iOS 11 – Files App, FaceTime, and Do Not Disturb

iOS 11 has lots of new features. In this blog entry I’m going to discuss the new Files App, FaceTime photos, and the Do Not Disturb While Driving features.

A new folder, named Files, has been added in iOS 11 and is available on all your iOS devices.

iOS 11 Files App

Use this app to access all of your documents, even those stored in iCloud Drive or other third-party storage providers.

The Do Not Disturb Notification is designed to prevent notifications and texts from distracting you when you are driving.  To turn it on select Settings > Do Not Disturb. It is a helpful safety feature, but it does have one little quirk. Every time I use my walker to get around, the Do Not Disturb features becomes active. I promise you I have never achieved 60 mph in a walker.

Last, but not least, is FaceTime Live Photos.  If both you and your correspondent are using iOS 11 while conversing on FaceTime, you can capture a live photo of the other person by tapping the shutter button.

Take Instant Photos in FaceTime

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iOS 11- Customizable Control Center

I love the new features in iOS 11 and I plan to cover several of them in my next few blog entries.  The Customizable Control Center for iPhone and iPad is one of my favorites.

To get to the Control Center, slide up from the bottom.  Use touch to access any one element.  To add or remove items go to Settings > Control Center > Customize Controls.

Customizable Control Center

One of the best items in the Control Center is the lock screen option. (see arrow) Now you can use lock screen on a single app and it will stay that way, rather than reformatting your whole phone layout.

Items you can put in your personal Control Center in iOS 11.

Camera Low Power Mode Toggle Notes Screen Recording
Wallet Do Not Disturb While Driving Guided Access Home
Apple TV Remote Flashlight Magnifer Calculator
Alarm Accessibility Shortcuts Stop Watch Voice Memos
Timer Text Size Controls

I think if you play around with this option you may find it to be extremely helpful. Once I started to remember to access it first thing I found it saves me all kinds of time.

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What Is VPN?


If you aren’t sure if a VPN is something technical or a rock band, then the following info is for you.

Rather than connect directly to the internet, a  VPN, or Virtual Private Network, is a service that allows you to connect to the internet via a server run by a VPN provider. You still have to have an internet service provider, VPN is an extra layer on top of that.

All data traveling between your computer, phone or tablet, and this “VPN server” is securely encrypted. As a result of this setup, VPNs:

  • Provide privacy by hiding your internet activity from your ISP (and government)
  • Allow you to evade censorship (by school, work, your ISP, or government)
  • Allow you to “geo-spoof” your location in order to access services unfairly denied to you based on your geographical location (or when you are on holiday)
  • Protect you against hackers when using a public WiFi hotspot
  • Allow you to P2P download in safety
  • Allow users to securely access a private network and share data remotely through public networks.

VPN services cost between $5 and $10 a month. You can find free providers, but remember you get what you pay for and a service that is free to you is making money somehow.

With VPN your internet provider will not know what you are doing on the internet. It can’t see your data because it is encrypted. It can only see that you are connected to the VPN provider.

Your VPN provider can know what you are up to so it is good practice to pick one that employees technical measures to protect you.

Your internet may slow down – it takes processing power to encrypt and decrypt data. However if you have strong and fast internet, you probably won’t notice a change.

It is legal for US citizens and in most other countries.

When choosing a VPN provider check their reviews.

When you share a VPN connection over a wireless network, every device that is connected to the network is automatically protected by the VPN.

This means there is no need to download and install VPN apps for each one of your devices.

You need:

  • an active VPN account
  • a computer connected to the internet through an ethernet cable or WiF.
  • Wi-Fi switched on on your mobile devices
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Minimalistic Totallee Leather iPhone Case is Classy

Company:  Totallee


Price:  $29

Sizes:  iPhone 6, 6 plus, 7, and 7 plus

Color:  black

Weight:  0.1 oz

Thickness:  0.02 inches

Warranty:  2 years

I really like this case.  It has a sophisticated look and feel.  It will fit with any charging stand you might prefer because of the thinness.  It is a “formed” type of case and yet it is made completely of lambskin leather.

There is just enough fold around the case edges that sit on the front of the case to provide minimal protection to your phone. I tested it on an iPhone 6s.  It turns out that I accidentally tested this protection when I dropped my phone face down on my kitchen floor.  It survived intact.

I will also mention that the packaging is very nice and makes a nice presentation if you want to give this case as a gift.

I personally have a preference for this type of case.  My lifestyle is such that I don’t need a heavy duty case and I do use a stand to charge my phone each night. I’m pleased to be able to use this one.

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Create eMail Templates Using Apple Mail on Your Mac

This tip is for OS X. If you find yourself sending emails with the same content over and over, create a template.

  •  Open Mail, click on New Message and enter the subject.
  • Enter the From email address, and create the message.
  • Don’t include any salutation, but leave a space for it if you plan on using one.

Sample Template

  • Select Save as Stationary from the file menu.
  • A window will open asking you to name your new stationary. It also tells you that your new stationary (template) will be saved to the Custom section of the stationary picker.
  • To use your template, open Mail and select New Message.
  • When a new message opens, click on the Show Stationary button in the top right corner. The stationary options will open.
  • Scroll down to Custom and you will see your template.
  • Click on it and add whatever additional information you wish.
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Correct Saved Spelling Errors

First of all, I hate that I had to go back to work. It really cramps my blogging time, but I do it when I can.

You have a private spelling directory on your Mac into which you can save unusual spellings or words that you use frequently. For instance, I always have to add Gravley to mine because spell check has a tendency to change it to gravely. Spell check uses the New Oxford American Dictionary as its spell check source.

When Spell check thinks a word is misspelled, it will underline it in red.  To add that word to your private directory, just right click and select Learn Spelling.

If you discover that you have saved a word that is incorrectly spelled, you can remove it. Here is how.

In the Finder window select Shift+Command+G.

A small window named Go To Folder will open. In the text field, enter ~/Library/Spelling  and tap the Go button.

This takes you to the Library Spelling Folder.

Choose the Local Dictionary folder. This takes you to your Local Dictionary file which is a simple Text Edit document. Check over your words and delete any words (and empty spaces) that need to be removed.

Now you are safe from your own foibles. Until you do it again. Doesn’t hurt to check it once in a while.




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Review: Memory Cleaner X

Review:  Memory Cleaner X, Version 2.0.5

Developer:  Nektony

Cost:  Free (Available From the Apple Store)

Works With: Mac running OS X 10.8 or greater

What It Does:  Allows user to clear inactive RAM and free up space on your computer.

Rating:  Five out of five stars.

memorycleanerMemory Cleaner X Logo

 I am very impressed with this app. It is made by Nektony which also makes App Uninstaller, an app that I have used for several years.

Memory Cleaner X check for duplicates, junk, very old material, and unused applications. When you give it the go ahead, it cleans it all up with the tap of a key. If you have ever gotten the warning that you are running out of memory you are familiar with the problem.

The following is the image I got the first time I opened the App. Wow. I had almost reached that “full up” problem.


This next image shows my memory usage after I ran the program.


As you can see there is a great deal of improvement.

Two notes of importance – (1) out of 108 reviews on the apple store, 92 reviewers gave it a perfect 5 stars. (2) I have noticed that every time I play a game on my Mac, the application immediately deletes all the junk created by all those games I lost.


Works quickly and efficiently.

Frees up memory on your Mac by deleting old stuff.

Continues to monitor for additional junk to remove.

Has a high approval rating from other users.


None noted.

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