Category — Tips
The dictation feature in the new iPad has some subtle tricks. Specifically, if you speak the names of common punctuation marks, it inserts the mark. For example, if you say, “I am me comma and you are you period” the dictation feature types, “I am me, and you are you.”
Similarly, saying “new line” inserts a line break, and “new paragraph” inserts a new paragraph.
But, suppose you say, “I think our business needs a new line of credit.” Dictation will type, “I think our business needs
credit.” Obviously, this is not what you want.
After some experimenting, I found that if I pause for a second after speaking these special terms (e.g., “I think our business needs a new line *pause* of credit” or “You should insert a comma *pause* here”), the dictation feature treats the special term as plain speech.
Naturally, your mileage may vary.
March 19, 2012 Comments Off
I love the new iPad’s Dictation function. It works great, especially when you speak into the iPad’s mic, which is at the top of the iPad when you hold it in portrait orientation with the Home button at the bottom. Unfortunately, when you tap the on-screen keyboard’s Dictation key, the very attractive pulsing microphone appears at the bottom of the screen. Why is that unfortunate? It may be because using the iPad is such an immersive experience, but I usually find myself talking to the glowing, pulsing onscreen mic instead of the real one.
So here’s my tip: If you find yourself talking to the animated mic, unlock the iPad’s rotation and swivel it 180 degrees so the Home button is on top. Then, when you talk into the virtual mic, you’ll also be talking to the one that can actually hear you.
March 18, 2012 Comments Off
I love that I can compose a shot on my iPhone or an iPad with a camera, then use the Up button on the volume control on the side to trigger the shutter, but what I love best of all is the new iOS 5.1 feature that allows me to quickly take a photo from the lock screen.
And slide up:
Now take your shot.
March 13, 2012 Comments Off
I like Apple’s $29.99 iPad Camera Connection Kit. It turns your iPad into a convenient place to sort and store photos from a digital camera. For example, suppose you are on vacation. You can offload each day’s “keepers” from your camera to your iPad and clear up room on the camera’s memory card for the next day. Later, when you get home, you can connect your iPad to your computer and import the keepers that you saved into your preferred photo app, such as iPhoto.
It’s three simple steps:
- Take pictures with your digital camera.
- Transfer keepers to iPad.
- Copy pictures from iPad to computer.
Now, though, iCloud’s Photo Stream makes the Camera Kit even more convenient. With iCloud, as soon as you transfer your photos to your iPad, they go right into your Photo Stream. From there they are sent automatically to iCloud’s servers when your iPad has an Internet connection and, from there, they automatically download to your computer.
It’s two simple steps:
- Take pictures with your digital camera.
- Transfer keepers to Photo Stream via iPad.
There is no Step 3.
October 24, 2011 Comments Off
Amazon and OverDrive have begun rolling out a joint service that provides Kindle books to public library patrons. The service is integrated into the OverDrive-managed interface that over 11,000 community libraries already use to present a library’s ebook, PDF, and audiobook holdings to their patrons; when patrons browse a library’s digital collection, Kindle books now appear as one of the available download options. (This is not to say that every book has a Kindle version, of course: which books are available in which formats depends on the library’s contract with OverDrive.)
To check out Kindle library books, library users need an account at a public library that provides the OverDrive ebook service. On an iPad, a user goes to the library’s ebook Web site in Safari (in my case, for example, I go to the Santa Monica Public Library’s page at ebook.smpl.org). The browsing and checkout process is similar to that described in our 99¢ ebook, Borrow library ebooks on your iPad, until the user actually gets to the book download page. Then, instead of clicking the Download button that appears for EPUB books, one clicks a Get for Kindle button. This opens the Amazon site in Safari, and, once the user signs in, the site presents the same interface shown when a Kindle book is purchased: the user chooses the Kindle, or other Kindle-compatible device, to which the book is sent.
To return a book to the library, or to download it to additional Kindle devices or apps, one uses the Manage My Kindle page on Amazon’s site. The available management options for public library books includes a return option in addition to the other options.
Given the well-known drawbacks of the OverDrive Media Console EPUB reader, the addition of Kindle books to a public library’s ebook holdings means that iPad users can now use the much friendlier free iPad Kindle app instead.
September 21, 2011 4 Comments
It’s my turn to be a guest blogger at Peachpit. I’m doing “5 Tips in 5 Days,” about the iPad.
July 21, 2011 Comments Off
My co-writer Dennis R. Cohen is blogging about the iPad over at Peachpit:
5 iPad 2 Tips in 5 Days: Tip 1 – Watch Out for the Camera Lens
5 iPad 2 Tips in 5 Days: Tip 2 – Clear Out Background Processes
5 iPad 2 Tips in 5 Days: Tip 3 – Video Is a Space Hog
5 iPad 2 Tips in 5 Days: Tip 4 – Be a VJ
5 iPad 2 Tips in 5 Days: Tip 5 – Print without an HP Printer
May 6, 2011 Comments Off
Just for the heck of it, and because I was curious, I wanted to see how long my iPad’s battery would last if I were using it just to read some locally stored Web pages and ebooks in iBooks, Stanza, and eReader.
So I turned off the Wi-Fi and set the brightness just to the left of the middle and started reading.
My fully-charged iPad managed just a shade over 22 hours before it shut itself off. I was astonished.
Apple’s technical specs say that the iPad battery should last “Up to 10 hours of surfing the web on Wi-Fi, watching video, or listening to music.” I note that this ZD net article on iPad battery life cites pleased comments from Pogue and Mossberg and others about the iPad exceeding battery expectations.
I should mention that this is only the second time I’ve ever run my iPad’s battery down all the way, which, by the way, is not what Apple recommends in this iPad battery tech note:
For proper reporting of the battery’s state of charge, be sure to go through at least one charge cycle per month (charging the battery to 100% and then completely running it down).
January 23, 2011 Comments Off
I thought it would be simple. It turned out to be simple, but not intuitive.
Here’s how you do it: locate a PDF on your computer and drag it onto the iTunes 9.2 application or the iTunes window’s sidebar. The next time you connect your iPad, the PDF shows up under the Books syncing tab.
So, yes, very simple.
By “not intuitive,” however, I mean that I had to fumble around for quite a while before I had success getting a PDF onto my bookshelf. In fact, the successful method was the third method I tried.
First, I thought that any digital book already in my iTunes music library would be available automagically. I mean, why not? iTunes certainly knows that a digital book purchased from the iTunes store is a PDF, right? It actually says that it’s a “PDF document” right in iTunes. Not so. Any digital books in your music library stay right there: iBooks knows them not. [Side note: I even made a playlist in iTunes that contained only digital books, hoping to sync that playlist to the iPad. However, that playlist didn't even appear under the Music syncing tab in iTunes. D'oh!]
I also tried dragging a PDF I dug up in the Finder into the File Sharing area under the Apps syncing tab. No luck. iBooks doesn’t appear there as an app that understands file sharing.
At last, in some desperation, I dragged the PDF onto the iTunes window’s sidebar. Finally, success.
So, if you want PDFs to appear in iBooks, you have to drop the PDFs directly onto iTunes from the Finder (or from Windows Explorer if that’s the way you roll).
As for the digital books in my iTunes library? They don’t appear in the iBooks collection even if I drag them from their location in my computer’s file system onto iTunes! Really. I don’t know why.
Silly? You betcha!
[Update: You can get the digital books from iTunes albums onto the bookshelf if you first remove the books from your iTunes music library: right-click a digital book in your music library and delete it. Let iTunes put it in the Trash. Then drag it out of the Trash to somewhere else on your computer and then drop the file back onto the iTunes window sidebar or the iTunes application. iTunes then adds it to the Books collection. It's like driving from Boston to Cambridge by way of Saskatoon.]
[Another update: There's an easier way to get digital books from the music library onto the bookshelf. Get Info on the book, click Options, and change the Media Type from Music (!) to Book. The book is listed in the Books collection once you do that, and can be synced to the iPad (or iPhone).]
June 21, 2010 3 Comments