We have all heard of iFixit. They have done teardowns of Apple and other products for years. They have also offered various tools, parts and, most important, repair guides on their web site. Recently they released a free iOS App that gives you access to their repair manuals from your iOS device.
I downloaded the App to my iPad Air 2 a few days ago. The App lists repair guides for 15 categories:
- Media Player
- Computer Hardware
- Game Console
- Car and Truck
Under each of these are many subcategories and specific products listed, with various repair guides for each. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of individual repair guides.
If you make DIY repairs, or want to start, this is an ideal way to have a wealth of information at your fingertips.
See more of my iOS articles
On Thursday January 29, 2015 the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) set new standards for the
classification of “broadband”. To qualify as “broadband” a service
provider must provide download speeds of at least 25 megabits per second (Mbps) and upload speeds of at least 3 Mbps. This was done because the FCC felt that the US was not keeping up with available speeds in much of the rest of the world. By the FCC’s estimates, 17% or 55 million Americans do not have access to the newly defined “broadband” capability. Are you one of the few who has “broadband” per the new standard?
There are many sites that you can use to test your connection. One
I used the FCC app on my iPad connected to my home network over Wi-Fi and the results were 7.61Mbps down and 1.44 Mbps up. To verify that the Wi-Fi connection was not limiting my bandwidth, I duplicated the test from my Mac Mini which has a cat 5 hard wired connection to my ATT Uverse router. I visited the SpeedTest URL mentioned above in the Google Chrome browser. That test gave nearly the same results: 7.61 Mbps down and 1.43 Mbps up.
Clearly my home internet connection is FAR from the new “broadband” standard. That hardly surprises me when the US shows up ranked number 26 on a list compiled by OOKLA of countries by network speed (the US is rated at 32.65Mbps, we are tied with Bulgaria). The speeds that I measured actually puts me with the same connectivity as Bangladesh, which is ranked number 112 on the list.
I have used the built in Compass App a couple of time on my iPhone, but recently I came across a feature of that App I was not aware of. The Compass App has a built in level!
If you have iOS 7 or later on your phone, then open the Compass App, then once you see the compass on the display, swipe the screen left. That will bring up a level.
Lay your iPhone flat on a surface and you will see a pair of disks that shows the angle of the surface the iPhone is laying on and the slope of the surface.
If you set your iPhone on edge on a surface, you get a display that is more like you are used to on a bubble level.
This isn’t something that I will use every day, but it adds one more feature to my iPhone.
See my other iOS articles
I have recenly begun picking up my 6th grade granddaughter from school and occasionally helping her with her homework. Working with her made me notice an announcement a few days ago that Khan Academy now has an iPad App that allows free viewing of it’s videos.
What is Khan Academy? As Wikipedia says:
Khan Academy is a non-profit educational organization created in 2006 by educator Salman Khan to provide “a free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere”. The organization produces micro lectures in the form of YouTube videos. In addition to micro lectures, the organization’s website features practice exercises and tools for educators. All resources are available for free to anyone around the world.
In the past few days the free Khan Academy iPad App has become available with access to over 150,000 exercises. I downloaded the App to my iPad and watched one of the videos yesterday (6th grade Algebra on inequalities). I think the video was well done and will be of value to my granddaughter or other students. There are many videos in each grade level to choose from including math, science, history and art.
I plan to watch some of the history videos as that is a subject I am interested in and had far too little of in school. If you are wanting to supplement formal K-12 education, or you are interested in learning just for the sake of learning, Khan Academy is a great place to start.
See my other iOS and Continuing Education (CE) articles
I have been an avid user of Evernote now for several years. What is Evernote?
Evernote is a way to collect and organize notes, ideas, web articles, handwritten notes, photos, and much more. Best of all it is cross platform – Mac OS X, iOS, Windows and Android. Evernote has a Free, as well as a Premium ($5/month) and Business ($10/month) plan. I have been using the Free plan thus far and I have been very satisfied with it.
Evernote allows you to set up Notebooks, then add notes to those notebooks. The Notes can be Notes created within Evernote, photos or clippings from web pages. I have the Evernote Web Clipper installed in Safari (it is also available for Firefox and Chrome). That gives me a button added to the Safari header which allows me to clip (anything from just the URL to the entire Web page) from web pages that I visit. This is a great way to collect information for later use. I save recipes, technical articles, and just sites that I am interested in.
I have a separate Notebook for each of the topic areas that I am writing about so that articles I find can be saved for later use. The great thing is that everything I save while I am on my Mac Mini is also available on my iPad and iPhone.
One of my Notebooks is just for Books and Reading. I have a Note there that lists all of the books that I own and that I have read. That makes it easier on the rare occasion that I go into a used book store. I can easily look up what I have and have not read by an author. I have also seen books at the brick and mortar stores that I am interested in, but want the eBook. So I just use the camera within the iOS Evernote App to take a picture of the book cover with my iPhone and save it to my Book Notebook. That way I have all the information I need for later to try and find the eBook.
All in all I find this to be one of the most essential apps whether for OS X or iOS.
I came across this article on how to use templates to make Evernote even more productive. If you use Evernote, these are good ideas.
See my other Mac OS X and iOS articles
I came across the app Neato today and gave it a try. This app installs into Notification Center as a notepad. This is the first widget I have added to my iPhone since updating to iOS 8.1. I have played with this app a little now and I think it will be useful. I often go for walks and listen to podcasts. This little app will let me jot down anything that I hear and want to remember – no longer will I have to remember pen and paper. It is also useful to make notes at anytime regardless of what else you are doing on your iPhone.
A further advantage is that Neato integrates with Evernote and Dropbox (both of which I consider essential applications to iOS and OS X devices), allowing notes to be sent to either of those for later use. You can also send tweets, emails or text messages from the App. The app is currently free on the App Store and I highly recommend it.
See all of my iOS posts
Being able to print from my iPhone or iPad is something that I have needed for some time. Unfortunately my printer is no AirPrint compatible. Fortunately there is a third-party solution – Printer Pro. This app is $4.99, but seems to be worth it as I was able to set up my iPhone to print to the printer attached to my Mac Mini in just a few minutes.
Also, they have a free app – Printer Pro Lite – which you can download and use to test with before committing for the $4.99. Once you have proven to yourself that you will be able to print from your iOS device, then you can upgrade to the paid version of the app. Unfortunately, the Lite version is only good for verifying operation and not actually printing.
This is not a new product, but I finally took the plunge and installed on my iPhone. I should have done that a long time ago as it would have saved me time in the past. Unfortunately the current version will only work on iOS 6 or later so I cannot install it on my first generation iPad. However I am going to encourage my wife to install it on her iPad which is compatible.