The Good and Not So Good about iOS 7

A major upgrade to an operating system such as iOS 7 for the iPhone and iPad will always generate a lot of hype, negativity and excitement. I managed to download the upgrade to my iPhone the first day it was available, but then I promptly became busy with other things and didn’t spend much time looking into the new bells and whistles.

Today I began exploring the changes in my iPhone. My first impression is that there are more new features that I love then new features I don’t like.

What I’m Loving about iOS 7

  1. Automatic updating of apps. This is probably my favorite feature in iOS 7. I despised having to manually open the App Store and update my apps, until now. If you don’t want automatic updates, you can turn the setting off.
  2. Siri can play back voicemail messages over the speaker. This is my second favorite feature! I’ve been using Siri to read my text messages over the speaker to me, and now Siri can play back voicemail!
  3. iTunes radio. This is Apple’s answer to Pandora and similar internet streaming radio apps. Select one of Apple’s own genre radio stations or create your own radio station by telling Apple your favorite artists. It’s free and there are fewer ads than on Pandora.

What I do not like about iOS 7

  1. The background color for the home screen. This is minor, but when I first started using iOS 7, these baby boomer eyes could hardly see the apps on the home screen because the background color was almost the same color as the apps! My first setting change was to darken the home screen background and now it looks great.
  2. Apple changed my default Contacts setting to On My iPhone. I don’t use On My iPhone Contacts because my contacts are synchronized with my Gmail contacts. I quickly changed this back to Gmail Contacts which was my previous setting. Be sure to check your Mail, Contacts, Calendars and Notes settings before you start using your iPhone with iOS 7. These can easily be changed back to your preferences, but you need to know to look for it.

There are too many other changes to list in this article, but I do want you to know that upgrading to iOS 7 has been a good experience for me. I’ve decided to incorporate teaching many of the new features into my October 8th Liberate Your iPhone/iPad class.

For those of you who have already taken that class, I will work on a cheat sheet for you.

Don’t forget to register for either or both my classes (Oct. 8 & 18) ASAP. I am giving a technology presentation for a club tomorrow evening and they may fill up!

Yippee! Getting Your iPhone (or iPad) Ready for iOS 7 – Part 2

In the first part of of this series, I showed you how to begin your iPhone housekeeping with an iCloud and iTunes backup. The following tips will help you finish those housekeeping duties before you download the new operating system iOS 7, which comes out tomorrow. None of the following tips are necessary for upgrading to iOS 7, but just as moving inspires us to clean out our homes and get organized, moving from iOS 6 to iOS 7 inspires me to clean up my iPhone and iPad!

1. Get rid of useless apps on iPhone/iPad and in iTunes

You may have apps you don’t use anymore on your iPhone but you do use them on the iPad. For those apps, you only need to delete them from the iPhone and not from iTunes. To delete an app from your iPhone/iPad, hold your finger on an app icon until it wiggles and then touch the black ‘x’ to delete the app from the device. Press the Home key when you are done.

To delete an app from all of your devices and iTunes, follow my easy-to-follow instructions in my recent article How to Delete iPhone/iPad Apps.

2. Update any apps that need updating

  • Find and touch the App-Store-Icon-with-Updates-36x36 icon on your iPhone/iPad. If there is red circle with a number in the corner of the icon, you have apps that need to be updated. If possible, do this update when you have Wi-Fi instead of using your cellular data plan.
  • Touch Updates on the bottom right.
  • Touch Update All in the upper right.
  • When all of your updates are finished, press the Home key to exit.

3. Organize your apps

Rearrange your apps and group them by most used and/or similarity. My easy-to-follow instructions are here.

4. Clean up your contacts just because it’s a good time to do so

Hopefully, your contacts are synchronized through Gmail or iCloud across all your devices, so deleting or editing once will automatically update all of them!

5. Delete photos from your camera roll

If you are in the habit of taking lots of photos with your iPhone and never deleting them, you are eating up a lot of your storage space! Now is a good time to make certain that the photos you want to keep forever are stored on your computer and delete the ones you no longer want on your iPhone. Remember, you must delete them from Camera Roll, not Photo Stream, to permanently remove them from your iPhone/iPad. For a better understanding of Camera Roll vs. Photo Stream, read my article How to Use Photos (Albums) vs. Photo Stream.

6. Clean up docs from apps on your iPhone/iPad

Whether you are using an app that synchronizes your documents with your computer and the Web like Dropbox, Google Drive and Evernote, or your app just stores documents in your iPhone/iPad, it’s a good time to delete the ones that are no longer needed.

7. Delete old Notes

Similar to documents and photos, we have a tendency to forget to delete old Notes on our iPhone/iPad. To delete a Note, simply open it and press the trashcan to delete. If your Notes are synchronized across your devices, it will delete the Note from them also.

When you are certain that your iPhone/iPad has the apps, photos and information you want, you need to do another iTunes manual backup before you upgrade to iOS 7.  Then do a manual Back Up Now from the iCloud Storage & Backup screen on your iPhone/iPad. The instructions for these backups are in Getting Your iPhone (or iPad) Ready for iOS 7 – Part 1.

Take your time with your iPhone/iPad housekeeping. Make certain you keep what you need and want on your devices. There is no rush to upgrade to iOS 7 on September 18, but of course I can’t wait!

Getting Your iPhone (or iPad) Ready for iOS7 – Part 1

The introduction of two new iPhones and a totally new operating system for the iPhone is always a great time to do some housekeeping with your old iPhone (and iPad). You may not be upgrading to a new iPhone anytime soon, but you will be needing to upgrade your iPhone’s operating system which is called iOS to the new version iOS 7.

Before you begin any iPhone housekeeping, backup your device through iCloud, iTunes or both. That way, if you accidentally delete something important, you can restore your phone to its “pre-cleaned” state.

iCloud backups are the easiest because they happen wirelessly. iCloud backups are stored “in the cloud” on Apple’s iCloud servers. With an iTunes backup, you will need to connect your iPhone to your computer. iTunes backups are saved to a file on your computer.There are reasons for choosing one over the other, and for backing up both ways.

iCloud is wonderful for having your iPhone back up automatically, every day, whenever your device is connected to Wi-Fi, power and is on the Locked screen. If you’re like me, and not in the habit of connecting your iPhone directly to your computer each evening, you can rest assured that your data is getting backed up if you set up automatic iCloud backup. Because iCloud’s free storage plan is 5 GB, it is not a good option for backing up photos and videos if you store more than 1- 2 GB of them in your iPhone. (You can pay for more storage.)

How to set up automatic iCloud backups

On your iPhone/iPad:

  • Touch Settings > iCloud.
  • Scroll down and touch Storage & Backup.
  • Touch Manage Storage.
  • If you have multiple devices listed under Backups, touch the one you are currently using.
  • Under Backup Options, you will see the amount of your iCloud free storage that will be used beside Next Backup Size.
  • Touch Show Apps to see how much data each app is storing.
    • You can select to not backup data on an app by app basis, which I only recommend for advanced users who are backing up certain apps separately.
    • Camera Roll usually takes up the most memory, so you may want to save some of those photos to your computer and delete them from your iPhone/iPad now. Or, if you’ve set up your Photo Stream to automatically save on your computer or PC (and you backup your computer), you can turn off Camera Roll backup.
  • Go back by touching Manage Storage > Storage & Backup in the top left.
  • From the Storage & Backup screen, touch iCloud Backup ON.
  • Touch Backup Now.

iTunes is another way to backup your iPhone and if you regularly connect your phone to the computer, it’s a good method. You can also set up your iPhone to wirelessly backup through iTunes, but it’s a bit more cumbersome for most people. Your iPhone can be set to to only one method for automatic backups: either iCloud or iTunes. I recommend using iCloud for your daily automatic backups and a weekly manual backup through iTunes because it saves the backup on your computer.

How to set up weekly iTunes backups

On your computer:

  • Open iTunes.
  • In the top menu bar:
    • On a MAC: click on iTunes and then Check for Updates…
    • On a PC: click on Help and then Check for Updates…
  • Update iTunes, if your version is not up to date.
  • In the top menu bar:
    • On a MAC: click on iTunes again and then Preferences…
    • On a PC: click on edit and then Preferences…
  • Click on Devices
  • Check the box for Prevent iPods, iPhones and iPads from syncing automatically
  • Click OK.
  • Connect your iPhone to your computer with the iPhone’s USB cable.
  • Click on your iPhone in the left sidebar, under Devices. (If you don’t have a sidebar click on View > Show Sidebar in the top menu.)
  • With the Summary tab selected, look at the Backups box.
    • Under Automatically Back Up, select iCloud if it’s not already selected.
    • **Optional: Select Encrypt iPhone Backup if you want all your account passwords included in the backup. I recommend doing this if you have lots of apps with logins, but you do have to create a password for your backup file. Pick one you will remember!
    • Under Manually Back Up and Restore, click Back Up Now.

  • When the backup is finished, click on the eject symbol beside your iPhone in the left sidebar and disconnect your iPhone from the computer.

If you know how to use Siri, Reminders and Alerts, tell Siri something like this:

“Siri, remind me to backup my iPhone in iTunes every Sunday at 8pm.”

That will help you remember your weekly iTunes backup!

Watch for the rest of my iPhone housekeeping tips soon!

How to Delete iPhone/iPad Apps

If you’ve had an iPhone or iPad for any length of time, you’ve probably accumulated a lot of apps that you no longer want to see in your list in the App Store for updating or in your iTunes account. You can delete an app from your iPhone/iPad by holding your finger on the icon until it wiggles and touching the black ‘x’, but that won’t remove it from your App Store list or iTunes account.

If you go into iTunes on your computer and delete the app from your Library, that won’t remove it from the list on your iPhone/iPad either. Actually you can’t fully delete an app from your iTunes account, whether it was free or you paid money for it. You can do something almost as good, though: you can hide the app through iTunes.

Here’s How You Do It

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