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We post an all new idea every day. If you find an idea you like... do something about it. Make it happen.

Our Latest Posts About: Apps

Unlocking Better Siri

Siri should be able to launch certain Apps without unlocking.


When put on my headphones, the first thing I want to do is tell Siri to play something. So, I can say "Play The Beatles", and it will start playing my music without even taking my iPhone out of it's holster.

The problem is, Siri can't play anything else, such as Pandora, iHeartRadio or Audible, unless you unlock your iPhone first. This is a pain in the neck, especially if your iPhone isn't in your hands. For me, this is a big pain in the neck, especially when I'm out and about, and it may be difficult to access my iPhone.

Apple should give people an option to launch "Safe" Apps like Audible, Pandora, and iHeartRadio because they don't pose any security risks when you launch them from the lock screen.

This wo... [More]

Continue...Unlocking Better Siri...

iPhone Custom White Balance

Why doesn't the iPhone have a Custom White Balance option?


Whenever Apple releases a new iPhone, most of the improvements are related to the camera, because the iPhone is now the most popular camera in the world, yet it lacks one of the most important features that serious photographers need the most, custom white balance.

Custom White Balance isn't a new idea. There is a Custom White Balance feature in almost every camera made by traditional camera makers like Canon, Nikon, and Sony. The question is... why doesn't Apple include this critical feature?

Without a Custom White Balance option, the camera software is forced to guess the color of the light in the room, which isn't very reliable. It's virtually impossible for a camera to know whether it's looking at a slightly y... [More]

Continue...iPhone Custom White Balance...

How To Restore Files Deleted From iCloud

Why is it so hard to restore files you've deleted from your iPhone?


Ever since the first Apple Macintosh computer came out in 1984, it's been super easy to get back files you've deleted. All you need to do is look in the trash can. It was so easy Microsoft followed their lead when they put a Recycling Bin in Windows, but for some reason Apple dropped the ball when it comes to restoring files you've accidentally deleted from iCloud on an iPhone or iPad.

Even though iOS has an iCloud App, there is no functional equivalent of the Trash Can or Recycling Bin in it. The only way to get them back right now is from the iCloud website.

Steps:

1. Log into iCloud.Com, and look for a link at the top that says "iCloud Settings".

2. Scroll all the way to the bottom to find anoth... [More]

Continue...How To Restore Files Deleted From iCloud...

What BUGS Me About Apple's Contacts

Contacts is one of Apple's oldest Apps, but it hasn't been improved in years.


It drives me crazy when I use the Contacts App, and I see multiple versions of the same person. This is the result of merging contacts from Gmail, AOL, and Microsoft Outlook that took place over the years. Because of this, some of my contacts are listed 3 or 4 times with various combinations of information. Some have nothing but an email address, while others have a separate entry for their home, work, and mobile numbers.

It wouldn't be as bad if Apple gave us a quick way to merge contacts together. The best they can do is "Link Contacts", which isn't as useful as it should be. To me, there's no point in linking contacts when the better solution is letting you merge them together. In cases wher... [More]

Continue...What BUGS Me About Apple's Contacts...

How Apple Can Improve the Alarm Clock App

You've got a Smart Phone... Why not a Smart Alarm Clock?


The Alarm Clock is one of the most popular Apps on the iPhone because it's far more flexible than a traditional bedside alarm clock. You can configure multiple alarms for each day with just a few taps, and you never have to worry about losing the time if there's a brownout.

As good as it is, I think it can be improved.

One particular improvement would be to confirm your morning destination, including the time you need to get there, and how long you need to get ready, so it can make adjustments based on the traffic conditions.

This means it can wake you earlier when traffic is heavy, and let you sleep later when it's light.

What Bugs Me About iPhone...

Don't you hate when you can't find one of your iPhone Apps?


I've got a lot of Apps, and I do my best to try to organize them by moving as many as possible into folders organized by genre, and then I spend time trying to move them to other pages, but I still have a hard time finding my Apps.

Even if you take the time to put your Apps into folders, you can only see the first 9 in the folder, so you end up scrolling from page to page, then opening each folder and scrolling through 3 or more pages and you still can't find them.

Why don't they give you a simple option to view them alphabetically?


I'm not suggesting they get rid of the current system which lets you organize your Apps and create folders, I'm simply suggesting a second method to make it easy for those times... [More]

Continue...What Bugs Me About iPhone......

Why doesn't Apple's Photos App let you see or change the MetaData linked to your photos?


Every photo you store on your computer or smartphone has hidden information that includes all sorts of useful information about the photo itself that you can only see using a computer. This includes things like where it was taken, what camera was used to take the photo, and dozens of camera specific settings to tell you things like what your lens settings were and whether you used a flash.

In addition to the information your camera stored, you can also add a variety of other things like titles, descriptions, and dozens of other things using a photo organizing program such as the Mac version of the Photos App.

The great thing about all this "MetaData" is that it lets you search for them... [More]

Continue...iOS Needs an Option To View or Edit Photos MetaData...

Uber.... For Volunteering

Here's another way to use the concept behind Uber for something completely different... and useful.


Yesterday I talked about the idea of using the same technology as Uber for connecting a labor force of people willing to work with people who need work done. It was called Uber For Jobs. Today, I'm suggesting nearly the same thing, connecting people who need work with people with the time, skills and resources to do the job... as an unpaid volunteer.

This is a perfect adaptation of the core principles behind Uber. Anyone with spare time could use the App to let people know they are available for volunteer work, and anyone looking for volunteers could use the App to find people who are available right now to help out.

Uber... For Jobs. Find Day Labor Jobs Nearby

The core idea of Uber can be applied to a lot more than ride sharing.


If you think about it, what makes Uber so powerful is that it taps into a virtually unlimited workforce of people who have spare time and are willing to earn a few bucks by offering a ride. It's such a simple idea, but it changed the way people look at transportation. All a driver needs to do is tell the App they're available right now... which lets potential riders know you're ready.

This made me think of a few other ways Uber can be useful and one of the first things that came to mind was to take their model one step further. Since the core idea is that one group of people are telling the App they're available to hire for a ride, so a second group of people who need a ride can "hire" them to drive them,... [More]

Continue...Uber... For Jobs. Find Day Labor Jobs Nearby...

An Instagram App For iPad

Why the heck doesn't Instagram have an iPad App?


Isn't it pretty strange that Instagram STILL doesn't have an iPad App? Ever since they were taken over by Facebook, they've got tons of resources, so why is it taking them so long to make a REAL App that works on the iPad.

Technically, you can use the iPhone App on the iPad, but that's pretty lame. It's not designed for a larger screen, so everything is distorted. When you think of it, Instagram is a photo sharing site, so doesn't it make sense to give people the best possible way to view their photos?

Apple's Maps App Needs an Intersection Feature

One thing missing from Apple's Maps App is the ability to get directions to an intersection.


One of my favorite features of a traditional GPS device is the ability to locate the intersection of two streets, because I often don't have an exact street address, but I know that it it's near an intersection.

So instead of guessing a number or name of your favorite Italian restaurant, it would be great to just tell the GPS to find the corner of Hylan Blvd and Benton Avenue.

Technically, you can specify an intersection manually, but there should be a specific feature with an icon that asks you for both street names.


This reminds me of other "Hidden" iPhone features, like Shake to Undo that should have a clear... [More]

Continue...Apple's Maps App Needs an Intersection Feature...

How Apple Can Improve The Voice Memos App

The Voice Memos App has great potential, but it's not as useful as a traditional voice recorder.


I've used voice recorders for more than 25 years because it's one of the best ways to take notes on the go. With a simple press of the button, you record your thoughts so that you can play them back when you find the time.

I stopped using a voice recorder when the iPhone came along, but there's one thing that really bugs me about using the built-in Voice Memos App, there's no way to just hit a REAL (External) button to pause and continue your recording. That's a real pain in the neck, because I would love to be able to launch the App, then use the volume buttons, especially on the headset to pause and continue the recording.

While you're recording, the volume buttons are usele... [More]

Continue...How Apple Can Improve The Voice Memos App...

It drives me crazy that I can't read the text in the Reminders App.


I have a hard time reading the text in a lot of Apps, especially the Reminders App, which is funny because I have a 27 inch monitor. You'd think that with a monitor that large, the text would be as large as a house, but for some reason the text is super small, and you can't do a thing about it.

Changing font sizes should be a fundamental feature in any App that uses text, but for some reason the Reminders App still doesn't have an option to do it. This is a real pain in the neck for me, because I use the Reminders App every day to keep track of my ideas.

Siri Should Be Able To Take Voice Memos

I've given up on having Siri take notes and reminders because it never works.


When an idea comes to me, it's important that I record it right away. Most of the time, I don't have paper or pen, so I rely on my iPhone and Apple Watch to do it.

At frist I used Siri to take notes, but more often than not, it would mess up the voice recognition and I'd have to repeat the dictation again and again until it resembled what I asked for. Basically, I said something like "Remind me to get a case for my iPhone", and Siri would say "Okay, your reminder reads... Get a case of ice for home... Shall I create it?". If it got it wrong, I'd start over. It was frustrating, but at least the confirmation let me know when it finally got it right.

Then, for some reason Apple released an "Impro... [More]

Continue...Siri Should Be Able To Take Voice Memos...

The Apple Reminders App Needs a Print Option

Why doesn't the Apple Reminders App have a print option?


The Apple Reminders App is one of the most popular Apps on the iPhone, iPad and Mac, yet it lacks the one of the most fundamental features of every other productivity App... the ability to print your lists.

Fans of David Allen's "Getting Things Done" (GTD) know the importance of a good system to track your notes and to-do lists. The idea of tracking your to-do lists is essential, however not everyone goes about it the same way. Some prefer digital tracking using Apps on computers, tablets and mobile devices, while others prefer a manual paper based system.

Regardless of your method to create your lists, the ability to put those lists on paper should always be an option, especially when you're on the go. For example... [More]

Continue...The Apple Reminders App Needs a Print Option...

I hate the way media is organized on my iPhone.


One of the great things about iOS devices is that they can store many different types of media. The trouble is Apple doesn't do a good job of organizing things.

There are dedicated Apps for Photos, Videos, Podcasts, Books, Magazines and Music. Sounds simple enough, but some media blurs the lines between categories making it hard to pin down.

For example, the Video App has buttons for Movies, TV Shows and Music Videos, but it doesn't have an option to show videos you made yourself, which are located inside the Photos App.

Although it seems to make sense that music videos are located inside the Music App, they really shouldn't be there. They're already in the Videos App, and doesn't make sense for the Music App to include... [More]

Continue...How Media Should Be Organized On Apple Devices (video)...

An Alarm Clock App That Factors In Traffic

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Everyone hates traffic.


Traffic conditions can make or break your morning commute, so why not get a head start on days when traffic is heavy?

One of the great things bout the iPhone is that it often anticipates your daily activities and offers suggestions. If you normally drive to the same place each morning, it will start off your day by telling you how long it will take to get there based on current traffic conditions.

Taken to the next level, if the phone knows how long it will take to get to work, it should also be able to anticipate when you need to get up early to compensate for a traffic jam. Conversely, if traffic is lighter than usual, why not let you get a few extra winks?

Add Text Captions In Apple Photos

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Why can't you add text captions in the Apple Photos App?


It's odd that Apple's Photos App doesn't have a feature that lets you add text captions. It's a great way to turn photos into something fun, like an Internet Meme.

Even if you're not trying to turn your photos into Memes, the ability to add text to a photo is still very useful for adding titles, names, and comments to your photos. For example, a photo of two people standing in front of a car may seem uninteresting on the surface, but adding the caption "Joe's first car" adds an entirely new dimension.

Adding text is a fundamental feature that every serious photo App should have, and for the most part, I've never seen one that lacked this feature. In fact even the oldest graphic programs from the 80s had the ability... [More]

Continue...Add Text Captions In Apple Photos...

Lookalike Finder Site

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A site to find people who look like you!


About a year ago, somebody sent me a photo of somebody that looked just like me. It only took me a second to realize it wasn't me, but for a moment I actually thought it was. That made me realize that at this very moment, there are probably hundreds of people in the world that either look like me right now... or look like an older or younger version of my present self.

If you've used face tagging on Facebook, Google's Picasa, or Apple's Photos apps, chances are you've been amazed by just how accurate face recognition software can be, and by how it will occasionally confuse family members who have similar faces. By taking advantage of this confusion, it would be pretty easy to build a website that allows people to upload photos and hav... [More]

Continue...Lookalike Finder Site...

Facebook Apps For Windows and Mac

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Facebook should have a native App that actually.... works.


Every day, millions of people use Facebook, and a huge percentage of those people are using Apps on mobile devices, instead of through a web browser. The Facebook Android App was downloaded over 1 billion times on the Google Play store alone, and although Apple does't publish download information, the iOS (iPad / iPhone / iPod) version is one of the most popular downloads of all time. Clearly, the App is the preferred way to use Facebook on mobile devices.

Doesn't it make sense for Facebook to release a native App that works on desktop computers too?


Technically, Facebook has an "Official" App in the Windows Store, but it's a complete mess and judging from all the negative reviews, there's no surprise people... [More]

Continue...Facebook Apps For Windows and Mac...

iOS Calculator Tape Display Mode

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Why doesn't the iPhone and iPad calculator have a tape display mode?


The Calculator App has been included in every version of the iPhone and iPad since the first iPhone in 2007. Other than changing the look and color of the buttons, it hasn't had any changes since then.

One of the things I'd really love to see is a Tape Mode option, which would be perfect for when you hold your device in landscape mode. A Tape Mode would work like a traditional desktop adding machine, allow people to see a tally of the most recent calculations.

To me, there's a huge difference between an adding machine and a calculator, especially when you want to add a large number of numbers in a row. The tape makes it easy to confirm that the entire list of numbers was accurate, so you know you didn't... [More]

Continue...iOS Calculator Tape Display Mode...

Periscope For Windows and Mac

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Bring the fun to your desktop!


Twitter's new Periscope service is amazing. It lets people from around the world create live video feeds to share whatever they're doing at that moment. Since it's essentially a live service, almost everything is real-time. When you launch Periscope and share your moment, anyone from around the world can tune in and make comments. That's pretty slick... and it's catching on very quickly.

The only problem is that Periscope doesn't work on Windows or Mac... you can only use it from a mobile device. While I understand their original intention is for people to get outside and share what you're doing, I think there's an even bigger potential for a traditional desktop or laptop experience.

Why not let people choose whether they want to use a

... [More]

Continue...Periscope For Windows and Mac...

Browsers For Apple TV

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Surf the web from your sofa


I find it pretty hard to believe that the "Future of Television" doesn't include a way to surf the web. Isn't that strange?

A lot of people may be speculating why Apple didn't include the Safari web browser as a standard feature. Apple TV would be the perfect platform for bringing the web to your living room. You could ask Siri a question, and go directly to a web page with the answer.

Adding a browser to the Apple TV should be super easy. Under the hood it's basically an iPhone or iPad without the built-in screen, so there must be some other reason they didn't include it. Then it hit me. MONEY.

It looks like the only reason they don't include a browser is because unlike shopping Apps, they can't earn a percentage of sales when people

... [More]

Continue...Browsers For Apple TV...

FaceTime for Apple TV

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Make video calls from your living room, just like Marty McFly!


Although we still don't have flying cars and real Hoverboards, some of Back to the Future's predictions about 2015 have actually come true, including wide screen flat screen TVs and video calling. However, in the movie, video calls were't made on computers or mobile phones, they were on were made on the TV.

Because Apple TV is based on the same operating system as iOS that powers the iPhone and iPad, implementing FaceTime on Apple TV should be pretty straightforward, all they need is a camera.

Obviously they can't embed a camera into the box itself, but it should be easy to pair it with a WiFi or Bluetooth WebCam, or even plug one into the USB-C port on the back.


Let's face it, FaceTime is nice, but isn... [More]

Continue...FaceTime for Apple TV...

Voice Memos on Apple Watch

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Why isn't a voice memo app built-in?


It's funny that Apple didn't include a Voice Memo App on the Apple Watch. Even the original 2007 iPhone had a built-in Voice Memo App, and for me it was one of it's best features.

The interface was simple, you just hit a button and it started recording. Hit another button and it stopped. It also had a simple list of previous recordings, which you could play back and that was all you needed to do.

Before getting my iPhone, I had a bunch of dedicated voice recorders, but they were clumsy, and whenever you wanted to play them back, it took a long time to find the one you wanted, because they had no way to give the recordings a meaningful name, or even a date stamp.

When the Apple Watch came out, I assumed I could simply hit a button a... [More]

Continue...Voice Memos on Apple Watch...

Photo Calculator

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Calculations in a snap!


One of my favorite Apps is called MyScript Calculator. Unlike most calculator programs, MyScript Calculator doesn't have a traditional number pad interface. It lets you do complex math calculations by hand writing the numbers on the screen.

I was blown away by the concept. It was not only faster than using a number pad, it also lets you solve equations by putting a question mark where you need to find a value.


It works so well, it made me wonder if there was a way to take it to another level. Why not let you hand write the numbers or the equation, and simply take a photo?


Just imaging how revolutionary that would be. You could... [More]

Continue...Photo Calculator...

App Stores Should Show Performance Requirements

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Nobody wants to pay for an App that does't work.


Manufacturers release new devices every day. Each new release tends to me better than the previous generation. They have faster processors, additional memory, and better graphics, so it's only natural that App developers will jump at a chance to take advantage of all the new features.

The problem is a lot of people still have older devices and they don't realize the slick new App they're about to buy won't work properly on their old device.

Apple's App Store uses very generic terms to describe the system requirements of each App. Instead of listing actual hardware requirements, they list "Compatibility", and only make mention to which version of iOS is required. Other than that, the listing will say "Compatible with iPhon... [More]

Continue...App Stores Should Show Performance Requirements...

Apple Photos App Guest Mode with View Only Access.

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Is it safe to share your computer or iPad with friends or family members?


The cloud is a wonderful thing. Every time you add a photo to your library using your computer, iPad or iPhone, it's sent to the cloud and magically appears on every device you own, and can even be accessed from the web. How cool is that?

Conversely, if you delete a photo from one of your devices, it magically deletes itself form all your other devices, so if you pass around your iPad to friends and family at a party, and they accidentally delete some of your photos... they can vanish from your computer, and everywhere else and you might not notice it until it's too late.

That's why Apple should have a "Guest Mode", that only allows people to view your photo library, and not make any changes or de

... [More]

Continue...Apple Photos App Guest Mode with View Only Access....

Browse Photos By Face on iPhone and iPad

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Although Apple's new iOS Photos App no longer shows you the option to browse by face, it's still there... sort of.


I love Apple's new iOS Photos App, but I was surprised that some older features vanished, such as Smart Albums and face browsing. In older versions, if you used iPhoto on your Mac to tag faces or create Smart Albums, you could easily browse them on your iPhone.

When the new version came out, I spent quite a few hours tagging faces on my Mac, expecting to see them in the Photos App on my iPhone, only to discover the faces option was gone. At first, I assumed this was because of a delay in syncing my photo library to iCloud, so I waited an hour or so. The next day... still nothing.

Although the face option was gone, I decided to try a little test. I did a s

... [More]

Continue...Browse Photos By Face on iPhone and iPad...
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Sometimes the audio is all you need.


For those times when all you really need is the audio, it's a shame to waste all that bandwidth playing the video portion too. In fact, many people use YouTube just to listen to playlists of music videos. Unfortunately, in order to listen to the music, you need to keep the screen turned on, and you can't run another App without stopping the music.

Although Internet bandwidth is getting dirt cheap, it's not free, and videos drain batteries faster than audio alone. So, why give people the option to turn off the video portion and just listen to the audio?


The obvious reason they block people from playing audio in the background is so they can see the advertising. The fact is, people who use YouTube for music won't see the ads anywa... [More]

Continue...YouTube Should Continue Playing Audio In The Background, Even With The Screen Off....

Browse Photos By Camera Source

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Every time you take a photo, it records what camera was used to take it.


While this may not seem important, but the fact that every photo in your library has that information can come in handy, especially when you are looking for a photo somebody sent you. When you've got thousands of photo, finding a photos like that is like finding a needle in a haystack.

So, let's say you've got 20,000 photos, and your friend sends you a picture, but you can't find it. By browsing by Camera Source, you can narrow the choice down quite a bit.

With a photo library that large, a photo manager with an option like this would show you lots of photos taken by your own cameras and cell phones, then a few from cameras you've never owned. By browsing each of these additional camera sources, you... [More]

Continue...Browse Photos By Camera Source...
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Although there are plenty of iPhone QR Reader Apps available, I find it funny that Apple doesn't include a built-in App.


While it doesn't take long to download a third party App, there are a lot of people who don't have any idea what to look for. To them, these cryptic looking codes are a complete mystery, so they wouldn't even attempt to look for an App.

Those who decide to look for an App are faced with countless Apps that claim to read QR Codes, many of which are completely free. Choosing the best App could be a challenge, especially since most of them look alike.

The reason there are so many free third party QR Reader Apps is that each of the developers stands a chance to earn money whenever you use it. For example, many of them also read regular barcodes, so if you... [More]

Continue...Why Doesn't iPhone Have a Built-In QR Reader?...

These iOS Apps Are Missing From The Mac

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Apple has done an amazing job of integrating the Mac with the iPhone and iPad. Here are a few things they left out.


One of the great things about owning a Mac is that almost everything integrates perfectly with your iOS devices, especially after they introduced "Handoff", allowing you to start an activity on one device, and immediately hand off to another. For example, you can start working on a spreadsheet while sitting on a bus using your iPhone, then immediately pick up where you left off on your Mac when you get home.

Because of this, you take it for granted that there are some iOS Apps that don't exist on OS X on the Mac. For example, the Clock, i Tunes U, Activity, Weather and Videos.

Even without Handoff, these are all useful Apps that should exist on both platfor... [More]

Continue...These iOS Apps Are Missing From The Mac...

A Location Sensitive CB Radio App

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Breaker 1-9. This is the Prestidigitator sliding eastbound on the Belt Parkway looking for anyone with a peek over the cheek. Over.


In the 70s and 80s, CB Radios were very popular among truck drivers and people who simply enjoy talking to other people when they drive. For some people their CB Radio was nothing more than a lifeline in the event of an emergency, but for others it was a way of life.

I have fond memories of that time because CB Radios created a real community among people who used them. People who were complete strangers would start conversations, share jokes, or give directions and traffic reports to anyone who asked. Most people never shared their real names, so everyone had their own "Handle". My friend Frank was The Prestidigitator, because he's a prof... [More]

Continue...A Location Sensitive CB Radio App...
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Some assembly required? Oh boy!


Back in the early 80s, I brainstormed the idea of creating a company that made VHS instruction videos that manufacturers would use instead of printed instructions. Like many of my ideas, I never took action, but for nearly a decade, I was convinced this was going to be the next big thing. By then just about everyone had a VCR, so it seemed obvious to me that printed instructions would be obsolete, because video instructions would be so much easier to follow.

Like most of the ideas I've had over the years, I eventually see somebody else come up with the same idea, so I assumed sooner or later there would be a company making videos to go inside boxes. Initially, I expected VHS tapes, but never saw even one thing I bought come with one. Then I... [More]

Continue...A Video Web Site Showing How To Put Things Together...

Undo Option in Apple's Mail Apps

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It drives me crazy whenever I accidentally delete an email using my iPhone.


Apple's Mail Apps for iOS devices makes it easy to delete unwanted mail. It also makes it easy to delete mail you intend to keep. To minimize the problem, they give you an option to turn on confirmations before deleting emails, but slows you down.

If you accidentally delete an email, you can still get it back, but it's a real pain in the neck. Assuming you have multiple InBoxes turned on, you first need to determine which mailbox it was deleted from. Then, you need to drill down to that particular mailbox and go to it's trash folder. Once you find the mail, you can move it back to the InBox.

If you ask me, that's way too many steps to undo something that you did in a split second. An easier ap... [More]

Continue...Undo Option in Apple's Mail Apps...
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Don't you hate it when you start to ask Siri for something and it cuts you off before you finish asking?


This happens to me almost every day. I'll push the button on my headset and say something like "Remind me to get some", and before I even have a chance to say what I wanted, it cuts me off and says "Okay, I'll remind you". Since I never even finished the sentence, it adds a worthless item to my Reminders List that says "Get some". Brilliant.

Sometimes this happens if I pause for a fraction of a second between words, so I find myself talking fast to avoid any pauses, but it still cuts me off mid-sentence more often than it should.

What I don't understand is why Apple doesn't offer an option to let Siri know when you're done talking. When you're pushing the home button... [More]

Continue...10-4 Siri. Siri Needs a Better Way to Know When You're Done Talking....

Apple Activity App For Mac

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I love my Apple Watch. I just wish I could use see my progress on a bigger screen.


One of the most popular features of the Apple Watch is how it works with your iPhone to monitor your activity. The fact is, when people monitor and track their activity, including walking or other exercise, they tend to do it more often and with greater intensity.

When you look back at your activity, you get the satisfaction of seeing your progress over time as your once sluggish activity level gradually increases, along with your overall health.

What odd is that Apple doesn't have a desktop App for the Mac / OS X that lets you see your progress with a larger screen. To me, if they can motivate people to exercise more often, just think how much more effective it would be if they gave peopl... [More]

Continue...Apple Activity App For Mac...
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Most of my daily tasks started out with somebody sending me an email.


Isn't it odd that none of Apple's email Apps integrate with things like Reminders, Calendar, or Notes?

Let's say you are in your office and you've got 100 new messages. What are the odds that at least some of those messages are things you are going to have to take action on? As you open each message, you have to make a decision about what to do with it. If it's something you have to do, what many people do is mark the message unread or create folders or some kind of tag so you can find it later.

Meanwhile, Apple has great Apps for things like Reminders, Calendars and Notes. Wouldn't it make a lot of sense to just add the email to a one of those? So if somebody asks you to come to a meeting, you can j... [More]

Continue...Apple Mail Apps Should Integrate With Reminders, Calendar and Notes....
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Smart Albums are missing from the iOS and iCloud versions of the new Apple Photos App.


One of the biggest problems with digital photography is that it's getting harder and harder to organize and find photos. That's why I get excited whenever I find a new way to organize my photos and videos.

Before Apple's new Photos App came out, one of my favorite tools for organizing photos was using Smart Albums in iPhoto, which allows you to automatically organize photos without spending hours sorting them by hand.

Unlike regular albums, where you have to manually add each photo to the album, all you need to do to make a Smart Album is set up a series of rules and filters and the Photos App does all the work.

For example, you could set up a rule that says "Month is July and Day is... [More]

Continue...Smart Album Support in Apple iCloud and iOS / iPhone Photos Apps...

Siri Should Be Able To Record Voice Memos

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Sometimes, Siri has no idea what I'm saying.


One of the most popular uses for Siri is to create reminders. I love pushing a button and telling Siri whatever I want to remember and there it is... on my to-do list. Just a few years ago, that would've been science fiction.

My problem is if say something like... "Remind me to buy Tostidos, Salsa and Queso for Ray's party.", Siri will say "Here's your reminder. It says ... Buy toasty so Sal's ankle sorrys party... Shall I create it?" I say no, then I say it again and again and it never gets it right.

Instead of struggling to get Siri to understand you, Siri should give you an option to simply store the actual recording into the to-do list.


Technically, since the to-do list doesn't currently store or play audio, they w... [More]

Continue...Siri Should Be Able To Record Voice Memos...
LARGE-299

The iPhone Contacts App does a horrible job of letting us organize contacts into groups like Family, Friends, or Business.


My contact list is way too big... and growing.

If you're like me, you've got a contact list that contains a mixture of family, friends and business contacts. I've had a smart phone since 2004. That's 3 years before the first iPhone came out, so my list has grown quite a bit in 14 years, and many of those contacts are older that that, because I had a PDA years before that.

Luckily, Apple has a feature called Groups that lets you place your contacts into groups, so you can see just the people in the groups you want when you go to the contact list. The trouble is that feature is completely half-baked. Frankly, it stinks.

First, you can only assign n... [More]

Continue...Contact Groups Should Be Editable on iPhones... And Easier to Select...
LARGE-296

Dum Dum Dum ... Dum Dum Da Dum... Dum Dum Dum... Dum Da Dum


One of the great things about technology is that it gives people tools to tap into their hidden talents. For many musicians, Apple's Garage Band was a revolution, because it allowed anyone with a Mac to have the same production tools that were previously only available to big record companies only a few years ago.

This meant that musicians could compose, record, mix, edit and distribute their own songs without the backing of a record company.

Another great feature of Garage Band was that even people who couldn't play any instruments could create music using loops and other digital instruments. However, to truly compose a melody, you still need some skills that are too complicated for people without a musical back... [More]

Continue...Control Garage Band With Your Voice - Compose Music Without Instruments...
LARGE-285

No matter where you go, there you are.


One of the most popular features of smartphones is the way they can tell you the local weather, even while traveling. Thanks to GPS and other location services, you don't even need to tell it where you are.

Checking the weather was so popular, Apple made it the first thing you saw in the "Notification Center". Before Notification Center, you had to launch separate Apps to get the same information.

As time went on, Apple improved this feature by adding more functionality. For example, every Sunday morning, when I check my iPhone, it tells me it will take 14 minutes to get to the address of my church. Keep in mind, I never told Apple or my iPhone I had plans to go there, or that I needed to be told how long it takes to get there. It... [More]

Continue...A Built-In "Local App" That Updates Based On Where You Are...

Siri For Apps

LARGE-253

Play the Michael Bolton Channel on Pandora.


"Sorry. I don't know what you mean by Play the Michael Bolton Channel on Pandora."

Siri can do a lot of interesting things, but other than a few of Apple's own apps, you can't use it to interact with your apps. I think there are a bunch of apps that would work great if they worked with Siri.

Right now, the only thing you can do with most of the third party apps is launch them, but I think there should be at least some support for developers to tap into Siri to make them better.

Giving Apps access to Siri control is important to people who use third party Apps like Pandora while jogging or driving.


Since Siri is part of the operating system, Apple would simply define an API that developers could use to accept commands... [More]

Continue...Siri For Apps...
LARGE-241

Believe it or not, if Microsoft offered a strip down version of Office, there would be a lot fewer viruses.


As strange as that may sound, it's true. Let me explain.

The vast majority of people buy Microsoft Office users for two tasks... Spreadsheets and Word Processing. Deep down, that's all they need. In fact, to many people, that's all they think Microsoft Office is, Word and Excel.

The problem with Microsoft Office isn't just that they bundle these two essential programs with a bunch of other programs that most people never use. The bigger problem is that, Word and Excel are bloated with hundreds of features that slow them down, complicate the menus, and even make them unsafe.

The most dangerous problem is allowing Office Documents to contain and execute hidden

... [More]

Continue...Microsoft Office - Basic Edition - Safer. Easier. Cheaper....

Run iPad Apps On The Mac

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Wouldn't it be great if you could run many of your iPad Apps on your Mac?


The technology to run iPad Apps on a Mac isn't actually new. Developers have used iPhone and iPad emulators to test Apps before they install them on physical devices since the first iPhone came out.

Emulating an iPhone or iPad on a Mac is actually pretty easy, because technically, they share a lot of the same software under the hood. These emulators run so well, it makes you wonder why Apple doesn't include an iPad emulator with every Mac sold. It would be a great next step for people who enjoy their iPads, but would like a larger screen and keyboard from time to time.

This wouldn't turn your Mac into an iPad. It just lets you run your iPad Apps in a separate window or secondary desktop.

Techni... [More]

Continue...Run iPad Apps On The Mac...

FaceTime and Skype Should Be Compatible

LARGE-235

Why can't we all just get along?


For many people, the first time they ever saw a video phone was in the 1968 classic "2001, A Space Odyssey". At that time, the technology itself wasn't too complex, so it was conceivable that video phones would be common by 2001.

Dozens of companies have released video phones over the past few decades. With each new video phone released, the manufacturers claimed the age of video phones was finally here. The trouble is, every one of them failed.

The biggest hurdle wasn't the technology itself. The problem was that a video phone was only useful if everyone you would like to call had one.

Fax machines had that problem at first. The first fax machine was worthless, because at that moment, there was nobody to send a fax to. Eventually a... [More]

Continue...FaceTime and Skype Should Be Compatible...

Face Recognition History Eraser

LARGE-229

Many programs today use face recognition to help you locate photos of people you love. Why not have a program that hides photos of people you hate?


As funny as this idea sounds, there are many people today who have enormous photo libraries full of people they hate, and they are sick to their stomach when they browse through their photos. For these people, a simple face recognition based filter would allow them to flip through their photos without skipping a beat.

A filter like this would also come in handy for people who recently re-married or have young children who are too young to understand photos of their parents with their previous spouses. Whatever the reason, a filter could be pretty handy.

An alternative to hiding group photos could be to show the photo, but obs... [More]

Continue...Face Recognition History Eraser...

Measuring Distance By SmartPhone

LARGE-225

Don't have a long tape measure? Use your SmartPhone.


If you've ever seen a professional surveyor at work, one of the things that will stand out is that for many of their measurements, they don't actually use a tape measure. They do most of their measurements optically, and with amazing precision.

The science is pretty simple. The further away something is, the smaller it appears. So, if you know the exact length of any object, and you know the exact strength of the lens, and you view it (or photograph it) from a distance, you can calculate exactly how far it is away from you.

So a professional surveyor aiming a standardized scope at a standardized target, such as a pole with markings can calculate exact measurements without the need for a tape measure. In fact, using th... [More]

Continue...Measuring Distance By SmartPhone...
LARGE-221

One pill makes you larger... one pill makes you small...


Chances are, if you ask somebody who just swallowed a fist full of supplements what they took, they won't know for sure. There's a good chance they can remember some of the key ingredients, but the reality is, unless they cataloged each and every supplement, they could be doing more harm than good, and never know it.

The reason I say this is because many supplements have more than one ingredient. which means there will be a lot of overlapping ingredients. Worse yet, some of the ingredients may cancel each other out... or even be harmful when taken together.

For example, if one of their supplements is a multi-vitamin, you can almost guarantee many of those ingredients are also contained in at least a few of the other... [More]

Continue...A Supplement Manager App - Avoid Overlapping and Conflicting Ingredients...

A Prescription Dosage Scanner / Reminder App

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One of the biggest problems with prescription drugs today is that a large percentage of drugs are either not taken, or taken at the wrong time. Sometimes, it's fatal.


So, you just got back from the drug store. You've got three bottles. Take one from this bottle every 4 hours, another one from that bottle every 6 hours, and one from the third bottle 3 times a day.... Oh, and don't forget to sleep. Got that?

Does this sound familiar? It's no wonder so many people either forget to take their medication, or take it at the wrong time. Can you blame them? With so many bottles, each one with their own schedule and dosage, who can keep track of them, especially when they're already sick?

Why not have an App that can scan a barcode, then automatically schedule and remind yo

... [More]

Continue...A Prescription Dosage Scanner / Reminder App...
LARGE-205

Ping? Pong. Ping? Pong. Ping?... Ping?... Ping?... Call for help!


When senior citizens live alone, it's vital that they have a way to call for help in an emergency, which is why many senior citizens have a button they can use in an emergency to call for help. But there are times when the button is simply out of reach, or they are rendered incapable of pushing it.

One solution is a proactive monitoring system that, at a minimum simply "Pings" senior citizens, with a simple alert giving them a chance to let the system know they are doing okay.

If they don't answer after several attempts, a family member gets an alert letting them know there may be a problem, so they can check in, and even turn on the camera and mic to make sure they are okay.


Taken one step furthe... [More]

Continue...Ping App - Checks in Periodically To Monitor Senior Citizens...

A Garage Door Reminder App

LARGE-187

If a thief drives around town long enough, sooner or later they will find a garage door left open.


As somebody who walks at least a couple of hours each day, I pass a lot of houses with the garage door left open. It's a very common problem. Most of the time, the owner doesn't even know it. For many people, an open garage can be like an invitation for theft.

For those with a home alarm system, they may see a small blinking light on the alarm control panel, but it's usually so subtle, they only notice it if they are standing in front of it to turn the alarm on. By then, the thief may have already walked off with a fortune in tools, or even their car.

My solution is simple. A WiFi device that connects to the door that you can configure to send an alert to your phone whene... [More]

Continue...A Garage Door Reminder App...

3 Ways Apple Can Improve the Clock App

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The Clock App is one of the hidden gems on the iPhone and iPad... here's how it can be made even better.


The Clock App doesn't get any headlines and it's never the subject of any big Apple events, but the Clock App is one of the most commonly used features of the iPhone and iPad.

The Clock App was one of the first Apps included with the original iPhone and it soon became the perfect replacement for an alarm clock, especially for frequent travellers, because it was always accurate, and you could easily configure multiple wake times and sounds.

Apple didn't just re-invent the Alarm clock, the Clock App also included slick timers and stopwatch features that are popular for timing speeches, sports and cooking.

Here's a few ways to make the Clock App even better.


... [More]

Continue...3 Ways Apple Can Improve the Clock App...
LARGE-108

When we check the weather, what do we look for first?


The answer seems too obvious to me, but I'll answer it here, because apparently some of the people at Apple's sunny Cupertino office haven't thought this one out.

9 times out of 10, it's because we want to know what to expect when we go out.


Here's the thing. Before stepping out for lunch, I grab my phone, hit the button and drag down where I expect to see the current temperature.

Currently Sunny. The high will be 70, the low 59.


Yes. I have a window. I can see it's sunny. I just want to know if I need my jacket.


With an 11 degree split between the high and the low, I have no clue if I need my jacket. I've got news for you, when I do a quick check like that, I don't care what t... [More]

Continue...Mostly Sunny Currently - Why check to see that? What's the temperature?...
LARGE-97 Some of you may be familiar with a bunch of new products, such as "The Tile", which are tiny Bluetooth devices that you can hang on your keychain or attach to things you think you might lose. Once you realize you lost something, they use Bluetooth to help you locate them.

I actually bought 12 Tiles, thinking I'll never lose anything important again... then the other day, I forgot something at a client's office 40 miles away, but I didn't realize it until I got home. The Tile didn't help. I knew where it was, but the next day, I had to drive 80 miles round trip to pick it up.

Wouldn't it be great if devices like The Tile could warn you BEFORE you leave something behind?


To me, stopping me from leaving things behind is an even more important... [More]

Continue...Digital String on Your Finger... To Remind You You Left Something Behind......

Top 25 Posts


* Note: The ideas on "Idea of the Day" were posted without any formal research into existing inventions.

In some cases, patents may already exist for these ideas, in other cases, there may not be any existing patents and you are free to develop and explore the viability of developing and patenting the ideas.

The authors make no claim that any of the ideas are safe, practical, or suitable for any particular purpose. You are responsible for the results of trying, developing, patenting or using any of the ideas on this site.

For some people, our ideas are just an interesting read, but our goal is to encourage you to take action. If you see an idea that you like, do something with it... Take action.


- Joe
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