Blog: iPhone

As iPhone models have advanced, Apple has been changing the process for resetting (rebooting) iPhones. Up until the 6s model it was a matter of pressing and holding the power button and the home button, at the same time, until the phone screen turned off and the Apple logo appeared.
With the iPhone 7 you would press and hold the Volume Down button and the Power button and wait for the screen to turn off and the Apple logo to appear.
Beginning with the iPhone8, the process has changed to a sequence. Press and release Volume Up then Volume Down then press and hold the Power button until the Apple logo appears.
Knowing how things have changed is important because now, should you resort to the old "press and hold" technique, the results are much different. I learned this when I was attempting to reset my new phone. I pressed and held a volume button and the power button and as I waited I noticed an emergency call (911) was being initiated. Fortunately the screen shows a countdown and you can release the buttons without calling 911.
During the same "how do I reset my phone" episode, I pressed the power button rapidly several times (at least five times). I learned this also (by default, although it can be disabled) starts an emergency call. Since the call was in progress I stayed on until the call was answered and I explained the call was an accident. (I didn't get in trouble.) Should you accidentally call 911, don't hang up. Emergency service dispatchers must treat every call as an emergency. If you hang up, it takes time and resources as they have to call you back and if they can't reach you may send out the police to check on you.  
By the way. If you initiate the Emergency SOS feature TouchID or FaceID is disabled and you will need to enter your passcode to unlock your phone. This feature keeps a malicious person from access to your phone by pointing the phone at your face or placing your finger on the reader.
This is an example of "version freeze." Many (most) users may never realize software and device enhancements as we continue to do things out of habit. Usually based on the version we first learned. 


If you're frustrated with trying to edit text on your mobile device and placing the cursor in the correct location, try this:
  • Press and hold the space bar on the virtual keyboard
  • When the keyboard goes blank (on iOS), drag the cursor where you want to edit then release
  • This also works in all directions so you can move the cursor up and down, or left/right. You don't have to stay in the area of the virtual keyboard.


Do you have an iPhone, iPad, or iPod with broken buttons? Do you want an alternate way of accessing features without using the buttons? Go to Settings, General, Accessibility, AssistiveTouch, and Set to On [more]

“AssistiveTouch allows you to use your iPhone if you have difficulty touching the screen or if you require an adaptive accessory.”

Turning on AssistiveTouch gives you a circle “button” on your screen that you can use to complete functions that real buttons would perform. You can move the circle around on your screen if you need to access that part of the screen for some other items.  

You can use AssistiveTouch to lock the screen (circle “button”, Device icon, and Lock screen icon), set mute, change volume, and other items. If it is your lock screen button that does not work, you can use AssistiveTouch to take a screen capture pic. Start by pressing the circle “button”, then Device icon, then press and hold normal Home button, and finally press the Lock Screen icon on AssistiveTouch. Also, you can use AssistiveTouch to do a power off by pressing the circle “button”, Device icon, and press and hold the Lock Screen icon until the “slide to power off” message appears.


After upgrading an iPhone and iPad to IOS 8, the iPad may “ring” every time a phone call is received on the iPhone for same id user account that is used on the iPad.  There is a setting in the FaceTime app that can be used to enable or disable this feature.  Go to Settings, FaceTime and turn on or off the “iPhone Cellular Calls”.  The description of feature “iPhone Cellular Calls” is “Use you iPhone cellular connection to make and receive calls when your iPhone is nearby and on Wi-Fi.”


After carrying an iPhone for about 4 years, I recently made the leap to Android…with some trepidation. My iPhones had always worked with few hiccups.

The reason for the switch, you ask?

First, Apple hasn’t gotten a clue yet that their iPhone screen size compares poorly to many Android smartphones.

Secondly, I hate iTunes. I’d never had an Apple product of any kind until my first iPhone. And, with it, the necessary installation of iTunes. Most of my 4,000 song music library are WMA files ripped from my own CDs. iTunes doesn’t play WMA files but it will gladly convert them to MP3 files and, in so doing, create duplicate files on your hard drive. Since my music library already consumed almost 20GBs of HD space, duplicate music files are not insignificant. But, wasted HD space wasn’t the worst of the process. In the conversion, the metadata on many of the files did not convert correctly...album info, artist info, etc. was fouled up and album art was, too. I don’t know how many hours I wasted trying to clean up the mess – when everything was perfect in Windows Media Player before. And, of course, Windows Media Player saw the new (duplicate) MP3 files and added them to the WMP library. Lovely. And, iTunes invariably charges more for music than Amazon. And, you get their stupid proprietary music file format. And, you better hope you have a backup because, according to many friends, you’re out of luck if your HD dies. Did I say I HATE iTunes?

Lastly, it has always gotten under my skin that Apple refuses to include memory card slots in their devices. Forcing you to spend $100 for an incremental increase in storage capacity. Shameful!

Well, I bought the Samsung Galaxy Note 2. I could go on and on about the ginormous screen and cool S Pen. The quad core processor and 2 GBs of RAM make for a blazing fast response. But, you can read all about it here:

As to the reasons for my conversion:

  1. The aforementioned 5.5” HD Super AMOLED display is massive compared to my old iPhone 4 (and even the only slightly larger iPhone 5)
  2. No more iTunes. I copied my music library by dragging and dropping it into the Music folder on my Note 2, which is recognized on my Windows 7 system with a cheap, non-proprietary USB cable. Boom…done!
  3. I doubled the phone’s 16GB memory capacity with a $10 microSD card.

I did lose 2 apps (of dozens) in the process: A disc golf scorecard app and the T. Rowe Price app. Every other app on my iPhone was available in the Google Play store. I haven’t even gone looking in the other Android stores.

Don’t be afraid to free yourself from the Apple shackles! Life is good on the other side.


Recently I ran into a problem where I couldn't remove songs and podcasts from my iPhone.  iTunes showed the songs should be deleted but they remained on the phone and wouldn't delete.  After some research I found out how to remove them directly from the phone.

From a song or podcast list, swipe to the right on the item you want to delete, and a red delete button should appear. [more]


There are various chargers for the iPad, iPhone and iPod. They will ALL work, but chosing the wrong charger will result in extended re-charge times.  The iPad should use a 10W power brick, the iPhone and iPod a 5W power brick. Unfortunately, some of the power bricks that look identical are 5W and some are 10W.  You can read the wattage on the 10W power bricks right on the unit, but the information is light grey on white and hard to read. It will NOT damage any device by using the wrong wattage power recharger, but it will be slower if the recharger does not output the correct wattage( e.g. 10W for iPad, 5W for iPhone and iPod).

Remember that the USB port on a computer typically puts out 2.5 watts. [more]

See the complete analysis at:


I was troubleshooting something on my phone a while back and through the process, I had realized that I should flush the DNS cache on my phone. The problem was, however, I had no idea how to go about doing that. Of course, I could just reboot the phone and be done with it, but that took time and if I had to do it multiple times, it quickly became impractical. Instead, I stumbled upon a much simpler solution: put the phone in airplane mode. This completely disables all network connectivity until you drop out of airplane mode again and has the natural side effect of flushing the DNS cache of the phone.


iPhone screen captures:  If you want to capture the iPhone screen, hold down the power/lock button on the top of the phone, then press the “menu” button. The screen will flash white and the screen capture will be added to the Camera Roll.  Earlier incarnations of this feature said you need to hold down the menu button then press the power/lock button. This sequence does not work on the newer 4 and 4s models.


Read Articles without Clutter:  There is a new “Reader” button on Safari, under IOS 5 (ipads, iphones), that allows you to read the web page textual data without the surrounding clutter (advertisements).  This button is located in the url window as shown below.  There is similar functionality for other browsers supplied by Readability: [more]