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iTunes offers Free Learning from World Class Institutions! (Homework Not Required.)


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iTunes U

Free Education via iTunesU

Apple has great products and services- a lot of them, any of which I am more than happy to wax poetic (okay, maybe not poetic!) about at a moment’s notice. Airport express base stations? Let me tell you how easy they are to fix. iPod touch? Can’t live without mine and friends know better than to let me get started going on about it. iBooks store? Samples of every book so I can decide what I want to buy, not to mention the selection of free books! Today though, I’m talking about a frequently overlooked service which I personally believe is the single best thing to ever come out of Cupertino: iTunes U.

You’ve probably noticed it while poking around iTunes on your computer, maybe wondered what it was. But have you actually checked it out? If not, I urge you to right now.
Introduced in 2007, iTunes U has a twofold purpose: incorporating learning materials for classes into a format easily portable on one’s computer or mobile device allowing a great opportunity for the integration of technology into education at any level; and distributing educational materials to iTunes users to learn anything they want, anytime, anywhere.
You might not be able to afford the time or money required for a Harvard or Oxford or Yale education, but with iTunes U, you can take a few of their classes at your convenience, all you need is time, an internet connection, and a computer with iTunes installed or an iPhone, iPod touch or iPad with the iTunes U app installed. It might not get you a degree, but it will definitely get you started on learning just about anything you can imagine.
Learn iOS apps development. A foreign language. Economics, literature, film criticism, world history. These are just a few examples of the topics offered from schools at all levels, around the world.
iTunes U, along with free books on the iBooks store, the apps store, and podcasts are the only services available in all countries where there exists an iTunes store (in other words, it’s more widely available than the iTunes music store!)
So whatever you’re interested in learning about, iTunes U will have something to grab your interest. Next time you’re on your iPhone or computer, why not go and check out iTunes’s quieter, more studious cousin and see what it has to offer you?
Ready to Learn
(all photos are from of Apple.com)
 
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8 iPhone Tips and Tricks Every iOS Device Owner Should Know

Did you just get a new iPhone 5 and want to learn how to utilize it efficiently?  Or have you had your iPhone a while but are interested in some secret tips and tricks to get the most use out of your phone?  Below are ten handy tips and tricks to ensure you’re using your iPhone (running iOS 6) to the fullest.

1. Easy Scrolling

Instead of wasting your time swiping your finger up and down over and over again to reach the top of a webpage you’re reading, top once in the status bar.  The status bar is located where the time and battery life are displayed.  One tap on the status bar will jump you to the top of the webpage, email, article you’re reading.

2. Email Tips

There are many suffixes proceeding the period in an email address, including “.com,” “.org,” and “.net.”  Rather than typing the entire ending out when composing an email, simply hold down the period key to view other address endings.  This also works when you’re typing in websites.  Hold down the period key to see alternate endings to your website.

You can also view your email drafts quickly.  Simply press and hold the Compose Message button, and the iPhone will bring you to a screen that shows all your previously composed drafts.  The Compose Message button is located at the bottom, right-hand corner of your Inbox screen.  It is a box with a pencil in it at a diagonal.  This button will allow you to compose new messages and quickly access your drafts.

3. Keyboard Tips

Tired of switching between the numerical and alphabetical keyboard when composing messages or typing email addresses?  Avoid the hassle of switching keyboards by tapping and holding the “123” key and dragging your finger to the number you’d like to select.  Select the number, lift your finger, and watch your phone revert immediately back to the alphabetical keyboard.

If you’re looking for a more creative way to express yourself when texting, tweeting, emailing, etc., try the new iOS 6 “Emoji” keyboard.  Access this keyboard by going to Settings, General, Keyboard, International Keyboards, Add New Keyboard, Emoji.  Emoji allows you to type with various faces, shapes, pictures, etc.

4. Speed Through Apps

You can switch between open apps by returning to the home screen every time, or you can double tap the Home button.  Double tapping the Home button—the button at the bottom center of the phone, below the screen—brings all apps that are already running to the bottom of the screen.  You can then swipe to the left to scroll through the apps and select the one to which you’d like to switch.

5. Save Battery Life by Closing Running Apps

You can also close running apps that might be open by double tapping the Home button.  Double tap the Home button; then press and hold your finger on an app.  The apps will begin to wiggle, and a red circle with a white horizontal line will appear in the top left corner of every app.  If you hit that red circle, the phone will close the app.  Don’t worry; it won’t delete the app.  It’ll only close the app so it’s not unnecessarily running in the background and wasting precious battery life.  Oftentimes, apps have location services running in them—especially maps—and those location services waste battery life.  Those are especially smart apps to close when not in use.

6. Take a Screen Shot

Ever wanted to capture the screen you’re viewing but never knew how?  Take a simple screen shot.  You can do this by tapping the Home button and the On/Off button simultaneously.  In case you cannot find it, the On/Off button is located on the top, right side of the iPhone.  Tapping the Home and On/Off buttons together will instantly take a picture of whatever you have displayed on the screen and save the photo to your phone.

7. Organize Your Apps

Organize your life by organizing your apps.  You can create folders in which to place your apps.  You can do this by first pressing and holding your finger on an app button.  This will make all the apps wiggle, as if you were closing or deleting them.  Select an app with your finger and drag it atop another app.  This will automatically create a folder in which both apps rest.  When you create the folder, your phone will automatically generate a title for the folder, but you also have the option of personalizing the folder by creating your own name.  You can fit a total of 12 apps in a folder.

8. Read Easier

If the iPhone screen is too small to read, the iPhone offers Safari Reader for most websites.  If Reader is available on a website, a small button that says “Reader” will show up in the URL right next to the website address.  By tapping this button, your phone will take you to a separate screen that allows you to choose between two different text sizes and view the content of the website more clearly.

Now you have a few tips and tricks to keep in your pocket with which you can better use your iPhone.  So make sure your iPhone is updated, and have fun exploring!

 
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How to Create Custom Vibration Patterns in iOS 6 for iPhone


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A great feature in iOS 6 for iPhone is the ability to create custom vibration patterns which users can apply to contacts or phone events (such as Alerts). The process is actually quite simple, and pretty fun for the nerdier people out there. Dave Caolo explains:

For example, assign your custom pattern to important contacts, so you know if you should bother to look at your phone during a meeting or other important activity. Or, get really creative and use a little morse code to spell out your wife’s name, for example, or “GOD NO” if it’s your in-laws.

To set custom vibration patterns, navigate to Settings > Sounds > Ringtons > Vibrations. Scroll to the end of the page and select “Create New Vibration”. Tap the screen to begin and continue tapping when you want a vibration to occur — these are denoted as black dots on the progress bar. Tap “Stop” when you’re done and save your pattern with a custom name.

You can now assign that custom pattern to any contact or event that you want.

 
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Refurbished iPads are Great Deals for Consumers

I have been looking for a used iPad for my kids to share (and to stop the fighting for mine).  I looked on the typical sites like Craigslist and was shocked to see how much money some people are asking for a used iPad 2 or the new iPad.  Talk about a product that retains its value!

Beyond the cost of the device, though, there are a few other issues to think about when considering an iPad purchase from a non-retail environment like Craigslist:

  1. There is no way of knowing if there something wrong with the iPad beforehand.
  2. The owner could have the iPad as a result of theft.
  3. The person could be planning on taking your money without giving you the product, maybe even by force.
  4. The iPad could be a fake.

The above concerns inspired me to check other options. Apple has a section of its online store where users can look at refurbished iPads, which come with a full 1-year warranty from Apple. This started to look interesting considering the cost was very similar to what the people on Craigslist were asking for their used iPads.

I found out that the Apple refurbished units are actually a very good deal, because they could actually be considered better than new. A new unit goes through an assembly line whereas a refurbished iPad will get the dedicated attention of a tech who will look over the whole unit and then fix whatever was wrong. They also install a brand new battery and a new outer shell.

Basically you get a new iPad, remanufactured by a real person, for less money than a new one in a retail store.

If you are looking for a used iPad or a less expensive one, take a look at a refurbished version. For a similar price to a used one that you find on Craigslist or nolongerneedit.com you get a practically new one with warranty.

 
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How to Restrict iOS 6 for Your Children


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I just found a great new feature in iOS 6 (available on the iPhone 5, 4S, 4, and iPod touch).  Effectively, it’s a kid lockout function, called Guided Access, and it works wonders.

That’s right ladies and gents, you can now open up an app and hand it over to someone (your child perhaps) and you don’t have to worry about unwanted in-app purchases or accidental deleting of photos.  As a parent, I can say that this is the function I have been waiting for in iOS.

I have had many photos deleted and settings changed by my toddler and young son, but now that Guided Access is available, there is no way for my kids to do anything except play with the app I have opened for them — as long as they don’t know the passcode that is.

Here is a quick step by step:

Setting up Guided Access ( Kid Lock )

  1. Go to Settings > General > Accessibility.
  2. Tap Guided Access to toggle On (or Off).
  3. Now set a secret code that will be needed to disable Guided Access.
  4. Exit the Settings.

Using the Guided Access (Kid Lock) feature

  1. Open up the app that you want to use.
  2. Once the app is open, triple-click the Home button.
  3. The Guided Access options screen pops up.
  4. You will have multiple options.
  5. “Start” — Start Guided Access (Kid Lock)
  6. “Options” — this is where you can turn the Home button, touch and or motion sensors On or Off.
  7. “Cancel” — to back out of the Guided Access options.

Disabling the Guided Access (Kid Lock) feature

  1. To stop using the Guided Access (Kid Lock) mode, simply triple click the Home button and enter your secret code (Passcode).

And there you have it, a simple solution to allow your kids to play with your iOS 6-enabled device without any unwanted in-app purchases, unauthorized app openings, or settings changes.

 
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