Apple Does It Again!

I feel like a kid in front of a candy store.

The rumors about Apple’s big product announcement were correct.

There is a new iPhone and an all-new AppleWatch, but the details are absolutely amazing to this geeky gal.

Here are some of my favorite new features and capabilities with Apple’s new products.

iPhone 6 and 6 Plus

Two models that are bigger and thinner than the recent iPhone 5s, which had a 4-inch diagonal display. The iPhone 6 is 4.7 inches and the 6 Plus is 5.5 inches. There are a lot of technical advancements which improve speed, battery life and image resolution, but the new built-in camera sounds especially promising.

They can be preordered beginning September 12 and begin shipping September 19.

iOS 8

Apple’s new operating system will work on the new iPhone 6’s, iPhone 5’s, iPhone 4s and iPad 2 and newer. It introduces the ability to send voice messages as text messages (goodbye voice mail!), family sharing for iTunes purchases, enhanced iCloud and photo sharing, and a new health app that keeps your health information at your fingertips.

iOS 8 will be available for downloading September 17.

ApplePay

This is my second favorite announcement and Apple’s solution to carrying a wallet full of credit cards. 

It will change how we pay for items in stores and online.

The way it works is that when you are ready to check out at a store, you will wave your compatible Apple device in front of an electronic reader, securely touch your device and you’re done!

No more digging out credit cards, signing slips, losing cards, reactivating cards, etc. It is truly amazing and touted as extremely secure.

Apple will not be keeping your credit card information. They will be linking you directly to your bank, and will not be collecting data about you, what you bought, what you paid or where you bought it.

They already have agreements with the major credit cards, banks, Macy’s, Staples, Subway, Walgreens, McDonald’s, Whole Foods and more.

ApplePay will work with the new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus and my favorite new product announcement – the AppleWatch.

AppleWatch

It is not a small phone attached to your wrist.

It’s a beautiful combination of personal technology, style and taste.

Yes, it can do many iPhone-type tasks like phone calls, text or voice messaging, email and calendar functions, which is kind of nice to not have to pull out your phone all the time.

A new technology called Digital Touch will alert you with a tap to the wrist for all kinds of notifications. The health activity monitoring tracks calories burned, exercise goals and even how much you are standing versus sitting.

The AppleWatch face will come in two sizes for small or large arms with six different metal finishes and a multitude of interchangeable watchbands.

It is scheduled for release in early 2015.

To see pictures and videos of these new products, spend some time clicking around at apple.com.

It’s a testament to technology that delights.

Can Your iPhone Keep You Unforgettable?

It’s difficult to remember all the ways your smart phone, in my case an iPhone, can help you remember little things with a quick voice command. Each time you do remember to use it, pat yourself on the back.

It’s a great feeling when you apply technology as a tool to save time, solve a problem, or be more productive.

I just had a pat-myself-on-the-back moment the other day.

Upon returning from a week’s vacation, I was faced with a mountain of laundry. In our household, drying times vary depending on the items and I invariably need to check the dryer periodically to pull a shirt here, some shorts there.

It’s the “periodically” that gets me every time. I tell myself that I’ll come back in “x” minutes and then I forget!

As I berated myself for letting certain pieces get too dry, I had a revelation! It’s so simple that I’m almost embarrassed to tell you, but maybe you too have had laundry amnesia and would like to know.

When you load your dryer, tell your phone “Remind me to check the dryer in five minutes.” Or, you can tell it “Set the timer for 5 minutes.” 

We’re all busy with overloaded brains.

Think of all the ways you can let your phone keep you on track. Whenever you begin a thought with “I need to remember….”, tell Siri to remind you. Use it for staying on schedule, cooking, and remembering errands. You can even set up recurring reminders like “Remind me to call my mother every Sunday at 5 pm.”

There are two requirements for this to work, though:

  1. You have to keep your phone with you.
  2. Your notification sound needs to be loud enough for you to hear.

On the iPhone, you can change the alert sound for Reminders in the Notification Center settings. The Timer sound is set up directly through the iPhone’s Clock app.

Here’s how to set up your sounds for Reminders and the Timer.

First, check your Siri settings

  • Touch Settings>General>Siri.
  • Siri should be ON (green).
  • Touch General>Settings in the top left.
  • Press the Home button.

Change Notification Sounds

  • Touch Settings>Notification Center.
  • Scroll down and touch the Reminders.
  • Under ALERT STYLE touch Alerts.
  • Badge App Icon can be on or off, depending on whether you use that feature.
  • Touch Reminder Alerts and select a sound you can hear well.
  • Show in Notification Center can be on or off, depending on whether you use that feature.
  • Show on Lock Screen should be ON (green).
  • Touch Back>Settings in the top left.
  • Press the Home button.

Change Timer sounds

  • Touch the Clock app.
  • Touch Timer in the bottom left.
  • Touch When Timer Ends and select a sound you can hear well.
  • Touch Set in the top right.
  • Press the Home button.