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iOS 8.1 Update: Do It. Here's How.

iOS 8.1 Update: Do It. Here's How.

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iOS 8.1 logo

The iOS 8.1 update came out yesterday. I've installed it on my iPhone 5s and iPad 2 and it's solved some iOS 8 problems for me, including performance issues which were very evident on the iPad 2. If you've already installed 8.0, 8.0.1, or 8.0.2 on your iPhone or iPad (or iPod touch) the 8.1 update is something you should do right away. As my friend Sondra would say, "It's a no-brainer!"

If you've been waiting to install iOS 8 until I told you it was time: "it's time."

You can go to Settings/General/Software Update and begin the update "OTA" (that's "Over the Air")-- unless you can't. Apple might let you know that you can't by telling you that your iPhone/iPad/iPod is too full. If you get that message, you probably can do the update "OTW" ("over the wire"), even if your iPhone/iPad/iPod is close to full, by connecting your device to your Mac and updating it through iTunes. The process is the same whether you're installing 8.1 from some other version of iOS 8, or from some version of iOS 7 (or even iOS 6). You should try this method before trying to free up space by deleting things on your device-- it will save you a lot of time and trouble.

Here's how you do an iOS update using the USB cable and iTunes. ("The USB cable" is the one that you charge your iPhone/iPad/iPod with-- just pull it out of the charger. Yes it comes out. You laugh but trust me, this is going to help someone.)

  1. Connect your device to your Mac with the USB cable
  2. Wait for iTunes to start, or start it yourself
  3. Click on your iPhone/iPad/iPod in iTunes
  4. Click Backup to back up your iPhone to the Mac
    (if asked, yes, you do want to transfer purchases from the iPhone to the Mac, and if you're presented with a dialog box asking you to "authorize" the Mac use the name and password you use when buying apps from the App Store)
  5. Check the box that encrypts the backup. An encrypted backup stores passwords, which makes things easier for you down the road. You'll be asked for a password to lock the backup-- that's the encryption part-- and whichever password you choose, I recommend checking the box to save it in the Keychain.
  6. Click Backup again (we did the first backup in case you forget the encryption password)
  7. Click Update after the backup is done
  8. Sit back and wait for the update to finish

It sounds complicated but it's not. Take your time and go step by step.

Doing the update over the wire requires much less space than doing it over the air. You get a better result too-- a brand-new iOS 8.1, freshly installed, rather than an older system that's patched with updates.

Here are the release notes for 8.1, provided by Apple. The bolding and italicizing-- that's by me.

This release includes new features, improvements and bug fixes, including:
  • Apple Pay support for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus (U.S. only)
  • Photos includes new features, improvements and fixes
  • Adds iCloud Photo Library as a beta service
  • Adds Camera Roll album in Photos app and My Photo Stream album when iCloud Photo Library is not enabled
  • Provides alerts when running low on space before capturing Time Lapse videos
  • Messages includes new features, improvements and fixes
  • Adds the ability for iPhone users to send and receive SMS and MMS text messages from their iPad and Mac
  • Resolves an issue where search would sometimes not display results
  • Fixes a bug that caused read messages to not be marked as read
  • Fixes issues with group messaging
  • Resolves issues with Wi-Fi performance that could occur when connected to some base stations
  • Fixes an issue that could prevent connections to Bluetooth hands-free devices
  • Fixes bugs that could cause screen rotation to stop working
  • Adds an option to select between 2G, 3G or LTE networks for cellular data
  • Fixes an issue in Safari where videos would sometimes not play
  • Adds AirDrop support for Passbook passes
  • Adds an option to enable Dictation in Settings for Keyboards, separate from Siri
  • Enables HealthKit apps to access data in the background
  • Accessibility improvements and fixes
  • Fixes an issue that prevented Guided Access from working properly
  • Fixes a bug where VoiceOver would not work with 3rd party keyboards
  • Improves stability and audio quality when using MFi Hearing Aids with iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus
  • Fixes an issue with VoiceOver where tone dialing would get stuck on a tone until dialing another number
  • Improves reliability when using handwriting, Bluetooth keyboards and Braille displays with VoiceOver
  • Fixes an issue that was preventing the use of OS X Caching Server for iOS updates

Some features may not be available for all countries or all areas.

For information on the security content of this update, please visit this website:

http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1222

If you have an iPhone 5 or 5s, or an iPad newer than the iPad 2, iOS 8.1 is a good update for you. Older devices (such as the iPhone 4s-- Zach-- and the iPad 2-- Mom) might be a little too slow for any version of iOS 8, though 8.1 is definitely the fastest 8 so far. iOS 8.1 feels like the system Apple wanted to release when they rolled out the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus-- polished, with all features functioning. Throw in the Return of the Camera Roll and it's a very compelling system.

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How to Edit Photos Using iOS 8's Photos App

How to Edit Photos Using iOS 8's Photos App

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Ios8 photos app icon

Apple's packed some great photo-editing features into iOS 8's Photos app. It's not quite Photoshop but it may be all you need. Plus, it's already on your iPhone, assuming you're on iOS 8. Plus it's a ton of fun.

Here's how you can use these features to quickly improve your pictures.

Mom, and others on iOS 7: use Snapseed. Sorry about that.

Start by taking a picture, or choose one from your Photo library, and tap "Edit" at top right. If all you see is a picture, tap the picture itself and you'll see buttons appear at top and bottom. You want the one at the top right.

Here's a nice picture of a Bird of Paradise plant. It looked better when I took it. I'm going to fix it up.

Starting to Edit

After you tap Edit you'll see something like this. Actually, exactly like this. Except your picture won't look like mine.

iOS 8 photos magic want tool

The first thing to try is the Magic Wand, in the top right corner. All you do is tap it and like magic your picture gets better. Tap it again to turn it off in case you don't like the results. You can see that it's fixed up my picture a little bit. I don't know all of what it does but that's why they call it magic.

iOS 8 after using Magic Wand

I'm going to turn the Magic Wand's effect off, because while it fixed things up a little bit it didn't fix it up enough.

Let's look at the options across the bottom of the screen: Cropping, Filters, and Adjustments.

Cropping works as you might expect: tap the Crop tool and drag things around until the picture is nicely cropped.

Note you can rotate the picture as well, either freehand (by dragging with your finger) or in 90-degree steps using the square-with-curvy arrow button at bottom left in this picture.

I'm going to crop out the car in the background, at least part-way. You can also tap inside the frame and drag your picture around, as I have here. The iPhone will wait a second or two for you to stop moving things, and then it will crop and zoom in on the part of the photo you've kept.

Here's how it looked while I was working on it...

iOS 8 in crop mode

And here's how it looked a few seconds later, when the cropped section zoomed to fill the screen.

iOS 8 photos after cropping

The picture is better already.

By The Way: if you want to crop to a particular aspect ratio-- maybe a square, or 16:9-- tap the white button above the "Done" button at lower right in my picture. That will give you all of the standard aspect ratios you'd ever want. I, of course, wanted to do it "my way" so I did not use that button (although I did come pretty close to making a square).

You might be tempted to tap "Done" at this point but that would not be the right move here. If you do that you'll save the picture, which is fine, but we have more editing to do.

You might also be tempted to use the Filters (the middle button across the bottom). I wasn't. But, since all you do in the Filters section is look at a bunch of thumbnail variations and pick the one you want, you don't need my help with that.

Let's get to the good stuff. It's all under the Adjustments button. Tap it and you'll get something like this:

iOS 8 Photos app Adjustments

You can do a lot here-- I'm going to start in the middle, with color, because I want to punch things up by over-saturating the picture.

If you tap on "Color" (or anywhere in that row that isn't the down-arrow at the far right) you get this:

iOS 8 Photos app Color adjustments

You can drag back and forth until you get a picture that you like, and there's nothing wrong with that. But it's a little coarse and rather limited. The better way to go is to tap the down-arrow to begin with (or, if you accidentally got into the coarse-and-limited area, tap the icon I'm pointing to with the red arrow).

This is what you're looking for: options galore.

iOS 8 Photos app Color options

I want to adjust "Saturation" so I give that a tap, leading to this:

iOS 8 Photos app Saturation

This is typical of the way you make adjustments: you get a slider, and you drag it around until you're happy. It took dragging all the way to the right before I was happy and here's how it looked:

iOS 8 photos app full saturation

No wonder I was happy. What a great picture, all of a sudden. However, after mulling it over I decided to back off just a little. It's still great, just a little less loud about it.

iOS 8 Photos app almost full saturation

Now we're getting somewhere. Contrast is controlled the same way that Saturation is-- with a slider. You get to Contrast by tapping the icon that looks like this:

iOS 8 Photos app options

Because it's so easy, and because this picture doesn't need any help in the Contrast department, I'm skipping it. But I will show you "Cast."

This is really "Color Cast" and it controls whether your picture is "warm" or "cool." Here's full-blast "warm:"

iOS photos app color cast(picture with full-blast warm color cast)

... and here's full-blast "cool."

iOS 8 photos app cool color cast

I like it almost full-blast warm, as it reminds me that the sun was going down and everything had a nice warmth to it.

iOS 8 photos app color cast

Down below's a little movie showing you how I got to this stage. (You probably have to tap the movie to start it.)

ios8photosappmovie1

Now let's see what we can do using the controls under "Light." Remember, if you tap where it says "Light" you get the slider with the thumbnails. (Also remember: tap that button with the three dots and the three lines to get to where you can choose the Light section). If you want finer control tap the down-arrow.

Here's what the basics looks like...

iOS 8 photos app Light

and here are the finer controls.

iOS 8 photos app Light finer controls

I'm going to darken up the shadows a little because I want the plant to really "pop."

iOS 8 photos app shadows adjustment

One more thing I want to adjust is the so-called "Black Point." What you're doing with Black Point adjustments is saying "See this shade of gray? Everything that's darker than that, make it pure black." With the Photos app you don't actually get to point to the shade of gray you're talking about. Instead, you use (what else?) a slider.

Here's how it looked after a little Black Point adjusting.

iOS 8 photos app black point adjustment

I'm going to skip the Black and White section because I'm pretty sure, after having seen how Light and Color work, that you don't need me to show you. Besides, I want a color picture, not a black and white one.

BONUS TIP THAT I DISCOVERED WHILE WRITING THIS BLOG POST:

Suppose your screen looks like this:

iOS 8 photos app black and white

Swipe down on the main photo-- you see the color thumbnails! Drag some more and you see the Light adjustments, and eventually the Light thumbnails. That's a nice way to switch between things, isn't it? You can drag on the thumbnails too but it is hard to drag exactly straight up and down when you get into the adjustments sections. Try it and see.

Here are the Color thumbnails...

iOS 8 photos app color

and here are the Light thumbnails, both accessed by swiping up and down on the main picture.

iOS 8 photos app Light

Watch the movie below and see. (You probably have to tap the movie to start it.)

ios8photosappmovie2

Now suppose you make a mistake and accidentally change your picture to black and white. Can you get out of that? (Of course you can-- this is a set-up.)

iOS 8 photos app black and white oopsy

Naturally you could tap "Cancel" but that cancels EVERYTHING. You don't want to start over. But notice the B&W is now black writing on white-- before we made our mistake, it was the other way around. Tap it, and it reverts. What a relief! See below, and notice how the "B&W" label changes. .

iOS 8 photos app black and white undone

Once we're satisfied with things we tap "Done" and the picture is saved. Here's our final product. Compared to the original, there's no comparison. The adjusted version is a LOT better. Maybe I should have stopped after the Saturation step, come to think of it. But it's still better.

Final Product (below)

Finalproductcropped

Original Photo (below)

Original

Turns out there's more to learn but this is enough for today. If you're wondering about the button we didn't tap-- the one opposite the Magic Wand-- that's the button that allows you to access other photo-editing apps, without leaving the Photos app itself! That's pretty neat, but it's also very new, and not too many programs make themselves available to the Photos app that way. If you have some photo-editing apps on your iPhone or iPad you ought to give that button a tap.

Still have questions? Email me. But first, join the mailing list. People on the mailing list go to the front of the line.

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How to use the Launchpad

How to use the Launchpad

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Launchpad icon

If you're using Mac OS 10.7 or higher your Mac includes a very handy app called the Launchpad. Its icon (shown above) is probably in the Dock, and you've probably seen it, and maybe even used it-- but without a little instruction you may not have realized its power. So here's a little instruction.

What it does

The Launchpad gives you quick access to the applications on your Mac. It's a lot like the Home screen on an iPhone or iPad-- everything's right there in front of you. Yes, there are other ways to get to your apps, but Launchpad is the easiest and nicest built-in way to see all of them.

Here's a picture of the Launchpad doing its thing.

Screen Shot 2014 10 11 at 9 07 11 PM

TRIVIA TIME: the "Home Screen" on the iPhone and iPad isn't officially called the Home Screen. Officially, it's known as "the Springboard." I don't know anyone who calls it that but "Springboard" is the official name. You can look it up.

If you click on an icon in the Launchpad-- one click-- that application launches. This makes launching apps very quick and easy. Of course you need to know how to launch Launchpad itself... that's next.

How to launch the Launchpad

There are three easy, built-in ways to launch the Launchpad:
  1. Click the Launchpad icon in the Dock
  2. Activate Spotlight with Command-spacebar, then type "lau" or enough of "Launchpad" for Spotlight to suggest it, and then Return
  3. Use the keyboard shortcut assigned by default.

The keyboard shortcut assigned by default depends on your keyboard. Look for a function key (top row) with a picture that looks like this:

F4 with red border

If your keyboard doesn't have a picture like that try pressing F4 anyway. It might work. If it does, press it again and Launchpad will go away.

If Launchpad doesn't respond when you press F4, or if you want to assign it to some other key, fix things up in System Preferences/Keyboard/Shortcuts. If you're stuck, email me.

You'll notice some sparklies in that first screenshot. The sparklies call your attention to apps that were recently added to the Mac. You have to see it for yourself-- it's a fun effect. Note that apps stop sparkling after you launch them, and eventually even if you don't. So enjoy it while you can. You can also see in Launchpad, when downloading a new app, a little progress bar in the app's icon. Next time you buy an app from the Mac App Store fire up the Launchpad and see.

If all the Launchpad did was show your Mac's apps it would not be very impressive. And I would not be writing about it. But there are a lot of little niceties that make the Launchpad worth writing about. For example:

1. If you fill up the Launchpad's screen with apps it will automatically create a second screen (and a third, and a fourth). You can switch screens with Command-right arrow/Command-left arrow, or by clicking the TINY white dots at the lower center of the screen, or by using a two-finger right- or left-swipe on a trackpad.

See below for a picture showing the TINY white dots. It also shows a couple of downloading apps-- one paused (you pause the download by clicking on it).

Launchpad Tiny White Dots

2. If you type a letter or two Launchpad will narrow things down, showing only the apps it thinks you want. It's sort of clever about it: if you type an "e" it doesn't just show you apps that start with E. It also shows you apps where part of the name starts with E. Sort of neat. Note that you don't have to click in the search box (at the top)-- just start typing.

Launch Pad type a letter

3. You can use the arrow keys to move around the screen until you've selected the app you want to launch. Then press Return or Enter on your keyboard to start that app right up.

4. You can delete an app right from the Launchpad by holding down the Option key and then clicking the little "x" that appears on each app's icon, very similar to the way it works on the iPhone and iPad. I wouldn't do this if I were you-- you realize, don't you, that you're not just taking the app out of the Launchpad, right? You're really deleting the app. Now that you know how it works you won't be surprised at what happens. You do get a warning-- "are you sure you want to delete this app"-- but still, it's a little risky. Don't do it when you're tired.

If you're wondering why some apps don't get the "x" it's the same story as on the iPhone and iPad: you can't throw away the things that Apple considers "standard." And if you're wondering why it takes a long time for something you delete using Launchpad to actually exit the Applications folder, well, so am I.

5. (How many sentences can I start with "Just as on the iPhone and iPad,..."? At least one more, I'm thinking.) Just as on the iPhone and iPad, you can drag icons around and arrange them as you please, even from one screen to another. Put all of your favorites on the first screen. Put all of your graphics apps in the bottom row. Put left-leaning rectangular icons in the top row, circles in the second row, more left-leaning rectangular icons in the third row, etc.

Arrange your icons in Launchpad

6. You can create little groups of apps by dragging one app on top of another. You can name the group, "just as on the iPhone and iPad." There's an "Other" group in the screenshot above. I don't do this much because once an app's in a group (technically, a "folder," not that it looks anything like a folder), I tend to forget about it. Out of sight, out of mind! I mention it here because you are bound to accidentally create a group, and when you do you will want to know how to get back to "normal." Simply click on the group, watch it expand, and then drag the icon(s) from the group onto any unused space.

Sounds great, yes? Well, that's because it is great. There are two Launchpad caveats:
  • It only shows apps that are in the Applications folder*.
  • It doesn't care at all how you might have arranged things in your Applications folder-- for example, there's no "Utilities" folder in the Launchpad though there is one in the Applications folder.
* Technically it shows apps that are in the Mac's Applications folder AND in your own "User" Applications folder, but the latter is rarely used and it confuses people more to mention it than not. Now look what you made me do.

The hardest part about using the Launchpad is remembering to use it, especially for long-time Mac users who have already developed their own ways of bringing up apps. You ought to try it a couple of times yourself, if only to see how many apps, and which ones, are already installed on your Mac. I think, though, that once you've tried the Launchpad you're going to like it-- and use it-- a lot.

Still have questions? Email me. But first, join the mailing list. People on the mailing list go to the front of the line.

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My Four Favorite Money-Saving Shopping Websites

My Four Favorite Money-Saving Shopping Websites

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Benfranklin

Our friend Ben Franklin said "A penny saved is a penny earned." Actually, there's some debate about whether he actually said that, but the thought is a good one. You can't always bring in more money but if you buy stuff at a discount it's almost the same thing.

The four websites described below will do more than save you a penny. They'll save you a bunch of dollars-- maybe enough to buy an iPhone 6. Do your wallet a favor and check these sites out. These are my personal favorites-- they save money for me, and they'll do the same for you.

1.

Retailmenot

RetailMeNot saves you money whether you're buying things online or in stores. It provides coupon codes for use at check-out time online as well as printable coupons for use at the in-store checkstand. RetailMeNot also tracks sales that don't require coupons, saving you the trouble of looking at multiple websites to find out what's on sale. You can set up an account and tell RetailMeNot which stores you're interested in and RetailMeNot will send you an email every day with coupons (and sales) that meet your criteria.

I always visit RetailMeNot (in a new browser window) whenever I'm about to buy something online, just in case they have a coupon code. You should too. (We should both check RetailMeNot before going to physical stores as well, though I usually forget.) It only takes a second to search the site, so why not do it?

The codes don't always work-- these sorts of things expire and it's tough trying to keep up with it-- but RetailMeNot does about as good a job of keeping things up to date as can be done. You should check it out.

For more details see my RetailMeNot review from 2011.


2.

Dealnews logo

Dealnews is a great place for deals on all sorts of things. I liked Dealnews in 2010 when I first wrote about it and I still like it today. If anything, I like it more.

The basic way to use Dealnews is to browse it. If that's how you're going to use it, take my advice: sort the deals by "most recent" (at the upper right) so the new deals are at the top, and visit a couple of times a day so you don't miss out. Deals don't last forever and if they're sorted chronologically you know you're looking at the fresh stuff each time you bring up the site. No one wants to scroll through zillions of deals (some fresh, some older) and no one wants to find a great deal only to learn it's expired.

A more advanced way of using Dealnews is to create an account and tell the site what you're looking for. Dealnews will send you an email when it finds a deal matching your specifications. This is really handy as you're notified the moment the deal is posted, giving you a good chance of cashing in before the deal expires.


3.

Raise logo

Raise sells gift cards at a discount. Buy them for yourself or buy them to give away. Either way you won't pay face value. You tell Raise which store you want a gift card for and they show you what they have. You can sort them by amount, or by discount, or whatever. Some cards are delivered electronically, for use online or in a store (or both), and some cards are mailed to you in the form of a "real" plastic card. I recently picked out a Home Depot gift card worth $100 for $89.22, applied a discount code from RetailMeNot ($5.00 off), and paid for it with my credit card. The gift card arrived electronically in seconds and I used it a few minutes later to buy some tools.

I don't know about you but I'll trade $84.22 for $100 any day. See below.

Raise screenshot

The discounts at Raise vary but in many cases they're 10% or more. I use Raise to buy gift cards for myself, since I know which stores I go to over and over, and I end up saving a nice bit of change. It's as if everything's on sale! Put another way, it's like I got a raise. Hey, I think I understand the name of the website now. Took a while.

You can also "raise" some cash (heh heh) by selling your unwanted gift cards to Raise. No, you're not going to get face value. But that might be OK if the card you have isn't something you're interested in (or, maybe you got a gift card, bought something with it, and now there's a balance on the card but you don't imagine buying anything else from that store). You set the price, and you get paid when the card sells.

Raise will send you email alerts when gift cards matching your specifications become available. If you're looking for a gift card for a particular store, at a particular discount, the alerts are very handy.


4.

Searchdome logo

Searchdome automates ebay searches. I've written about SearchDome before but it's worth mentioning again, especially since it recently helped me find something I'd been wanting to give to my nephew for his 21st birthday. Rather than go to ebay over and over to search for a particular item I simply told Searchdome what I was looking for, and what my price was, and eventually they sent me an email saying "We found it!" Minutes later I'd purchased one of these on a "Buy it Now!" kind of auction:

Sfgiants sandwich press

The neat thing is, I'd set up this search with SearchDome months ago and actually had given up hope. Eventually, though, the item did come up on ebay, and right away Searchdome notified me. In case you wondered: yes, the nephew loved it, and in case you can't tell from the picture, this thing makes toasted cheese sandwiches with the San Francisco Giants logo burned into the bread.

Searchdome is free unless you want to run a search more frequently than every hour. Hard to imagine needing that, but the option's there if you need it.


Give these sites a try. In my opinion, they are the very best. (If you know of a better money-saving shopping website please let me know so I can check it out and tell everyone else.)

Still have questions? Email me. But first, join the mailing list. People on the mailing list go to the front of the line.

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iOS 8 Tip #8: Make and Answer Phone Calls From Your iPad

Eight for 8: An iOS 8 Tip a Day, 8 Days in a Row (Day Eight)

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Eight for 8 logo day 8 eight ball

Eight for 8, Day Eight.

I make a point of turning off my iPhone's ringer when I am in someone else's office or home. Occasionally I forget to do it, and when a call comes in I rush to slide the switch to "mute." That's what happened last week, but when I muted the phone, the ringing didn't stop!

Turns out that the ringing was coming from my iPad. My iPad! The one without any cellular service (aka "the cheap one"). The one that doesn't do anything internet-y without WiFi. The one that most definitely is NOT A PHONE. All of a sudden, without any warning, my iPad thinks it's a phone.

It took me by surprise but once I figured out how it worked, I liked it.

iOS 8 Tip #8: Make and Answer Phone Calls From Your iPad

So how does it work, anyway?

Well, it works like this. If your iPhone and iPad are both on iOS 8, and they both are on the same WiFi network, and they both are signed into the same iCloud account, and they both have "iPhone Cellular Calls" turned on in the Settings, then your iPad is going to ring when someone calls your iPhone. You can answer the call on your iPad and tap the Speaker Phone button and have a little chat, all from your iPad, while your iPhone sits in the charger in another room, or maybe in your purse.

Here's what it looked like on my iPad when my mom called tonight. Repeating: on my iPad. Let that sink in for a minute.

Phone call from Mom, on the iPad

You can also initiate a call from your iPad. The calling is actually done by your iPhone, but from the point of view of the person holding and talking to the iPad, it feels like the iPad does the work. The first time you do this you'll shake your head in wonder. Now you can while away the evening playing "Words with Friends" on your iPad and when a call comes in, you just answer the call right there. I'm telling you, it's absolutely nuts.

I did some experiments here and was able to make and receive calls on my old iPhone 4s (upgraded to iOS 8), even though it no longer has service. It meets the requirements I wrote above-- iOS 8, same WiFi as the (activated) iPhone, signed into the same iCloud account as the (activated) iPhone, iPhone Cellular Calls turned on-- and by golly it's making phone calls again. I am not sure how I am going to put this to use but if I do something cool with it of course I will write it up (and if you're on the mailing list you will be among the first to know about it).

Here's a screenshot from my old iPhone 4s, the one that's been sitting around since being replaced by the 5s. It shows a call coming in.

Phone call on the inactive 4s

Here's what the Settings need to look like-- on your iPhone, and on your iPad-- if you want this to work. (If you turn off FaceTime the iPhone Cellular Calls option goes away.) These are FaceTime settings, so go to Settings/FaceTime on your iPhone and on your iPad and turn those things on, if they aren't on already.

<IMG 0042

When a call comes in, and you answer it on your iPad (or on your old no-service iPhone, or even on a newer iPod Touch), your "real" iPhone will show the green bar across the top, as it does whenever you're making a call. That's showing you that the phone is actually "in use." If you tap that green bar, the call will be transferred smooth as you please to your iPhone, and the iPad will simply let go. (There does not appear to be a way to pass a phone call from your iPhone to your iPad. You can answer the call on the iPad and pick it up later on the iPhone but not the other way around. FYI.)

If this all sounds vaguely familiar it's probably because Apple showed a similar feature for the Mac in June when it demonstrated the upcoming "Yosemite" Mac OS at the World Wide Developers Conference. With Yosemite, you can look up a phone number in your Mac's address book, or click a phone number in an email on your Mac, and your iPhone will make the call... but the sound comes out of the Mac, it uses your Mac's microphone, and you never touch the iPhone. That's exactly what we've got going with our iPad, assuming they're on iOS 8.

And THAT, my friends, is iOS 8 Tip #8: An iOS 8 Tip a Day, 8 Days in a Row. Please consider signing up for our mailing list, and note the links below to the rest of the tips in the series.

Links:

Still have questions? Email me. But first, join the mailing list. People on the mailing list go to the front of the line.

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