Charging Solutions For iPad Problems

Scenario No. 1

You plug in your iPad to recharge over night, but when you next go to use it, the charge is so low that you can’t even get a start-up screen. Oh yeah, just try explaining to a two year old why his iPad isn’t working. What may be the primary problem is that you plugged it in to charge on your keyboard, your monitor, or an unpowered USB hub. Unpowered meaning the USB hub doesn’t connect to an electrical outlet. It may also be true that the USB to Lightning cable is damaged or not Apple compatible.

Plug the cable into your computer or into a USB receptacle that is connected to a wall outlet. If your computer is several years old, even the USB port on your computer won’t be powerful enough to adequately charge your iPad.  Here are two examples of Apple approved USB receptacle’s that connect to a wall outlet.


If you know that you have used an approved USB receptacle and you still have a problem then consider that the USB cable that you are using has gone bad. Try another one to test that possibility. When this happened to me, I noticed that the Lightening connector had gunk on it which had made it unusable.

Scenario No. 2

Your iPad is not holding a charge like it did when you first got it. The first thing to check is to see how many apps you have open.  Just switching from one app to another doesn’t shut down the first app. All the apps that you use remain open until you actually close them. Here is how to check and close apps that are pulling power.

Do a fast, double click on the home button.  Up will pop a line of apps that are open. Put your finger in the middle of each app, one at a time, and slide up. The app will close. Here is an example of my open apps before I closed them.


I bet that the next time you charge your iPad it will hold a charge longer. I learned about this when I noticed that my grandson’s iPad was not holding a charge. He is two and he tends to open every app on his iPad whenever he is allowed to play with it.

This step is necessary for your iPhone too so check it out when you have the time.

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Gifts For Senior Citizens – Part 3

And last but not least is the third item that I recommend as a good gift for a senior citizen who is active with an iPad. The first two recommendations were covered in posts dated December 4th and December 5th.

iPad Holder For The Bed

My third recommendation is for an iPad holder that clamps to the headboard. Many senior citizens lose the strength or have arthritis in their hands, and that makes it uncomfortable or painful to hold an iPad for any length of time. On top of that, when you wear glasses to read as almost all of us must do, you have to hold the iPad at a higher angle when lying down.

I have used mine since the iPad was first introduced. It has all the necessary elements, but apparently it is no longer available. So here are the necessary elements. It must clamp solidly to the headboard. C-clamps work well, but if your gift recipient has a bed with slats be sure your choice will work for that. It must be adjustable so that it still works when the size and style of the iPad changes. That requires the part that holds the iPad to be in two pieces that adjust as needed. Mine has been through several iterations of the iPad and iPad mini and it still works perfectly. And lastly, it would be best if it can rotate  180º so that the user can view the iPad in either vertical or horizontal mode.

Another recommendation is to avoid ones that fasten to the wall instead of the headboard. I found that the only way my wall could handle the weight of a well made product holding an iPad was to reinforce the wall in some way.

I did some research to see if I could find hands free holders similar to the one I use. To my surprise I after searching for an hour, I only found one that contained all the necessary elements. I have not reviewed this particular product, but if I were going to buy one today, I think this is the one I would get.

The Surmount from Standzout has both an adjustable c-clamp and an adjustable tablet holder. It also rotates. It is currently on sale for US$69.99

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Gifts For Senior Citizens – Part 2

This is the second in my postings of items that will make good gifts for the senior citizens in your life who are active computer and iPad users. The first was posted yesterday, December 4th.

Satechi’s Flexible LED Desk Lamp

The second item that I recommend is again by Satechi. It is the Flexible LED Desk Lamp. Research has proven that by age 60 years you need about three times as much light on an object to see it as well as the average 20-year old does. That old table lamp that someone is using out of habit really doesn’t cut it for those of us over 60.

The Flexible LED Desk Lamp is also currently on sale on the Satechi web site for US$59.99. I have been using this daily since April, 2014, following my initial review of it. You can view the full review of this item for all the specifics.


I like it because it gives wonderful light, is flexible, turns on and off with the touch of a finger, and includes a USB port that lets you charge everything except your  iPhone 6 or iPad.  Again with the small footprint, it takes up five inches (13-cm).

This lamp has five levels of brightness and I adjust it by pressing down and holding the control button. The lifespan of the lamp is over 40,000 hours. The flexibility of the lamp neck allows me to adjust the lamp so there is no glare.

Part 3 will be posted tomorrow.

Posted in Holiday Gift Suggestions, LED Desk Lamp, Mac Product Recommendation, Satechi, Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

Gifts For Senior Citizens

I have come to accept the fact that I am, in fact, a “senior citizen”. Should I try to forget it, my three great grandchildren stand as a reminder. I am also a serious computer user, spending several hours a day in front of my Mac or on my iPad working on various projects and preparing teaching materials. There are three devices that make the technical part of my life easier and more fun. I recommend each of them as a good gift choice for the seniors in your life who also enjoy their computers or iPads. You’re welcome.

The first one is presented in this blog. The other two will follow tomorrow and the next day.

Satechi’s ReadMate LED Desktop Magnifier


You can read my full review of the ReadMate  for all the specifics. I have been using this item since March, 2014. I sometimes use it daily. Here’s why – it’s easy to use, I can always find it, and the lighted magnification is 5X which makes it possible for me to read almost any fine print.

To use it I place it over the material I want to read, press down on the top so that the LED light comes on, and read. I can use it with or without my reading glasses. When I am through I clean the lens with the microfiber cleaning cloth that is included, put it back in the hard case, and zip it up. That leads to the second reason I like it so much.

I can always find it. It sits safely in the little zipped hard case, taking up a minimal amount of room (less than 4-in (10-cm)) clearly in-sight, on my desk top. I usually keep it on top of my router so it is not really taking up any unused space. Should the cat knock it over, or the grandchild grab it, the case protects it.

The magnification of 5X is wonderful. I have used it to read very fine print, print that is a little lighter than the surface upon which it appears, and even to determine if that tiny screw that goes in my glasses has a phillips head or a straight head.

Slight detour here for a message for those designers who think it looks cool to use light gray print on a medium gray background. Get over yourselves.  It’s not cool when you put looks over function.

The ReadMate is currently on sale on the Satechi web site for US$24.99.

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Pretend You Have A Personal Assistant – Use Siri

This is a good tip to utilize when you are driving or just feel lazy. It is an invaluable tip for those with severe visual impairments. Siri will read your messages and play your voicemail. Just give the appropriate command such as “Read my latest email”, or “Read my latest message”. Once Siri has read it, she will ask if you want to reply, and follow your directions accordingly.

Likewise you can say “Play my voicemail” and Siri will read them aloud and give you options to dictate a reply or ignore.

20141104nov2Let Siri Search Your Emails Or Notes

Speaking of being a personal assistant, Siri will even search your emails or notes and then open the one that matches your query. If there are more than one that qualifies, she will list them for you. Say “Find email about (name topic)”.  As an example I asked Siri to find email about huddle, saying  saying “Find email about huddle”. I got the following response. I tapped on the message to open it.


Then I asked her to find emails about response. I tried using Comment response, but she heard Comet instead of Comment, so I adjusted my request.


When I reviewed the list offered I just tapped the one I wanted and it opened for me to view.

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Siri Tips – Make Siri Wait For You and Launch Settings

In iOS 8 Siri is better than ever, if you know all the tips. Here are two more to use to make Siri your own.

Make Siri Wait Until You Are Finished Speaking

This was the one thing that really bugged me about using Siri. If I stopped speaking for even a second while I tried to remember that next word, Siri would assume I was through and act accordingly.

There is an easy solution. Continue to hold down the Home button until you are finished speaking and she will very politely wait her turn.

Launch Settings For Specific Apps

I particularly like this tip for launching settings for specific apps because it bypasses all the steps you have to take after you even find and open the main Settings app. You just tell Siri to open that specific setting.

Remember that you can launch Siri without even turning on your phone, but if you utilize a passcode, you will have to tap it in first. Once you see the microphone icon at the bottom of the screen that tells you Siri is on, say Open (application) settings and you will be taken directly there. As an example, I said Open Safari settings and got this screen.


Safari Setting Window

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Third Party Cables and Connectors Ceasing To Work in Devices Running iOS 8

Third party cables and connectors are those sold without Apple certification. You see them everywhere. A bright rainbow of colored cables in a basket at the counter of your local drug store. For sale on web sites and even accompanying new accessories for your Apple products. It is never wise to use third party cables and connectors that are not certified to meet Apple standards. Some have been known to catch fire and others have ruined connector ports.

Now Apple is taking a stand against these inferior products and in iOS 8 users will find that their product may not charge. Plug in one of these and you will see a message that says:  This cable or accessory is not certified and may not work reliably with this iPhone.

So, buyer beware.

Posted in iOS 8, iOS Tips, iPhone 6 | Tagged , | Leave a comment