Gadget Guru

I must divulge that I have never read the terms and conditions of signing up for something. I have rarely even paged through an instruction manual of any tech device. For some reason trial and error is more my style.

But some things are never meant to be discovered without a little tutoring. Be it through a manual or a Geek Squad member I realize the power of the professional.

In my case my poor little iPhone was struggling to sync with my computer. Had I looked around enough, Apple’s library of help documents would have set me straight but I, like most people wanted a little hand holding.

So while I was in Boulder I wandered into the Apple store, looking like a lost puppy, and begged for a little iPhone guru advice.

They did help me. I simply needed to uninstall and re-install iTunes but the Apple man did something that caught my eye.

Forgive me if I’m a complete idiot and missed the memo, but did you know your iPhone keeps any application you use “open” in the background even after you leave it? In other words when you hit the Home button to exit an app, the phone actually minimizes the application just like it would on your computer??

Well I didn’t!! No one told me! Maybe the manual would but.. But… Stupid manuals!

So here’s what ya do to “close” an app..

When you hit the Home button twice it brings this up:

I thought this was a “most recently used” bar, so you could conveniently switch to frequented apps. In reality it is all your open or active apps… Shocking I know.

So my iPhone tutor told me at the end of the day you should always close them out and let your phone start fresh the next day. It helps keep it’s stamina…or something 🙂

All you have to do is hold down your finger on one of the open apps and they’ll start doing their closing dance…

Tap those little minus signs and nighty night. Good as new.

I found this thrilling and interesting. Not really… But it’s useful! And I figured if I didn’t know about it, maybe somebody else didn’t. Or maybe I’m alone in my own little world free of manual instructions! Either way my phone is in better spirits!

Did you know this trick? Any other iPhone things I need to know?

How bout any new, awesome apps I need to try??


A Dark Place

Friends… I was in a dark dark place the last few days. It was lonely, I felt isolated and sad. Out of touch with the “real world”.

I didn’t have a cellphone for 5 days.

Five days. 5 days!!!!!! Its hitting you now.. I can see it. The look of horror mixed with pity.

That’s right for 5 days I was a lone soldier facing the world without my iPhone.

It was a dark place guys. I had plugged my phone into the computer and it apparently needed an updated. The update instead sent shock waves through my life… It MADE me, twisted my arm, and snarled “You must ‘restore’ your iPhone”. These words made my blood run cold. Would my phone be ok? Would all of my precious apps remain? Would it be the same?!?!

No. It wouldn’t. The restore kicked my poor little phone off of the Verizon network. Which in Alaska means you’re SOL. We don’t have Verizon up here, and we’re really just piggy backing onto a local cellphone network. So when your iPhone needs life support it has to be overnight-ed (2-nighted in AK) to the trauma center.

Well not really. It just goes to Seattle. But still its traumatic.

So they fixed my phone, linked it up to the towers again and then my brave phone made its way back to me.

So in honor of my sad-lonely-no-phone days here are the apps I can’t live without… well not again at least:

This app is my long lost exercise lover. It is by far the best exercising app I’ve found. This little baby is packed with tons of different options, exercises, challenge levels, and oh by the way IT’S FREE.



Its genius really. The app lets you choose what kind of workout you’re looking for, what level you are fitness wise (beginner, intermediate, or expert), and what time limit. You can even do their Focus workouts to target specific areas. The app will sync up with your iTunes music that’s on your apple device and then direct you/encourage you/kick you butt through the work out. Seriously give this a shot. I really loved having it while on vacation so that I could get quick 30-45min workouts in without evening leaving the hotel.




AllRecipes Dinner Spinner. This thing is magic. Pure dinner/menu planning magic. The app allows you to search gigantic selection of popular recipes. Either by a specific recipe name, ingredient or even nutritional information this app will search for the dinner you’re craving. I’ve used my app to focus a grocery shopping trip, use up whats in my fridge or save recipes I’d like to tackle later. It also allows you to email recipes to friends, which makes for easy swapping after a successful meal. The Dinner Spinner has a free version and then a Pro that is a fee, but I’ve gotten on just find with the cheap-o version.


Finally I love Kayak Flight Status. Another free app that gives me sanity! This app will look up your flight with flight numbers, departure times, airlines and routes. Where this info is key for me is it constantly updates arrival times, gate information and even baggage claim. This is mostly handy for me when I’m doing airport runs to pick up friends, family, visitors, etc. Instead of having to bug them for all the information I can usually figure it out myself, and then I’ll know exactly when they arrive. Definitely takes the guess work out of flying, no more arriving to pick someone up that won’t land for another hour 🙂

Now that I’m back in the era of cellphones, I’m off to call everyone in my phone book and tell them how much I missed the idea that they could call me wherever I was…