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Entries in tips (6)

Thursday
Apr122012

Dealing with App Failure

It happens to all of us, eventually:  an iPad app you're using freezes up, or it takes too long to respond.  Although Apple's mantra "it just works" is true most of the time, sometimes things just don't work.  Fortunately, there are a couple of pretty easy ways to deal with apps gone wild.

Option #1: Quitting an App.  The first (and easiest) thing to try is simply stopping the app that's giving you problems.  First, pull up your task bar by going to your home screen, then pressing the home button twice.  Just press down on the misbehaving app until it starts jiggling, then press the red minus sign in the upper left. Confirm that you want to close the app, and poof!  It's gone.  Now try to restart the app.  In most cases, this will solve the problem.

Option #2: Reinstalling the App.  In those cases where it doesn't work, reinstalling the app is the next thing to try.  To do that, press down on the app icon (not on the task bar, in the regular place where it lives).  Then press the black x in the upper left corner.  Confirm that you want to delete the app, and it will be removed from your iPad.

(Warning:  some apps store data in them, and if you delete them you might lose all the data contained in the app.  Before deleting an app, make sure the data is backed up somewhere else, or that you don't need any data in the app.)

Next, go to the App Store and press Purchased, to see those apps you already own.  At the top of that screen, make sure Not On This iPad is pressed, so you can see a list of those apps that aren't currently installed on the device.  Navigate to the app you just deleted, and press the cloud icon to the right of it.  After you enter your iTunes credentials the app will be reinstalled.

Option #3:  Reboot! If this doesn't solve the problem, or your issue is much worse than a single app, then rebooting the iPad might do the trick.   You've probably done this before:  just press and hold on the sleep/wake button for three second, and slide the button on the screen to power it off.  Once it turns off, press the sleep/wake button again, and it will turn back on.

Sometimes this doesn't work - the iPad is so frozen up that pressing the sleep/wake button has no effect.  If that's the case, the press and hold the sleep/wake button and the home button at the same time for 10 seconds.  This will perform a "hard reset" on your iPad, which is basically the same as a reboot.

The Nuclear Option. If all else fails, you may need to wipe the device and start over.  There are two ways to do this, depending on whether you're using Apple's iCloud service.

First, make sure your iPad is backed up.  You may be using the iCloud service to back up your iPad, or still using iTunes.  Either way, do a backup (if your iPad is in crisis, I hope you did a backup recently!).  Then take a deep breath and head to Settings, then General, then Reset.  Press Erase All Content and Settings.  This will return your iPad to its original factory settings, without any of your content on it.  The iPad is basically a new device for you now, and starts with a Welcome screen; after you choose your preferred language and agreeing to the Legal Terms, you'll get a screen that gives you three options:

  • Set up as a New iPad
  • Restore from iCloud Backup
  • Restore from iTunes Backup

If you're using iCloud, select that option.  You must be connected to a wireless network for this to work, and you'll be prompted to select a nearby network.  You'll be prompted to sign into your iCloud account, and you'll then select the backup you want to restore.  iCloud will then restore all of your settings, and reinstall all of your apps.  If you have music or videos on your iPad you didn't get from the iTunes store, you may need to transfer them manually from their source. 

If you're using iTunes, then you'll be prompted to plug your iPad into your computer.  iTunes will then perform essentially the same restore as iCloud, and you'll be prompted to select the right backup to restore.  The process is the same, and at the end you'll have a fully restored iPad.

Tuesday
Oct252011

Checking Available Storage on your iPad

If you want to see how much space your apps, pictures, videos, and the like are taking up on your iPad, you can always plug it in and navigate over to the device in iTunes.  But if you're lazy, or nowhere near your computer, checking the available space on your iPad is a snap.  Here's how to do it:

First, head to Settings.  Then choose the General tab, and press About.  You'll get a breakdown of the number of songs, videos, photos, and applications on your iPad, as well as the capacity and space available.

If you are interested in seeing what apps are taking up the most space, press Usage instead of About, and you'll get this view:

As you can see, games take up the biggest space on my iPad....:-)

Tuesday
Aug232011

iPhone Tip - Automatically Dial an Extension

Today I'm going to cover an iPhone tip - you iPad users will have to pardon my digression, because this is a pretty nifty tip:  automatically configuring your iPhone to dial an extension.  The magic comes by inserting a "pause" during the dialing process, which your iPhone permits.  Here's how to do it.

Go into the contact you'd like to edit, or create a new contact.  

In the phone number area, enter the main number of the contact. Then press the +*# button, and pause will appear where the number 4 usually sits.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Each time you press pause, the iPhone inserts a comma - the more commas, the longer the pause between the time the call is answered and the time that the extension is dialed.  Enter as many commas as you think are needed.

Then add the extension.  Press Done.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now when you go back to your contact, you'll see the phone number like this, to let you know that the iPhone will directly dial the extension the next time you need to call that number.

Thursday
Jul282011

60 Apps Webcast - Answers to Attendee Questions

We had a great time presenting 60 iPhone and iPad Apps for Lawyers yesterday - the speakers offered some great apps, and we had an audience with lots of terrific questions.  We didn't have time to answer any questions during the webcast, so we all decided to post all of the answers to attendee questions online.  So here goes:

Question #1
From K.M. in Charlestown, W.V.
We are attempting to use Dropbox to save exhibits (PDF documents) in the Deponent App.  I would like to be able to have my paralegal put the exhibits into MY Dropbox account so that I can later move them into deponent app and attach them to a deposition outline.  However, my paralegal has her own Dropbox app already saved to her desktop computer and has been unable to move documents from our server onto MY Dropbox account. Is there a way to have two Dropbox accounts on my paralegal's desktop?  Or, is there a way to drop documents into Dropbox without having it on your desktop?

Answer:  You don’t need to have two separate Dropbox accounts - because you both have accounts, transferring documents is simple.  You can share any folder in your Dropbox with any other Dropbox user - to do this, just highlight the folder you want to share, right-click on it, and select Dropbox and then Share this Folder.  Type in the email address of your paralegal, and she will now have access to that folder.  You can also share folders via the web version of Dropbox, by clicking the drop-down menu next to the folder you want to share.  Once you are sharing folders, your paralegal can easily move the PDF files into the shared folder, and you can then load them into Deponent.

Question #2
From: J.H. in Baltimore, MD.
After looking at the materials, I purchased Black's Dictionary. It is uploaded into my Dropbox as a zip file, but my IPad cannot open it. How can I open it? Thanks Janet

Answer:  Did you purchase the file in your Dropbox using iTunes?  If so, just sync your iPad with that computer and the file will transfer over.  Or just go to the App Store on your iPad and tap the App Store button to download the app; as long as you are signed in with the same account that you used on iTunes, the App Store will recognize that you have paid for the app in the past and let you download it again to another device for free.  Typically, iPhone and iPad apps do not come in Zip files, so it is possible that you have purchased and downloaded a different version.  If this is the case, you will need to go to the App Store and purchase the iOS version.

Question #3
From: F.P. in Alexandria, LA.
Keynote will output to a projector - have to have physical connector, right?

Answer:  To do this today, you need to purchase Apple’s VGA Adaptor, which costs $29 in the Apple Store. In some apps the output mode remains hidden until you plug it in to the projector. But in the next version of the iOS operating system (iOS 5, which we will probably see in September), you will be able to use the AirPlay feature to display virtually anything on your iPad 2’s screen -- including your Keynote slides -- on any TV that has an Apple TV ($99) attached.  The Apple TV is a very small device so you can easily take it with you to your next meeting, hook it up to a TV, and then display your slides without connecting your iPhone or iPad to the TV.  Note, however, that the Apple TV requires an HDMI or Component input, so if you only have access to a projector with VGA input, you’ll need to use a physical connection.

Question #4
Question From: W.P. in Washington, D.C.
I am sure you have also had exposure to iPhone/Pad apps that are also found on the Android system. So in your opinion, what are the best 3 apps for us Android users to snag?

Answer:  Many popular iPhone apps also exist for other platforms.  For example, Documents to Go will work on BlackBerry, Android, Palm OS, Symbian (S60) and Nokia (Maemo Select).  Having said that, because Apple’s App Store is so popular -- and so profitable for developers -- you often see apps appear first for the iPhone / iPad, and only later for other platforms.  A notable exception:  the great apps from Google.  Because Google is behind the Android system, the Android version of apps (such as Google Voice and Google Translate, which we discussed yesterday) often appear first on Android and have more features on Android.

Question #5
Question From: M.C. in Philadelphia, PA
Any Apps for checking court dockets?

Answer:  Not currently, to our knowledge, but some court dockets and online and can be accessed using Safari on the iPhone or iPad.

Question #6
Question From: A.S. in Miami, FL
Are there any mail apps that allow you to access the .pst or exchange outlook folders so you can organize emails from your device as you review them? If not, do you know of plans in iOS5 to make this feature available?

Answer:  If you use your computer to create an Outlook folder that is on the server, it should also appear on your iPhone or iPad if you sync with your company’s Exchange server.  To access those folders, just tap the “Mailboxes” or “Inbox” button at the top of the screen to see all other online Exchange folders associated with your account.  If you create a local folder using Outlook on your computer, that folder is only on your computer and cannot be accessed by the iPhone or iPad.  Further, your iPhone and iPad does not currently permit the type of management you describe; if you want to organize your emails, you will need to do that within Outlook itself.

Question #7
Question From: P.C. in Verona, NY
My office has Outlook with exchange server, so I cannot access my office e-mails, calendar and contacts directly on the iPad mail feature. We have to use Good Technologies to access our e-mail, calendar and contacts. It is cumbersome because we never know if I have an e-mail unless we log into Good to check. Is there a better program which integrates Outlook into the iPad’s existing e-mail function?

Answer:  The iPhone and iPad can indeed work with an Exchange server, but only if your firm turns on that feature.  Some companies are more security conscious and require the use of third party products with extra security to access e-mail, such as Good Technologies or Citrix.  Unfortunately, this limits the usefulness of your iOS device because, for example, third party apps that integrate with the built-in Mail app will not work with your e-mail.  Each company needs to weigh the advantages and tradeoffs -- increased security vs. decreased usability. The Apple iPhone Configuration Utility can be engaged to find a happy medium to satisfy your reluctant IT staff.

Question #8
Question From: S.M. in Scottsdale, AZ
Does Atomic Browser allow you to access Flash websites?

Answer:  No, but there are other, third-party web browsers for the iPhone and iPad that allow you to use Flash to a limited extent.  For example, Skyfire will let you view some Flash videos on your iPhone or iPad.  In general, though, Flash websites do not display very well on the iPhone or iPad.  Fortunately, many companies realize this and provide an iOS-friendly version of their website when access with an iPhone or iPad.

Question #9
Question From: D.B. in Winter Park, FL
Do I need to install antispyware and antivirus software on my iPhone? If I log on to my Lexis and/or Westlaw or email account, do i need to worry about spyware? Thanks, DPB
 
Answer:  The short answer is No.  Because of the way Apple manages approval of apps, the risk that viruses or malware exists within individual apps is very small.  Currently, the most likely way to catch a virus on your i-device is through browsing to sites on the Internet that host such malware.  LexisNexis and Westlaw are both reputable services, and you should be able to access those sites without concern.  Although it is possible that you can be exposed to malware on other websites, we recommend that instead of purchasing or using security software, exercise the same good judgment you use when browsing the Internet on your desktop or laptop, and don’t click on any suspicious links.  

Question #10
Question From: T.F. in Hallowell, ME
What was the name of the Apple i-reader app you recommended?

Answer:  iBooks.  Although Apple promotes the iBooks app as a way to purchase and read books on your iPad or iPhone (similar to Amazon’s Kindle app), iBooks also does a good job of reading PDF files. In fact, it is currently the fastest PDF viewer on the iPhone.  On the iPad, it is nice to have a full-featured app that you can use to annotate a PDF file, but if you just want to view a PDF file quickly on the iPhone, iBooks is a great (and free) option.

Question #11
Question From: M.G. in Atlanta, GA
 
My firm does not use Citrix.  We do everything via VMWare.  Is there a compatible app with Visual Machines that allows the user to access their office desktop on their iPhone/iPad?

Answer:  Yes.  The app is called VMWare View and it is free.  We haven’t tried it, but the reviews on the App Store are positive.

Question #12
Question From: D.V. in Indianapolis, IN
Penultimate -- what can you use besides your finger to type?

Answer:  For any of the iPad apps that allow you to draw on your iPad -- yesterday, we discussed Penultimate, Note Taker HD and Notes Plus -- the apps work much better if you use a stylus to write on your iPad screen.  There are many different brands available such as the Kensington Virtuoso (with or without a real pen), the BoxWave Capacitive Styra (with pen) and Stylus (without pen), and the Ten One Design Pogo Sketch Stylus.  If you go to the iPhone J.D. website and do a search at the top right for “stylus” you will find lots of reviews pointing out the advantages and shortcomings of each.

If you prefer to type rather than write, there are a number of keyboards that work great with the iPad, using the device’s Bluetooth connection.  Apple’s wireless keyboard ($69) is a good alternative, and there are number of great cases that come with a keyboard installed.  One example is the Logitech Keyboard Case ($99), an aluminum case.

I'll be posting a list of all the apps mentioned during the webcast in an upcoming post - stay tuned.
Wednesday
Jun012011

Handling Zip Files on the iPad

We all receive zip files from time to time in email, usually when someone needs to send us a lot of documents all at once.  While it's a pretty easy process to unzip these folders when we receive them on our computer, but the iPad does not have an automatic way to do this.  Fortunately, my go-to app GoodReader ($4.99, download in iTunes) can handle zip files just fine.  Here's how to do it.

 

  • In the email, press on the zip file and then select Open in GoodReader.  GoodReader will open, and the file will be available in My Documents.

  • There are two ways to open the zip file:
    • Press on the zip file itself.  A message Unzip this file? will pop up - press Yes.  The file is automatically unzipped.
    • Press Manage Files, then select the zip file and press Unzip.  The result will the same.

That's all there is to it!  From now on you'll have access to all of the documents that were stored in that zip file.