A fairly regular occurrence when you do a lot of driving; you find something during your drive that should be reported (roadkill, accidents, debris, etc.). If you are on a rural road, the GPS coordinates would be ideal. But, since you are a sensible person you don’t want to take your hands off the steering wheel to fiddle with your phone.
I have a solution for iOS phones (mostly – it still will require one touch of the screen).
The solution is to use Siri and ask the question “Where am I?”
Now unfortunately, Siri doesn’t store this information, and once your screen turns off it will disappear. However, if you touch the map, the information will be transferred to the maps app. The maps app will hold the information until you are ready to deal with it.
Now when you can pull over you can use either the option to Share My Location or Mark My Location.
Selecting Share My Location brings up your share sheet.
You can also pull the panel a little higher up over the map, for more information. Like the GPS coordinates or contact options.
You can use the Mark My Location to do exactly that on the map. A red pin will display on the map, and the option to Edit the location appears.
If you choose to edit the location, a satellite view of the location opens, and you can drag and drop the pin.
Marked locations remain in the map app for later reference.
Some days, your biggest enemy is yourself. Have you ever hit that “Dismiss All” button, or accidentally dismissed a reminder you wanted to keep?
Here’s how to find that reminder, so that you can reset it.
Use the search, but instead of searching by topic, type in modified:<date>
Use the date when you accidentally dismissed those reminders (causing the modification). Your view will automatically switch into the Search Tools view. If you have multiple calendars you want to search (as I do) make sure the All Calendar Items button is pressed.
It will show you all the reminders you’ve modified.
In fact, you don’t need to be too precise about dates. Here’s an example, where only the name of the month was typed in.
You can then reopen the item and reset the reminder.
I have a Social Media project on the go (waves at https://twitter.com/librarytrustees) that is going to involve tweeting sections of existing documents.
I really hate counting characters. So I decided it was time to make myself a tool for the job.
You can see above what I have; the selected area of the original document is highlighted in varying colours, corresponding to the resulting text broken up into tweets. Additionally, I have inserted my chosen hashtag and a count of the sequence of tweets.
The length of the tweets and the Hashtag are entered in a dialog box when the Tweet Cruncher runs. This information is saved with the document, for consistency with subsequent tweets. The Tweets are not exactly the tweet length; I’ve added a bit of code to “round off” each tweet to whole words. The hashtag and sequence count are additional to the length.
And realistically, there will still be editing for content and meaning. Nevertheless, this tool should save me a ton of counting and get the project going faster.
Dim IntSelection As Integer
Dim IntPostNumb As Integer
Dim IntPostCount As Integer
Dim IntCharCount As Integer
Dim IntTweetLength As Integer
Dim rngSelectedRange As Word.Range
Dim strPostText As String
Dim intColourPick As Integer
Dim docNewDoc As Word.Document
Dim docWorkingDoc As Word.Document
Dim strPropertyName As String
Dim strHashTag As String
Dim blnWord As Boolean
Dim intActualLength As Integer
Dim arrColourOptions As Variant
arrColourOptions = Array(wdBrightGreen, wdPink, wdTurquoise, wdYellow)
Set docWorkingDoc = ActiveDocument
strPropertyName = "HashTag"
strHashTag = frmStartCrunchingTweets.txtHashTag
docWorkingDoc.CustomDocumentProperties(strPropertyName) = strHashTag
IntTweetLength = frmStartCrunchingTweets.txtTweetLength
Set rngSelectedRange = Selection.Range
MsgBox rngSelectedRange.Characters.Count & " characters are selected. Including Paragraph Marks"
IntSelection = rngSelectedRange.Characters.Count
IntPostNumb = IntSelection / IntTweetLength
IntCharCount = 1
Set docNewDoc = ActiveDocument
For IntPostCount = 1 To IntPostNumb
Selection.MoveRight unit:=wdCharacter, Count:=IntTweetLength - 1, Extend:=wdExtend
If (Right(Selection.Text, 1) <> " ") Then blnWord = True ' extend to word
If (Right(Selection.Text, 1) <> ".") Then blnWord = True
If (Right(Selection.Text, 1) <> "?") Then blnWord = True
If (Right(Selection.Text, 1) <> vbCr) Then blnWord = True
If (Right(Selection.Text, 1) <> "!") Then blnWord = True
If blnWord = True Then
Selection.MoveRight unit:=wdWord, Count:=1, Extend:=wdExtend
intActualLength = Selection.Characters.Count
intActualLength = IntTweetLength
blnWord = False
strPostText = Selection.Text & frmStartCrunchingTweets.txtHashTag & " " & IntPostCount & "/" & IntPostNumb
'get rid of any hard returns
strPostText = Replace(strPostText, vbCr, " ")
Selection.TypeText (strPostText) & vbCr
intColourPick = IntPostCount - (4 * Int(IntPostCount \ 4)) 'note this is why no base 1 option for array here, also \ means different than / (truncation function)
Selection.Range.HighlightColorIndex = arrColourOptions(intColourPick)
IntCharCount = IntCharCount + intActualLength
On Error Resume Next
rngSelectedRange.Characters(IntCharCount).Select '(errors on final character of selection)
If you are using an iPhone or iPad and your vision is compromised (or, ahem if you are over 50), you might find these options useful. With every version of iOS the accessibility options have improved and expanded.
The following is the sequence of steps I follow when setting up an iOS device for someone with vision issues; as always your mileage may vary, but even if you only catch yourself squinting at your phone from time to time – give these options a try.
Change your Wallpaper to Black
It is cool to have nifty images on your phone screen, but if you are having trouble reading the labels for your folders, then it may be time to use a black background. You may also want to do this for your lock screen so that notifications and buttons stand out more.
The easiest method is to take a black photograph and use it as your background. Set your device on a table, block the light and take a photo (you may need to turn off your flash first). Use this photo for your background by going to Settings>Wallpaper> Choose a New Wallpaperand selecting your new photo from the Camera Roll.
Choose the Setoption and then select the Set Home Screenoption
Improve Your View
Next go to Settings> General> Accessibilityand select the following options:
Larger Text, you can start by using the slider to set your preferred text size or you make things even BIGGER by turning on Larger Accessibility Sizesand using the slider again. This comes with a couple of caveats. 1) Text is not affected everywhere on the device – tho Apple is clearly working to change this, and third party apps are (slowly) coming around. 2) Sometimes, you can have too much of a good thing and have text that throws off the formatting or wraps weirdly or overlaps illegibly. Again, these problems are gradually being worked on as apps are updated.
Bold Text– turning this option on will require a reboot of your device, because EVERYTHING has to be redrawn. But this will make the typeface used far more readable.
Button Shapes– turning on button shapes will make them easier to find. Now, if they were only used more consistently throughout the OS, that would be awesome.
Increase Contrastand turn on Reduce Transparencyand Darken Colors. This should also help text stand out more.
On/OffLabelsadd the | 0 symbols to your toggles, and I say why not!
Use your Home button to Zoom IN
While you are still in Settings> General> Accessibility, move down to Accessibility Shortcut. Here you can customize the action of the Home button when your triple-click it. Choose Zoom
You’ll need to fine-tune Zoom’s behaviour, by going to Settings> General> Accessibility > Zoom
Don’t worry about turning Zoom on here, that is what your triple-click will do. Instead:
Turn on Follow Focusand Smart Typing.
You may choose to Show Controller, but I find there is a balance between clutter and helpfulness, for me this clutters the screen too much.
Select Zoom Regionand choose Window Zoom.
Play with the Maximum Zoom Levelslider, you’ll probably adjust this more later.
To turn the zoom window on triple-click your home button and the zoom window will appear, outlined in black with a small tab handle at the bottom.
This is a toggle, so a second triple click turns the zoom window off. And what is really great, is that you can interact with the screen through the window. Click on links and type in dialog boxes whatever you need to do. This window is not just for viewing!
Customize the Zoom Window
By touching the tab handle shape at the bottom of the zoom window, a customization menu opens up.
Through it you can:
Zoom Out(turn off window)
Change to Full Screen Zoom
which will allow you to resize the Zoom Window with the handles provided.
Choose Filter, which will set a colour filter on the Zoom Window
Change Magnification using the slider, which uses the setting from the Maximum Zoom Level, you set earlier.
Add a Magnifier to the Home Button
The new magnifier option isn’t for your screen, but rather for all the small print articles you need to read. From menus in dark restaurants to the label on a pill bottle, if you have your phone you can read it. Go to Settings> General> Accessibility > Magnifier
Turn on the Magnifierand Auto-Brightness.
Now when you triple-click your Home button, an Accessibility Shortcutsmenu will pop up. Tap the action you want to perform.
I just came across a new free photo site called https://unsplash.com/ if you are creating visuals for your library’s social media feed, they have great pictures of books and people reading. Perfect for combining pictures and quotes. I was inspired by the picture below:
So I headed off to the internet to find a quote that I thought was perfect for these random stacks of books.
Google Maps has added a feature called Pit Stops to its Android and iOS apps.
Pit Stops allow you to add, well, pit stops to a planned route. Once the stop is added; the navigation route updates itself and the length of time the trip will take. Of course, how long you spend at a stop will also impact your trip length, but Google wisely declines to make estimates of that.
To use the Pit Stop feature, you have to enter navigation mode:
Once in Navigation mode the Pit Stop icon appears as a magnifying glass:
Pressing the Pit Stops button gives you a list of preconfigured searches; Gas stations, Restaurants, Grocery stores and Coffee shops. But there is also a search button for your own custom searching.
If I search for say; Tim Hortons coffee shops along my route, the search will return the coffee shops closest to my planned route, giving an estimate of the amount of time that will be added to my travels.
Select the location of the Pit Stop you want to go to and a confirmation window will open at the bottom of your screen. At this point you can choose to Add Stop or Cancel, which is useful if you were only checking out possible stops along the way.
Exiting Navigation at this point allows you to see the updated time for your journey. Android users are apparently able to add up to 10 Pit Stops to their routes, currently iOS users can only have one.
If you attempt to add a new Pit Stop, you will only see the option to replace the current stop, not add a new one.
The other challenge for iOS users, is that Pit Stops can only be scheduled during navigation, which means your current location is always factored in. Which can lead to some wacky route planning.
Nevertheless, a really useful feature and, once the iOS version catches up with the Android implementation it will be excellent on both platforms.