iPod Touch

Solving iPad, iPhone, iPod and problems

People are often surprised when their iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad develops a problem. We get quite a few calls for help in fixing these issues.

The first thing I ask is when the person last restarted the device. Just like any other computer, problems are often solved by simply restarting the it.

To restart your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch, press the Power button for several seconds. Wait for it to turn off completely and then press the Power button for several seconds to turn it back on. Notice that I said “a few seconds.” It takes more than a quick push. On my iPhone 4, it takes 3 seconds, counted one elephant, two elephants, three elephants.

That solves many problems. Try a quick restart if your device is acting up.

Some problems are a bit bigger. They require a new copy of the iPhone software (the operating system) to resolve the problem. That is called a Restore. Connect your iPhone to your computer. Select the iPhone in the rightmost column of the iTunes application window. Then select the Summary tab in the main window.

You will see the Restore button in the middle portion of the main window. Clicking the button may bring up this dialog box:

In general, I usually let iTunes complete this backup. It can take a minute or two.

Once the backup is completed, you will see this box:

This is the one to think about. In order to restore the iPhone, iTunes must erase EVERYTHING that is on the device. Putting things back in place can take a bit, possibly several hours. This is NOT the procedure to perform when you need to be at a meeting, with your phone, in 10 minutes! It is not such a bad job if you can let it take place when you won’t be needing your iPhone for a while. I tend to restore iPhones and iPads at bedtime!

Let’s focus on the small print:

At the end of the restore, you will have two options. The first is to use the backup file that iTunes made to restore everything to your iPhone. Although it can take a while, it is pretty painless. HOWEVER, if the problem is not the iPhone software itself, but a problem in one of your data or settings file, restoring the iPhone from a backup will NOT solve your problem!

I have had several instances when erasing the iPhone or iPad and restoring it from the backup did not fix the issue. It was only solved when I set up the device as if it were brand new.

If you want to try restoring from the backup, click that button and sit back.

If you decide to do the complete replacement, you will loose all your preferences, game scores, and data. While this can be disconcerting. Many games such as WeRule, WeFarm and MyTown store your data on their server. You device only stores the login and password. Other games such as Solitaire City store all of your data on your device, so setting up again will mean that your high scores disappear.

In the case of things Evernote or DropBox, your data is stored on their server, so you will need to log in to retrieve it. If you are using applications such as Bento, be sure to sync your device with your computer before you do a restore.

If you have decided to leave your old data behind, then click “Set up as a new” iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch.

Sometimes if seems as though iTunes takes off on a run! To prevent that, scroll down in the main iPhone window until you see this area:

Click the box to manually manage music and video, then go to each of the tabs across the top of the iPhone window and make your selections.

Use the Apply button at the lower left corner of the iPhone window to begin the process of moving things back to your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch.

If you are having a problem with your device and you want Apple to replace it, they will ask you if you have done a software restore and if you have set it up as a new device. If that does not solve the issue and if it is truly a problem, Apple will generally replace the unit if it is in the initial warranty period or if you have purchased AppleCare.

If these directions still seem intimidating, we can give you a hand. This kind of help qualifies as a tutorial. While our rate for troubleshooting at Dr. Mac Consulting is $120.00 per hour, tutoring costs $60.00 per hour. We specialize in hand-holding and we explain exactly what is happening as we work. Most important, we are extremely patient! Give us a call at 408 627-7577 or send us a message at urgentrequest@boblevitus.com.



Taking notes on your Mac and iPhone: Notes in Mail

While adding notes to calendar events and people in your address book are good for many purposes, there are other notes that need to be somewhere else.

Until the release of iPhone OS 3 I used several different note apps on my iPhone. Each had some method of syncing, most involved having another application on my computer. That was one more thing to add to my dock and often one more web site to pay money to each year.

Now that the Notes Application on my iPhone

…can sync with the Notes in Mail

…I am pretty happy.

Let’s review how this works.

When you open the Notes app on the iPhone, you will see one of the two screens below. If you see this screen, you either have no notes or you are looking at notes you have previously made. To add a note, click the plus icon in the upper right corner of the screen.

If you see this screen, you are looking at the note you were last using. Click the plus icon in the upper right to add another note. Click the arrow icons at the bottom of the screen to navigate to your other notes. The envelope icon attaches the note to an email so that you can send it to someone. The Trash can icon deletes the note.

If you want to add a note on your computer, it is done in Mail:

Click on the Note icon in the toolbar at the top of the screen to add a new note. Click on the Notes icon in the Mail sidebar to view your notes.

There are many options when making Notes in Mail. It is possible to change fonts and colors, attach files and photos and even to make To Do items in a note:

Syncing notes

While it is possible to sync Mail accounts, Contacts, Calendars and Bookmarks to the iPhone using MobileMe, Notes are not included.

Instead, synching is set up in iTunes:

This means that in order to see the latest changes you have made on the other device (iPhone or Mac), you must connect your iPhone to the Mac and do a sync.

While there are lots of other applications that can be used for notes, I prefer Apple’s Notes application. Since it is an application made by Apple Inc., I can check my notes at any time. For example, when I am talking on the telephone, playing a game, listening to my podcast or music. For me this availability is not to be missed!



Taking notes on your Mac and iPhone: iCal

While storing notes about people or companies in the Address book on the Mac (or in Contacts on the iPhone) makes perfect sense, some information just doesn't belong there.

For example, I am taking a Frontier Airline flight to Macworld later this week. I received a confirmation email from Frontier after I booked my flight:

While I might put the telephone number and URL for Frontier in Address Book, information about my flight to San Francisco would be easier to locate in iCal or the iPhone Calendar. I used copy and paste to put the information into iCal:

Then I waited for MobileMe to sync the information to my iPhone:

One of the most interesting things is that although the links from the email do not appear in the iCal event, they are visible and available on my iPhone. The links open to Google maps in Safari. Just think of how convenient it could be to have such easy access for maps to hotels, restaurants etc.

Note that I edited the screenshots to remove personal and identifying information from the images above.

Both Bob LeVitus and I will be at Macworld later this week. Look for blog posts, Twitters and updates as we learn about new products for the Mac, iPhone and iPod Touch. I will be traveling with my husband, Ron--if we don’t get snowed in by yet another DC storm.



Taking notes on your Mac and iPhone: Address Book

Its time for another blog series. This time we’ll take a look at making notes on you computer

Are you a note taker? I am. Sometimes I wish there was just one place and one way to make notes, but realistically, it would not work well. In fact, I need different ways of taking notes--and they need to be stored in different places or I would never be able to make sense out of them.

Let’s start by looking at making notes in the Address Book. Do you remember the old days when we used paper address books to keep track of people’s addresses. I would use the same book for several years, until it got so messy and “scratched out” that I simply had to begin again.

The worst part of transferring to a new address book was the loss of bits of knowledge that somehow did not make it into the new book. Add to that the time that it took to hand write all the addresses and the possibility of introducing errors in copying the information. That was a task that begged for computerization!

There are extra fields that can be added to the Address Book template to make it easier to organize information. To make changes to the template, first choose Address Book > Preferences from the menu bar:

In the Preferences window, click the Template button and then click the Add Field button.

I have added just about every field to my template. However, notice that I have left Phonetic First/Last Name unchecked. If I need those fields, I can add them while I am in the Edit mode of Address Book. To add a field, use the menu item Card > Add Field.

It is also possible to add multiple items in many of the fields. For example, it is possible to add many different kinds of telephone numbers:

At the bottom of the pop-up are two choices, other and Custom… If you choose “other”, a new item labeled Other is added. If you choose Custom, you will see this window where you can add a new, specific kind of telephone number.

Add a custom field and the label will show the new field:

However, the Custom field is not available in the fields in other address cards. That is a suggestion that I will have to send to Apple!

At the bottom of each address card, there is a Notes field. I add all sorts of information to this area. It could be anything from an old address to notes about what I served the last time I invited the person for dinner. I also add ideas for future gifts and reminders about gifts I have sent in the past. If it is an entry for a business, I add employee names, notes about things I have purchased there, directions to their store etc.

Searching is one of the best features of Address Book. Not only can the name and address fields be searched, but the results will include any information that is stored in any other field, including the Notes area.

When you enter text into the Search area of the Address Book, it will look for that text throughout the Address book. It will include all fields and the Notes area.

If you use MobileMe to sync information from the Address Book to your iPhone or iPod Touch, the information is available in the Notes section of each card. However, at this time, it will not come up in the search results. For example, If you have entries for restaurants and you have added the cuisine that they serve in the Notes area, you would not be able to search the Contacts on your iPhone for Mexican food restaurants. I hope Apple will add these capabilities in new versions of the iPhone software.

If you need help in organizing your address book or you need to move addresses from another application into Address Book, consider booking a help session with me at Doctor Mac Consulting. I can show you how to move your addresses out of just about any program and into Apple’s Address Book. The cost is $60.00 per hour and I can use our special software to “see” your computer. Send a note to urgentrequest@boblevitus.com or call us at (408) 627-7577 for further information.



iPhone and iPod Touch - How to update an application

As a blog writer, I pay attention to Google Analytics. The web site tracks every page of MacMousecalls and lets me know a lot about my readers.

This report tells me that I get lots of visits to an earlier article about updating iPhones and iPod touches. However the article is very out of date, so its time to do a complete update.

Keeping applications up-to-date was a bit buggy when the first article was written, but things have changed.

The iPhone and iPod Touch lets you know, right on App Store icon, when there is a newer version of an application.

Clicking on the icon may tell a slightly different story:

In this case, the updates page shows that I have three updates. This happened because I just used my iPhone for the first time today.

You can also check for updates on your computer by using iTunes.

Click on Applications in the Library area of the upper left column. You will be taken to the iTunes store to a special page that tracks your app updates. You can click on the update button for each individual application, or you can click the Download All button in the upper right corner of the window.

Did you notice that there are 4 applications shown here? That is because TweetDeck is not on my iPhone, but it is in my application collection. I have many more applications than I can display on my iPhone.

In the original article I wrote about having to delete earlier versions of applications through the finder. That is no longer necessary. Apple fixed that bug a long time ago!

Happy App shopping!



Traveling with your Mac

I spent the last week on the Outer Banks of North Carolina with our extended family. Seventeen of us spent 7 days at a beautiful beach house. We swam, played on the beach, did some sight-seeing, ate – and we “computed.”

In taking our family to the beach we packed 6 Mac laptops (and two Windows PCs), 6 iPhones (plus 3 Blackberries and 3 assorted cell phones), a Nintendo Wii, 3 Nintendo DS and at least 4 iPods.

While we did not spend our entire week with the “electrons,” our family was certainly “connected!” Add 11 digital cameras to the mix, and our days were well-recorded.

Taking all those electronic devices to the beach and expecting them to work requires a bit of packing. Since six families were involved, there were a few “forgotten cords, cables, and adapters.

Let’s make a quick checklist to help you pack for your next trip.
Click here to

Taking iPhone Screenshots

There are lots of iPhone screenshots appearing on the web these days! It seems as though everyone wants to know about the changes coming in the iPhone 3.0 software.

Carl, one of our Dr. Mac Consulting clients sent me a tweet :

The ability to make screenshots was added in the iPhone 2.0 software. To make a screenshot: Click here to read more...

Big Words and the Mac Community

Are we a community? As I look around the world of Apple users, it is very apparent we are not just people who use Macintosh computers, iPods and iPhones.

We are a group of people who share a common interest in products produced by a company, Apple Inc. We read many of the same magazines, books and web sites. We listen to podcasts featuring the authors of those items. We also use software produced, created and inspired by them. Some of us even attend events such as Macworld, MacMania cruises, and even user group meetings that feature the works of that group.
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iPhone and iPod Touch - How to update an application

There is a bug, either in the software for the iPhone or in iTunes that may cause applications on the iPhone not to update properly. I started to write this post several weeks ago, but decided to wait until the iPhone 2.1 software update was released to see if it fixed the problem. The new software has been released – and I am still having issues, so I suspect some of you are too.

This is the easiest way I have found to get iPhone and iPod Touch applications to update properly… Click here to read more...