Explore Monday Productivity Pointers at lynda.com.
One of my favorite Siri features is the ability to have a reminder pop up when you arrive at or leave a specific location. You can simply tell Siri, “Remind me when I get to my mom’s house to ask her about the party invitation.” The next time you drive up to your parents’ house, a reminder will pop up on your screen as soon as you pull into the driveway.
Using this as a starting point, you can easily extend its use to local businesses that you frequent. You can have a reminder with your grocery list pop up when you arrive at your favorite market. You can be reminded to grab that gift certificate from the glove box when pulling up to a restaurant, or sync up your Evernote account before stepping into a client’s office. The possibilities are endless.
Explore Monday Productivity Pointers at lynda.com.
This week on Monday Productivity Pointers, we’ll take a look at the iOS 7 update, and some of the handy new features it brings to Apple devices. iOS 7 represents a big step forward for iPhones and iPads, complete with a fresh new “flat design” user interface, and over 200 new features across almost every functional area of your device. If you’re still undecided about updating your Apple mobile devices, this week’s Pointer is right up your alley. I’ll focus on the most helpful new features and key workflow changes in iOS 7 so you can be productive right away.
It’s a scenario no one wants to think about—but it happens all the time: You lose your iPhone or it gets stolen. What do you do? Fortunately, a native iOS app called Find My iPhone can help you track its location as soon as you realize it’s missing.
This morning, Microsoft made a long-awaited announcement: Office Mobile for the iPhone is now available on the App Store, allowing Office 365 subscribers to view and edit Word, Powerpoint, and Excel documents directly on their iPhones. As long as your documents are synced with a Microsoft SkyDrive or SharePoint account, you can now work with those files anywhere. All of your changes are tagged with your name and you can even leave in-line comments, which is fantastic for collaborating with teams on your documents.
Although Office Mobile has been out for a while on Windows Phone, iPhone users can now get in on the Office 365 action as well. Take a look at these two movies to get going with Office Mobile and if you’re not already up-to-date on Office 365, we also recommend watching David Rivers’ “Up and Running with Office 365” course to get current with the new features and functionality of Office 365.
It’s no secret that computer engagement is going mobile, with access via mobile devices predicted to surpass desktop computers in the next two years. So for this week’s collection of featured videos, I’ve chosen five free movies that focus on the theme of mobility, whether it be creating a WordPress site that behaves properly on mobile devices, learning to use your mobile phone or tablet more productively, or learning to develop your own mobile applications.
1. Customizing WordPress for smartphones and tablets
In this video from chapter nine of the WordPress Essential Training course, Morten Rand-Hendrickson shows you how to use built-in responsive themes and useful plug-ins to ensure that your content is presented in a usable form, regardless of screen size. The main takeaway? With a bit of appropriate planning, you can greatly improve your overall user experience by saving your viewers from the pain of having to zoom or scroll to view your carefully constructed content.
2. Accessing Evernote on a mobile device
Evernote is a great application for organizing and accessing your electronic notes, links, and other bits of critical information. (Admission: I use Evernote to collect interesting free movies from the lynda.com library that I want to use in my featured five blog posts.) In this movie from chapter one of Up and Running with Evernote for Mac, David Rivers shows you how to get Evernote set up so that you can add notes via your mobile device. If you’re primarily working in a Windows environment, there’s an analogous movie in chapter one of David’s Up and Running with Evernote for Windows course, as well.
3. Using the iPhone and iPod Touch Maps app
Admittedly, using the iPhone (or iPod Touch) Maps application is a fairly straightforward proposition, but in this excerpt from chapter nine ofiPhone and iPod touch iOS 5 Essential Training, Garrick Chow shares some insights into using the compass feature that I always found confusing. Not only can the Maps app help you discover what is around you, and how to get there, it can also help you orient yourself by showing you which direction you are facing in your current location. After all, it’s always good to start out heading in the right direction!
4. Identifying the four pillars of iOS development
For the developer types who have already figured out how to use their mobile devices, going mobile is more about focusing on the creation of mobile applications. As with any metaphorical or physical journey, it’s always good to have a scope of where you will start, where you will end, and how you will get there. In this excerpt from chapter one ofiOS SDK Essential Training (2012), Simon Allardice shows you how to approach your iPhone application development, and elaborates on why tools, language, design, and process are the four pillars—or, the four important areas of content—that you need to have all together in order to build the applications that you want to make.
5. Exploring the lynda.com mobile site
Finally, a lynda.com collection of mobile tutorials wouldn’t be complete without a look at how you can take the lynda.com library with you wherever you go via your own mobile device. In this movie from chapter one of the How to Use lynda.com course, Garrick Chow demonstrates the features and functionality of our new mobile site, so you can get to learning wherever you are:
We’d love to know more about how you are using your mobile devices, and how mobile technology is changing the way you work, and play. Which activities have gone mobile in your computing life? Are there some jobs that still feel best done at your desk? Tell us a little about your relationship with your mobile devices in the comments section below.
Published by Jim Heid | Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012
Perhaps you’ve heard the saying “the best camera is the one that’s with you.”
For millions of people, that camera is an Apple iPhone. The iPhone’s popularity has led to a flood of photography-related apps and a thriving community of iPhone photographers who meet up in person and share photos using the wildly popular Instagram site.
When we set out to do a course on iPhone photography, it was obvious that we needed to cover shooting tips and cool photo apps, but we also wanted to celebrate the iPhone photography community. We wanted to show the fun and mutual inspiration that comes from sharing visual stories with other people. We wanted to capture the spirit of communal creativity that happens when photographers get together and interact.
Our opportunity came last October, when the world’s first iPhone photography conference took place in San Francisco. We attended the conference and shot video of the sessions and then enjoyed shooting a morning photo walk through San Francisco’s Mission District. We even used the iPhone 4S to shoot some of the photo walk video.
Shooting with Richard Koci Hernandez during the 1197 Conference photo walk. Photo Credit: Jim Heid
After the conference, we hit the road with author and multimedia photojournalist Richard Koci Hernandez. We tagged along as he went shooting on the streets of Los Angeles, and then we returned to the studio, where he shared tips for his favorite photography apps as well as insights on the art of visual storytelling.
We think the course reflects the creative excitement surrounding the world of iPhone photography. It was a fun course to work on, and we hope you’ll find it a fun course to watch.
Published by Jim Heid | Monday, October 31st, 2011
Street photography captures people at their most unguarded. There’s no posing, no preparation, and no encouragement involving the word “cheese.” Just point and shoot—often without even breaking stride.
Street photography is an honorable photographic genre that counts among its practitioners such legends as Henri Cartier-Bresson and Pedro Meyer. It’s a genre I’ve experimented with when traveling precisely because of its candid quality: If part of what makes a place is its people, then capturing unposed photos of those people is a critical part of documenting the essence of a place.
In Le Marais, Paris. Photo: Jim Heid
But street photography is also potentially controversial, and we’ve noticed a lot of blog and Twitter chatter about it lately. Part of the controversy deals with privacy: does a photographer have a legal right to photograph someone without his or her permission? The general guideline, at least in the United States, is yes, provided that the subject is in a public place where there isn’t an expectation of privacy, such as a sidewalk, a park, or a street.
Another part of the controversy deals with what I’ll charitably call bad manners. Some street photographers employ a paparazzi shooting style that involves putting their cameras uncomfortably close to a stranger’s face—sometimes even hiding around corners or behind phone booths before doing so.
Besides being rude, this style of street photography destroys exactly what the genre does best: capturing people at a moment when being photographed is the last thing on their minds. Look at some paparazzi-style street shots, and you’ll see photos of people who are startled, annoyed, or hamming it up for the camera. In all three cases, the candid, unguarded moment is lost.
Since we shot that documentary, Koci has embraced Apple’s iPhone as a tool for street photography. A couple of weeks ago, he led photo walks through San Francisco and discussed iPhone photography at the 1197 conference in San Francisco. As one of the sponsors of the event, lynda.com was there shooting video for an iPhone photography course.
With the release of the iOS 4.2 update in November, one of the most valuable features of MobileMe was made available for free to all iPhone 4, iPad, and iPod Touch (4th generation) users. The Find My iPhone feature allows you to track the location of a lost or stolen iOS device. If you’ve lost your iPhone, iPad, or iPod, you can use this tool to locate, lock, and even erase your missing device if necessary. Plus, you no longer have to sign up for the MobileMe service to get this tool. The only catch is that you have to do a little bit of setup before you lose your device.
We think Find My iPhone is so valuable that we decided to release this movie from iPhone and iPod Touch Essential Training for free. In this movie, author Garrick Chow will show you how to get everything set up so that you will be protected next time you lose your precious device (though we can’t guarantee the police will send out the choppers). Garrick will also show you a handy trick for getting Find My iPhone set up on older iOS devices.
Want to learn more tips and tricks for your iPhone, including new features from the iOS 4.2 update? Be sure to check out the rest of iPhone and iPod Touch Essential Training in the lynda.com Online Training Library®.