard from Catalyst. The case, which weighs only 1.5 ounces, provides protection in all weathers. It is designed to waterproof to 16.4 feet (5m) and meets military standards for drops up to 6.6 feet (2m). The lanyard includes an adjustable wrist strap, quick access clasp, and case attachment. The products have a 90-day limited warranty against product defect for products purchased from their website.


catalystcase lanyard2The case comes in alpine white, pacific blue, radiant orchid, and stealth black. Each style includes a clear plastic top that fits over the front of the phone. The MSRP for the case is US $64.99. There are protective flaps that fasten when in use, but can be opened to charge the battery or insert headphones.  The wrist lanyard (black only) is sold separately and has an MSRP of US $19.99.

It is very easy to both insert and remove the iPhone from the case – a rarity. What I find with most cases, particularly cases of this style, is that while it is easy to insert the phone, it takes the devils own time and a broken fingernail to remove them.

The beauty of the wrist lanyard is that it will automatically rise to the surface if it is attached to your phone, and you drop it in water. Drop it over the side of a boat, no problem.

I was not able to test this case in any lake or river, but did try it out in a pool. It kept my phone completely dry and I was able to take an underwater photo during the test.

I recommend these two products. They do what they promise to do and, lets face it, $65 is a lot cheaper than a new phone.

 

 

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How To Turn A Mac On/Off and Definitions

Continuing with information for the truly uninitiated Mac users, I have posted two additional handouts to my dropbox.

The first is simple instructions for turning your Mac on and off.

The second is a boatload of definitions. The terms that experienced Mac users throw around without even thinking about it, but that can be a blank wall to a true beginner.

Additional definitions are welcome from experienced users. Just drop me a line or comment on this post.

Posted in Beginner Mac Tips, Mac Tips, Mavericks, Uncategorized | Leave a comment