Tuesday, September 17th, 2013
Tomorrow, September 18, Apple is releasing iOS 7, a major software upgrade for iPhones and iPads that promises to be a visual departure from what you’ve grown accustomed to seeing on the screen. It promises a new look, all-new features for better multitasking, and built in iCloud connectivity. But before you upgrade your mobile device to take a look at these exciting new changes, is your device ready? To make sure that you don’t encounter any problems, prepare your device by doing these six things before putting the new operating system on your iPhone or iPad.
1. Check compatibility. Newer devices such as iPhone 4, 4s, and 5, iPad 2, 3, and 4, iPad Mini, and fifth generation iPod Touches are iOS 7 compatible. If your Apple mobile devices is compatible, then you’ll want to keep reading.
2. Take some time to delete apps you no longer use. Not only will you regain some storage but you’ll also have fewer apps to update in subsequent steps if you take a few minutes and clean up your app collection.
3. Connect your mobile device to your computer and make sure you have a strong wifi signal.
4. Update all of your apps. Find the App Store icon on your device. If there is a number inside a red and white circle, you have apps that need to be updated. Tap on Updates in the bottom right of your screen and then on the top right, tap Update All to automatically update all of your apps to the most recent version.
5. Back up your data. Go to Settings -> iCloud -> Storage & Backup and check at the bottom of the screen for when the Last Backup was performed. If the backup is not current, verify that your iCloud Backup is turned on and tap Back Up Now. If your backup is too large to fit on iCloud, you can reduce the backup size by deleting unnecessary videos and photos. Some users may prefer to backup the device to a computer with iTunes which is perfectly acceptable too.
6. Don’t upgrade the iOS on your device until you’re ready. There’s no hurry to upgrade but when you’re ready, make sure you’ve performed all the steps above. Then initiate the upgrade by going to Settings- > General -> Software Update on your device. After the update has completed and your apps have been restored, go back to App Store -> Updates and tap Update All.
If you have trouble upgrading to iOS 7, here are some helpful resources that can assist you until you can get to the Genius Bar for some hands-on help:
Businesswoman work with documents and tablet computer like ipade, lies alongside gadget like iphones via Shutterstock
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Wednesday, December 26th, 2012
Chances are if your family unwrapped a new device over the holidays, you’ve already spent some time setting it up before relinquishing control but is that gadget really child-friendly? Chances are that just taking the new gaming system, tablet, e-Reader, smartphone, or laptop out of the box and charging it isn’t quite enough. Once the conversation about screen time and when it is and isn’t ok to be playing on these new devices has occurred with your kids, parents should run down this checklist to ensure that the new technology that has come into their homes over the holidays is ready.
New laptop? Your child probably knows to not share their passwords, click on suspicious content, or use the camera to chat with strangers but it never hurts to remind them while also installing antivirus protection and internet security tools. Antivirus and internet security software works to scan the computer to prevent harmful viruses that often work to harvest personal data. Both types of software can be downloaded online for free from companies such as AVG who provide protection for PCs. If you purchase software, please be aware that software licenses expire after their term and need to be renewed to continue your protection.
New Xbox, WiiU, PlayStation Vita, PS3, or other gaming system? It’s going to be hard to wrestle away the controllers to check parental controls while your kids are awake but it’s a necessary step. Often times the default settings of gaming systems are overly general. It’s worth logging in and creating a parent account. Xbox allows parents to set up different profiles for kids where games are restricted based on Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) game ratings. It’s also important to know who your child is playing games with. Since many gaming systems allow for players to connect across the internet, they could be playing their favorite game with their friends or complete strangers. Have some conversations about safe gaming and if you need tips, the Get Game Smart website provides useful information for families.
New iPad? The wealth of educational apps available for an iPad makes it a highly coveted and engaging device for kids of all ages but be sure to purchase a sturdy case that will protect it on all sides. The magnetic covers available through Apple are slim and convenient but parents should look for a case that fully wraps the edges from bumps, nicks, and scratches. Take some time to look at the iPad settings to determine what features you want disabled when your kids are playing apps. There has been a lot of chatter about the kinds of information app manufacturers may be collecting about kids as they use apps so be sure to go into each app and manually set restrictions if needed so you’re not providing too much information about your family unknowingly.
New smartphone? Talk to your kids about who is going to pay for text and data overages for their new cell phone. A new smartphone is exciting and chances are that one of the first things a new user will do is text or share the news of their device via social networks with friends. Unless you’ve gotten your child the pricey unlimited data plan, it’s important to have a conversation about exactly how many texts can be sent and how often they should be using the data plan to access online content with their phone. Understanding data plans is tricky especially since no one really thinks about how many megabytes (MB) or gigabytes (GB) of data are being used to send or read email, stream music, view websites, post photos to social networks, or watch video content online. The Citizen’s Utility Board provides this handy Guide to Cell Phone Data Plans and breaks down what a megabyte and gigabyte are along with how much data is needed. My advice is to start conservatively when it comes to a data plan. It’s often easier to upgrade rather than downgrade your plan.
New Kindle Fire? These robust digital products are so much more than eReaders. Since Kindle Fire and Kindle Fire HD are highly functional tablets that can also be used to read books, enable Kindle Free Time. Kindle Free Time grants unlimited reading but restricts daily screen time, prevents kids from accessing certain categories such as videos and games, disable web browsing, and the ability to purchase content. It’s also reassuring to look over at a child with their Kindle and know that the Free Time feature is working when the background of the screen is blue, rather than the usual black.
Vector black electronic devices icons set on gray via Shutterstock
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antivirus software, eReader, gaming system, iPad, Kindle Fire HD, laptop, online safety, screen time limits, smartphone, tablet | Categories:
Mobile Phone, Must Read, Tech Savvy Parents