Fix an Apple Notes Problem Where the Default Switches to the ‘On My iPad’ Notebook

Above: I  knew I had finally solved my problem when I saw this. Read on for the solution.

Introduction| The Problem & Why I’m Still Using ios 10

Ever since Apple released ios 11 I’ve had on-again off-again problems with Apple Notes. My first problem concerned constant crashing, freezing and generally slow speeds when using the Notes app. I believe the severity of these problems were increased because of the large volume of notes I keep in the Apple notes app. Upwards of 5000. The problem was so severe that I refused to upgrade many of my favorite devices to ios 11.

It seemed like right around the time that 11.3 came out that many of these kinds of problems were finally ironed out. But by then I realized that I seriously hated the way multi-tasking works in ios 11. I use multi-tasking constantly. That was one more reason to not want to upgrade. But the final and most compelling reason for me was that ios 11.4 seemed to break Air Drop. Air Drop is another feature I use constantly so as things stand right now, I’ll probably remain on ios 10 until 12 is released in about a month’s time.

My Most Recent Problem: The Default Notebook in Apple Notes Seemingly Switched of its Own Accord

What brought about this problem was a severe Notes issue on one of my other iPads…one that is still on ios 10. I don’t remember exactly what the issues were because I use so many iPads and I’m always working on at least 5 different things at the same time. Much of my work is done sort-of on auto-pilot. So, when I encountered some serious deficiency in my ability to use Apple Notes on one of my ‘work horse‘ iPads, I instantly deleted the app and then reinstalled it. That of course is the recommended method for fixing all kinds of problems with apps.

Upon reinstalling Notes my notebooks didn’t immediately repopulate. But I wasn’t worried because there are so many of them that I figured it was just a matter of slow bandwidth and timing. I assumed when sufficient time had passed and bandwidth had improved my notes would repopulate.

It wasn’t until the next day when I began to use that iPad again that I realized that Notes still hadn’t repopulated! Worse yet was the reason why.

It seems the default Notes account in Settings had switched from ‘iCloud‘ to ‘On my iPad.’ No amount of messing around with it seemed to make any kind of a difference in getting this back to the way it had been before I reinstalled the Notes app.

Later that same day I finally did figure out a way to change the default back. But I did it on the fly and I didn’t pay a lot of attention to what I actually did to fix it. All I could remember was that it was something within the Notes app itself as opposed to in Settings. I distinctly remembered that aspect because in the Settings app it appeared that I was locked into using this new Notes default…any of the usual alternatives were either ‘greyed out,’ or simply not even present.

The Problem Resurfaces on All My Devices

I really thought my problem was resolved when I ultimately discovered that this obnoxious new default had reverted to all of my other ios devices too!

So I began to search for a consistent solution. No real solutions emerged. That’s why I decided to write a post about it myself because I discovered that other people were experiencing this problem too, and I was certain I’d be able to figure it out.

In the Photo Gallery Below I’ve Added Screenshots Which Illustrate the Problem.

What Didn’t Work to Correct the Problem

The first thing I tried was researching the problem. This osxdaily article suggested one thing that helped me to remember what I’d done previously to solve the problem, which was navigate back to the iCloud notebook in the Notes app. Try as I might there simply wasn’t anything available to navigate too this time…see the screenshots below.

The next thing I tried was my old fallback solution…when in doubt reset. So I did a Hard Reset by holding down the power button and the home button until I saw the Apple icon. I was bored so I took a picture of my iPad when the  icon appeared (which I ‘grungified’ using the Snapseed editing app.)

Sadly…resetting had no effect either.

Something I’d read in the osxdaily.com article made me think that there might be a problem with iCloud…so I went back into settings to check that. Eureka! That’s when I finally realized what was causing the problem and I now knew how to fix it!

Below: This is what I discovered in Settings

The Steps I Took to Correct the Problem

Here’s what I did to fix the problem.

Once I realized that for some unknown reason* iCloud syncing had been turned off for Notes…I just turned it back on. As soon as I did the magic began to happen!

I went back to Notes in Settings and found this now.

Remember earlier I’d only seen this?

The next thing I did was go back to the Notes app. At first I was disappointed because I just saw the same thing as before. But when I navigated backwards this time I discovered the iCloud Notebook was once again accessible to me! When I tapped to open it is when I triggered all my notes to begin repopulating within the app. I have a sneaking suspicion that they weren’t on my iPad when the problem was present…but I forgot to check beforehand and now there’s really no way to do so.

So my sad and frustrating tale has a happy ending after all!

*Upon further reflection I think I may know how iCloud got turned off. My son is visiting us right now and he uses and Android phone.  I was not able to send him text messages because my iPads would only send messages to him as iMessages. But, when I did what I thought I needed to do in settings on my iPhone to correct the situation it didn’t correct  the situation at all. I was really annoyed that I couldn’t sent him text messages from any of my iPads!  I figured that if I turned iCloud off for messages then my iPad would have to use text messages instead of iMessages. So that’s what I tried. I don’t remember exactly how I did that…but I now suspect that I turned off iCloud for much more than just messages.  If anyone knows what the solution to my problem of not being able to send text messages to my son from my iPad is, I would love to know the solution!

Comments

If you’d like you can leave a comment a little further down.

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17 States Will Offer Sales Tax Holidays in 2018

Apple notifies me of the sale

Introduction

__________

I was more than a little elated (and pretty surprised too) to discover something really cool that my state…the state of Wisconsin is currently offering.

A Sales Tax Holiday! Buyer’s can realize significant savings when purchasing apparel or computer related equipment.

17 other states will offer similar holidays this year. Many of them will take place this coming weekend. But for Wisconsin, this is the first of its kind. Our sales tax holiday began 2 days ago…on August 1st and it runs through Sunday August 5th. 5 days is definitely one of the longest Sales Tax Holidays occurring in 2018. Most of them are just for 2 days…usually falling on a weekend.

My childhood home in northern Wisconsin

My childhood home in northern Wisconsin

What Kind of Merchandise is Offered as Tax Exempt During the Holiday?

I learned about this holiday from a marketing email that I received from the Apple Store a few days ago. The main reason why Apple wants to notify its users is because in most cases the primary merchandise that offers tax exempt status are computer and tablet related things.

That brings up another aspect that’s somewhat unique about Wisconsin’s holiday. In addition to computer equipment our sale also makes apparel tax exempt. Many other states just exempt computer equipment, and some primarily exempt things necessary for people who might face significant threats from the weather. Florida for example, had their sale in June, right before hurricane season began.

While this is the first year that Wisconsin will celebrate this unique holiday, some other states have enjoyed similar, yet slightly different renditions for much longer. New York State created the first sales tax holiday in 1997 primarily to lure shoppers from the neighboring of New Jersey. Several other states copied and pasted a similar version of New York’s statue to their own books, so that by 2010 19 states offered tax holidays. This was the peak number of states offering Sales Tax Holidays,

If you’d like to learn even more about this unique Holiday, as well as learn more about the other states also celebrating it…read on…

Which States Will Soon or Have already Celebrated Their State Sales Tax Holiday’s in 2018?

Right now, according to Apple, there are 5 states that will be celebrating this awesome holiday this coming weekend. Apple has written a brief synopsis of each state’s holiday which includes what kind of merchandise is included in the each states’ program and sometimes why the sale was originally enacted.

According to the website of the Federation of Tax Administrators, 17 states, in total celebrate this holiday in 2018. Some states will offer the holiday more than once! You can see the Federation’s illustration below which shows each state and when their Sales Tax Holiday was or will be in 2018.

While that may not seem like a lot, remember that some states don’t really charge much in the way of sales tax to begin with. The state of Minnesota comes to mind because it’s close geographically to us. My family has always LOVED going there to shop for clothing because we get so much more for our money!

Below is a great visual bar graph representing all 50 states. It gives you an immediate feel for any one state’s relative sales tax as compared to all other states.

This next illustration shows what the actual percentage is that each state charges for their sales tax.

Wisconsin’s Sale’s Tax Holiday | August 1 – 5, 2018

Before shoppers take to the malls tomorrow,  you should definitely check out what the specific ‘rules‘ are for Wisconsin’s sale. For example, apparel is exempt…as long as each individual item is priced below $75. The rules for computing equipment are more complex, but still easy enough to follow with a quick look through the state’s website.

The Dept. of Revenue’s Website about Wisconsin’s State Sales Tax Holiday

WI’s Tax Holiday Terms & Conditions

WI’s Sales Tax Holiday FAQ’s

More About What Kind of Merchandise is Exempt from State Sales Taxes During the Holidays

Each state has its own unique sales tax exemptions during their holiday. These are oftentimes based upon the stated reason for the initial sales’ holiday.

For example…in Wisconsin the primary impetus for the sale is ‘back to school.’ This reason dictates much of the merchandise that’s tax exempt during the sale. Since school kids usually need both school clothes and computers…that’s the primary type of merchandise which is ‘on sale‘ here in Wisconsin currently.

Where to Find More Information

Probably the best place to find out more information about the upcoming sales tax holiday’s for the state’s that Apple mentions at their website is by following the links to their brief synopsis for each. Those are the 7 states shown further up in the 2nd illustration of this post and they can also be found here.

From there, Apple has included links to each state government’s appropriate website for their sales tax holiday.

Are Sales Tax Holidays Beneficial?

The short answer of course is…it depends on who you ask!  imo…a resounding YES would be the answer. However, from the standpoint of state’s and their financial solvency…its another matter entirely.

While researching information for this post I ran across several fairly negative articles. The first was written by the Institute on Taxation and Public Policy in 2016 and it questions the effectiveness of the holidays as opposed to actual sales tax reforms. The 2nd was written in 2017 by the taxfoundation.org. It questions effectiveness of the sales too by suggesting that while these kinds of holidays are politically expedient they constitute poor tax policy. They suggest that if such holidays are necessary then perhaps tax reform is called for.

Combined, these are some of the major arguments against the effectiveness of these holidays. First, in this 2013 Washington Post article, the question of whether or not these holidays actually contribute any significant growth in sales tax revenue is discussed. The answer, while complicated, appears to suggest that no real stimulation occurs directly as a result of these sales.

If these holidays are intended to specifically provide tax relief to low income households, an argument against them is that the percentage of actual low income family’s who do really benefit is small when compared to the much larger number of average income and high income beneficiaries.

Last, the most thorough analysis of pros versus cons is made in the recently updated article by the Institute of Taxation and Economic Policy. In it they state:

“In the long run, sales tax holidays leave a regressive tax system unchanged, and the benefits of these holidays for working families are minimal. Sales tax holidays also fall short because they are poorly targeted, cost revenue, can easily be exploited, and create administrative difficulties.”

Conclusion

My brief perusal of current literature seems to suggest that there are few real benefits which emanate from these Sales Tax Holidays. While that realization has somewhat of a chilling effect it doesn’t diminish my own excitement to personally experience my state’s first Sales Tax Holiday this coming weekend with a much-needed shopping spree for the family and some new outfits for everyone!

One last thing I should add is that I was further surprised to discover that online retailers such as Amazon also participate in these holidays. I recently tried out apparel shopping at Amazon and I was kind of blown away with the impressive quality of the things I decided to keep…especially when taking into consideration the low prices involved. Below is a picture of my favorite find…a sweater with pockets for $19.88. I loved the first grey one so much that I ordered 3 more in the different colors shown below!

I should also add that I’m an Amazon Associate, which means I earn a small commission if a product I recommend is purchased by a reader. You can read more about that in the next illustration.

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Word Processing Apps for iPad

Introduction & History

I wrote this when the Microsoft Word App was first launched in 2016. Today I was trying to get a handle on all the cloud services I use and I was curious about what was stored on each of them. More specifically on Microsoft’s One Drive, on Drop Box, and on Google Drive. That’s when I ran across this post I’d written but never published.

This topic has been somewhat controversial since the day iPads first arrived in the scene. Of course almost everyone need a good word processing app at some time or other. And, iPads seem well suited for those kinds of tasks. But despite the obvious need,  Apple never focused much on this need. Consequently, the progress of  word processing capabilities on ios devices has grown slowly & very organically.

What is Meant By the Term Word Pocessing App?

Today (August 10,) as I write this, there are really only a handful of good word processing alternatives for ios devices. Since iPads are  first and foremost,  purveyors of digital media, even the definition of what one calls a word processing app can have different meanings to different people.  So I think it’s important to define what I mean by the phrase ‘Word Processiong App for ios Devices.’

My Definition of Word Processing App for ios:

An app designed primarily for creating new documents including things like letters, envelopes, brochures and flyers, outlines, bulletins…etc. It should include something like templates or the ability to create standard document types if desired. It should also allow users to store and use multiple font types with variations (like bold, italics etc.) It should allow users to include ‘rich media’ such as photos and other kinds of images like graphs and charts, as well as give you the ability to attach other kinds of files too…like spreadsheets, presentations, emails, whatever… And last it needs to include ways to both import in documents that need editing as well as export out finished work in several of the most popular document file types today including…

  • .doc

  • .pdf

  • .pages

What Isn’t Included Under My Definition of Word Processing Apps?

There are so many different kinds of text editing apps available to ios users…many of the really powerful ones are designed primarily for users to write code in. Generally this is just simple code like HTML and Markup…more complex code usually needs specific apps designed just for coders. But the simple ones mentioned here are really popular because they are what most bloggers and solo website owners would use to write content for reading online.

Since so much of our world has moved online, this category of apps has become quite extensive.  These kinds of apps may include the tools needed for true word processing tasks…but that’s not their focus. So, you can think about it like this. True Word Processors predate iPads and were originally a digital way for people to create documents that would ultimately end up as hard copies. Text editors, while they may look like word processors, ultimately output a  primary end product in digital form only…hard copies would be rare or the exception.

 

All of Microsoft's Office Apps with their Apple Counterparts

Why I Wrote This Brief History of Word Processing Apps

As amazing as iPads and tablets are…Word Processing isn’t their strong suit! Being a writer, that was always first and foremost something I needed. So my quest for a good Word Processing app has been a long, oftentimes fruitless one. Not a lot of app developers  seem to want to tackle this. Granted there are many note taking apps, but almost all of them are very limited in their ability to generate full and complete documents that are correctly formatted..

When I began testing them out my needs were strictly personal. Overtime however, as my husband began to use an iPad more and then we gave one to my Dad, I found that they looked to me to provide ideas for useful apps…especially those in the Word Processing realm. So my quest to find a good one was strengthened.

My Dad's Website

Is My Dad…the Oldest Blogger Living?

It was really my Dad who was the intended original recipient of this post. We gave him an iPad roughly 10 years ago. Back when he was just getting started with his website. Today, in 2018 I suspect my Dad is one of the oldest bloggers living. But I haven’t found any good way to really document this fact.

If anyone knows how I can figure out if  my Dad really is the oldest blogger in the world I’d love to know how!!!

Dad is 92 and he still writes and uploads content for his website frequently.  I find this to be a really amazing feat! Mainly because he uses Weebly for his website. All the upgrades and changes that Weebly has gone through have been challenging for Dad to keep up with. Occasionally he comes to me in frustration and asks for my help straightening something out that got messed up on his site.

The irony of this is that I left Weebly for WordPress because it was too difficult! I love WordPress and it’s infinitely easier to use than Weebly imho. But now I find myself having to relearn Weebly just to help my Dad.

Below is the post I found in One Drive that I inadvertently posted by accident today.

A Brief History of Word Processing Apps for iPad

&

Testing Out Microsoft’s New Word App for iPad

Microsoft has slowly been releasing ios apps for each of their MS Office applications. While it’s long overdue (in my humble opinion) and the reviews are extremely mixed, (it seems most people either love or hate the apps)…it’s with a lot of curiosity that I’m finally getting around to testing out the new MS Word app.

As a prolific ;-) writer, I was extremely frustrated in the early days of using an iPad. My main frustration was that I couldn’t find any app that I could use for simple word processing! Now, a few years later, while it seems even the moniker ‘word processor’ is an antiquated and passé one, writers finally have a decent range of apps to choose from. I’ve always been primarily a Window’s user, although I did have an iMac for video editing. But even that computer had a version of MS Word installed. In the iPad’s early years, Pages, or any of the iWork applications didn’t even exist.

When Apple finally did release iWork for ios the apps were initially quite expensive…at least compared to most apps. $15 sticks in my mind, although I could be way off base with that recollection! Word and the One Note apps were nonexistent as well. I spent many hours…possibly even days trying to figure out how I could actually accomplish real work on my iPad.

Below:  An Assortment of Word Processing Apps

Several other Word Processing Apps

DocsToGo by DataViz

There were always a few free apps available. These seemed to come and go, but none ever really amounted to much for serious writers. Therefore, my earliest solution was the ‘DocsToGo’ app by DataViz. This was an expensive, albeit very powerful app at the time. It provided the ‘missing link’ I needed for my iPad to interface with my Windows PC. I literally gushed about it as the ‘missing link’ to anyone who would listen (although it appeared that relatively few people were actually interested in my discovery!)

The unprecedented price may have been why. Back then most apps were free, and very few people ever chose to ever pay for an app. If they did, $.99 was the norm. Anything priced above $1.99, in my mind was ‘expensive’. Any app priced $4.99 or more required serious research and a cost/benefit analysis. I could almost hear the gasps of my readers as they discovered the price I’d paid for an app. If memory serves me correctly, the price was $49.99, which, by any standard both past and present, was downright exorbitant! But DataViz could get away with it because, for those who needed it, there were no other real alternatives.

The one consolation for this outrageous price was that ‘DocsToGo’ was really powerful back then!   It provided two different Word alternatives.  Back then these were Microsoft Office 97-2004 XP, or Office 2007-2013.  It also provided Excel and Power Point functionality. You could open, edit and even create all of these in one app.  Unfortunately, overtime, DataVizchose to decrease the apps overall functionality and they continually revamped  the pricing of individual features.  At one low point, those who’d paid for the full-featured version of the app really only had the ability to accomplish word processing functions, and they could view Excel spreadsheets.  Needless to say this caused a lot of anger and frustration for DocsToGo users.

It appears, in response to all the criticism, DataViz kept changing what the basic functionality of the app was.  At one of the lowest points in time I really only had complete functionality for Word Documents and I could view Excel ones.  In the  2016 rendition of the app I purchased long ago, I could now view, edit and create word documents,  as well as view Excel spreadsheets and Power Point presentations and edit data within a preexisting spreadsheets or Power Points.  But I couldn’t create new ones.  I could also view PDF’s, Pages documents and RTF documents.

The Premium app (which was the one I owned) was priced at $16.99 for this limited functionality.  For an additional $6.99 you could add Cloud support.  For another $6.99 you could get password protection.  And for a third $6.99 fee you could add Desktop syncing ability…bringing the grand total to $38.00 (2015 price).  Current reviews ranged from lackluster to poor.  It appeared that syncing to desktop PC’s and Macs was problematic at best.  There was always a clunky interface that required both time and effort to get it working.  But by 2016 it appeared that it may not even have worked at all for many users!

Doc's To Go in the 2016 ios App StoreAbove:  This is the DocsToGo app I own
Below:  Some Current 2018 Reviews of Docs

Current reviews of Docs 2 Go

I find it almost unfathomable that Docs To Go even still exists!  Obviously I couldn’t leave this post ending with 2016 information…even though it was an accidental post…the topic still seems very relevant today…perhaps more relevant than it should be! Because there still aren’t any clear winners in the Word Processing realm. Pages really should be.

But it seems to me like Pages is the word processor that no one has ever heard of. Even amongst the many diehard Mac fans you’ll find a high percentage of users who don’t use and are unfamiliar with Pages! Some use Word and some just use Apple Notes.

Reading some of the current app’s reviews it’s easy to see why Docs To Go never achieved that level of fame.  That’s where the unfathomable comment comes from. How can an app that charges that kind of money and has been around since the iPad first entered the scene not have its act together a little more. The exact same complaints that existed in 2016 still exist today. What’s worse is they speak to the very core functionality of the app. User upon user complains that the app simply doesn’t work! I just can’t imagine how that company even stays in business!!!

Pages by Apple is My ‘Go To’ Word Processor

That Was True in 2016 & Remains True Today (in 2018)

When Apple released ios 7 they included a great gift for all ios users. They made all of the iWork apps free! This includes Pages (word processing), Keynote (a power point alternative) and Numbers (their spreadsheet app). It also includes iMovie, which all by itself is probably one of the most powerful apps I use frequently for editing videos. Apple’s decision to make the whole suite of apps free was huge for me, since I would never have tried Pages otherwise.

There was a significant learning curve, and in the ios 7 version, the in-app help didn’t function most of the time. But this is one instance where Apple’s reputation for creating intuitive products does live up to the hype…sort of… So, while there was a learning curve, it wasn’t insurmountable. The ios 8 and subsequent ios versions do offer in-app help which functions quite well. As a result, Pages slowly  become my favorite word processing app and it’s now the one I use almost exclusively.

Some of the things I like about Pages include:

1. It’s extremely versatile in terms of layout and graphic design functions
2. You can save and export documents in most formats including Pages, Word, PDF and even eBook formats
3. It works seamlessly with iCloud
4. You can easily add graphics and pictures as well as manipulate graphics readily. It’s truly a full featured word processor.
5. Pages seamlessly syncs across all of my ios devices as well as my PC
6. It includes a lot of standard templates for those who like to use that type of thing (I don’t), including many different options for Reports, Letters, Flyers and Posters, Cards, Newsletters, Labels and many more.
7. Pages allows ‘open in app’ functionality for quite a few other apps including Evernote and Good Reader
8. You can HotLink URLS within a document

Some of the things I don’t love about Pages include:

1. The file system for organizing and managing all of your documents was slow and limited to just one level of folders. So if you used it a lot, it quickly became cluttered making it hard to find documents readily. This problem was remedied with the release of ios 11 and Apple’s new Files app.
2. The spell check feature can be annoying because Pages underlines in red any word that isn’t in it’s dictionary, yet there’s no way to add words to this dictionary data base, so any names are always underlined in red…and there appeared to be no way to remove this incorrect flagging of misspellings. This was a big problem that rendered the spellcheck feature almost unusable if you use a lot of unique names with in a document…because there are so many things underlined in red, it’s difficult to see those that might actually be real misspelled words! Sometime after writing this I did discover a solution however, and the post in which I write about the solution has become one my most popular.
3. Learning Pages seems like it should be easier. Apple should create videos to teach the basics of all the iWork apps. There are YouTube videos created by others for this purpose, but they are sketchy and incomplete at best, and really out of date at worst.

Testing out a the Microsoft Word App

One really nice aspect of the new Word app as that it was free! It still is today. That’s because  Microsoft wants users to subscribe to Office 365 their cloud based subscription service.

While the free aspect is a great idea for those people who want to test it out before they commit to buying the full featured version of an app, the concept of paying to use an app on a subscription basis I find to be  abhorrent. Therefore I don’t even know how much Word’s annual subscription costs.

Below:  These are apparently the options for upgrading from the free version.

C0C2B90E-21BD-464F-8A3D-E46D2FCDFC47

My method for testing is that I wrote this article using the new Word app. My first impression was excellent. I found the app to be extremely easy to use. In fact it’s probably more intuitive than Pages is, and it’s really full featured too. I don’t yet know if it gives you all of the graphic design power that Pages does, but there is a lot included in the free version. You can insert images as well as objects like shapes and photos. Formatting those seems easier than in Pages too.

Here’s an example of a screenshot I took while writing this. It’s also a good example of what editing mode looks like. The border is one of Word’s. I attempted to add shadow effects and was told that this requires upgrading to the paid version.

One reason I took this particular screenshot was because Word allows you to add shapes (Pages does too) and I tried to add the line under the title. But it’s crooked! No amount of messing with it will allow me to get it straight! So I’m not sure if this is a bug or user error!

Below:  Editing Mode in Word

EF63D618-8AED-4206-8F64-2D723BEC568D

Note that unlike the illustration above for Word, in Pages there are no formatting features at your fingertips. To format something you need to select it, then tap on the Paintbrush icon and finally find the formatting features you need within ‘hidden’ menus. It’s easy to learn and it works fairly well, but Word is a lot faster with this.

Other features of Word I like include:

1. Adding lists and formatting them is easy
2. The spellcheck features are amazing!
3. I love that when you insert an image, you can crop it right within the Word app and then add a border at the same time. Pages doesn’t give you this option, so you need to crop an image using the Photo app first. It’s more time-consuming if you’re adding lots of images.
4. I really like that Word includes the formatting bar at the top of the screen similar to its Window’s version, which for me, seems more intuitive than the way Pages hides all of their formatting features
5. The Word app includes a lot more shapes than Pages did initially but Pages had a big update a while ago that included a lot of new ‘clip art’ kinds of graphical elements.
6. It took me a while to find it but Word does include a ruler tool that you can use for lining up images and objects.
7. Word includes a View Step which lets you view your finished document in a couple of different ways. This is a really nice feature to see how everything is laid out prior to exporting your completed document somewhere.
8. You can highlight text in many different colors! This is a feature that is sorely lacking in Pages, where you can only highlight text in basic yellow.
9. I could be wrong but it seems to me that the Word app provides more fonts than Pages does. When you select a font, the list of alternatives is presented as Office Word Compatible fonts, and ios fonts. I didn’t actually count them, but I believe that some of the Office Compatible fonts are not available in Pages.

Below:  An examples of how Pages looks in editing mode.

So far here’s what I don’t like about Microsoft’s free Word App:

  1. It’s not free for many of the advanced editing features
  2. You can only format final documents as Word documents or PDF’s. This, to me, seems like a huge limitation!
  3. I don’t like that I can’t make the line I inserted at the top straight, so as a work around I added this shape which is really a rectangular unfilled box shape that I flattened to look like a line. But the good news is that I can make it straight!

Original 2016 Conclusion

There are a lot of free Word Processing apps in the App Store, and I’ve tried many of them through out the years. They all have severe limitations in my opinion. DocsToGo seemed to be the only true full-featured word processing app for iPad users for many years. But with the introduction of Pages and Word, there are finally some great free alternatives available.

The jury is still out for me on how much I’ll actually use the Word App. So far I have to admit that I’m really pleasantly surprised to see how easy it is to use and how full-featured it seems to be! The true test will come with using it more, and seeing how flexible it may be when it comes to my everyday workflow. But so far, the app is quite impressive…even in it’s free form!

Documents by Readdle is a strong contender

New 2018 Conclusion

Pages really struggled for a few years. Apple updated the app a few times and changed things in ways that infuriated regular users. The main complaints were that features once readily available were now buried within  layers of extra keystrokes. Something as simple as making text bold or italic became frustrating and time consuming!

But then Apple finally rectified all of the problems by launching a major new update. It not only solved me st of the problems but also added a lot of new features. Then with the introduction of iCloud and finally the File app, Pages became the app everyone knew it could be.

Once that happened I pretty much abandoned Word. While Word is still a fine app, it lacks all of the inbred sharing features that stock Apple apps have. That’s the primary reason I quit using it.

Today when I sort of accidentally posted this, the Word app just posted one line of gibberish. But because it was posted, with no good way to detract it, I had to figure out how to get this whole article into the WordPress editor. I’m usually pretty good with these types of things, but try as I might, I couldn’t come up with a way.

I ended up copying sections of text and then pasting them here. Then reformatting them. Last I had to save each image, improve its resolution and then refine it for publication (reduce its file size and add borders and frames.) That ended up being a really time consuming task which I hadn’t built into my day’s schedule.

That’s not to say that if I’d discovered this same post within Pages that it would have made the transition to WordPress any easier than it had coming from Word. But it would have been easier in hard to explain ways. Things are just easier when sticking with Apple’s stock apps and I’m certain that this would have been one of them.

Overall I’d say that you can’t go wrong using either Word or Pages.

Just make sure that you’ve figured out a good method for moving Word documents to the other places that you’ll want to use them before becoming too vested in using the ios Word App.

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Please leave any comments or questions a little further down.

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Great Last Minute Amazon Prime Deals…or not

It’s Way Past Midnight & Prime Day Hasn’t Ended Yet!!!

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There should be less than 1/2 hour left for Prime Day…but its still going strong.

I think that perhaps Amazon has decided to extend the closing time a bit because of all the webste glitches that customers experienced throughout the sale.

I got my order in just under the wire because I was attempting to write this post at the same time as I placed my order. The title reflects the fact that many of the things I ended up purchasing aren’t really Prime Day Deals at all…rather they are just good prices for a plethora of my favorite Amazon tech.

Uninterruptible Power Supplies

Spring and Summer means that there are many more thunderstorms.

Thunderstorms mean power fluctuations…most notably power surges.

We’ve had far too many devices ruined by power surges. Overall we’ve been lucky in that our warranty’s and extended coverage programs have resulted in our spending less than we would have had otherwise. But the number of incidences has been high…much higher than anyone we know!

Right now I need to replace a few year old Mac Mini, its Time Machine hard drive, its 2nd Time Machine Hard Drive which I’ve already replaced once before, an HP Tower Windows 7 computer, and the clock circuit board for our oven which I’ve also replaced twice.

Why All The Surges?

That’s a really great question that I’ll leave until after Prime Days…so I can get this published. But the short answer is…I think that old outdated power lines from our electrical utility supplier are to blame.

These Are 2 of the Best UPS’s That I Know Of

An Uninterruptible Power Supply both protects your devices  from power surges as well as conditions the power so that a steady supply is provided which causes less wear and tear on them.

This is the closest model to what we purchased from APC roughly 11 years ago because our model is no longer sold.

APC UPS BE650G1  $81.77

The older model this replaced is a tried and true favorite amongst APC customers. APC is widely recognised as the top power supply protection supplier in the US.

I bought 2 of the model shown below around 2 weeks ago to test out and now I am getting 3 more of the same. These are replacing old APC UPS’s which have protected all of the devices in our home for much longer than they should see have. Each time a UPS takes a power surge hit (in lieu of your device taking the hit) its life is reduced a little bit.

This is the model we’re getting today.

APC UPS BX1500M $149.99

This model is much larger than our previous ones. It conditions the power going into devices better and will protect more devices for longer as well as handle more surges before it stops protecting against surges, for longer too.

Alexa Enabled & Echo Devices

This what I’m ordering right now beforehand the sale ends.

Echo Show $129.99

I gave one of the original 2 Shows that I got when they were first launched to my elderly (in their 90’s) parents last week to use as an intercom and for a method of communications with their Grandkids. Since this price is so great I think we need another one too. Did I mention that I LOVE Echo show?

Echo Show with 2 Echo Buttons $145.00

7 Echo Spots $99 x 7 = $700

These are Xmas presents for nieces and nephews so that they can video chat with Grandma and Grandpa who’ll use their new Echo Show.  According to CamelCamelCamel this is the best price that the Spot has ever been made available at.

Echo Connect $29

Echo Connect transforms your land line telephone calls into hands free calls which work with your Echo devices.

I also got a miscellaneous assortment of other devices…some Alexa enabled and some not. Here’s some of them:

Apple Watch Charging Cable $24.99

Echo Spot Stands $19.99

Alexa Enabled Remote with a Fire TV Stick $19.99

I really just wanted the voice remote to use with our Alexa devices, but since St the same price with or without the Fire TV Stick, I’m getting the Fire TV Stick too.

A Techmate iPad stand. This a really solid, weighted, iPad stand. I’d just purchased this for myself a few weeks ago but when I was visiting my 92 year old Dad I realized that he should have it. So I gave him mine intending to order another one on Prime Day.

Deals for Readers

Hurry Prime Day Deals End at Midnight

I’m sorry to be sharing this so late. Prime Day ends at midnight and I hadn’t planned on sharing anything. But then I ran across this amazing deal for anyone with a Prime account that convinced me to write this as quickly as possible.

If you’re a person who loves to read then having an Amazon Prime account can provide a lot of additional benefits beyond the normal saving and shipping ones which everyone knows about and loves.

Some of the reading programs we belong to include:

  • Kindle Unlimited

This program lets us borrow up to 6 titles at a time to read or listen too, and it’s saved me a small fortune beyond the savings of free shipping. Anytime I write some in-depth piece a do a lot of research first. More often than not I find content in Unlimited that helps me more quickly grasp all the nuance of the situation I happen to be writing about.

But what helps even more is having the ios Kindle app read these out loud to me as I do other work. It’s a huge time saver too because the Kindle app works so well with ios accessibility features. If it’s an audio book, I can even turn my iPhone or iPad or iPhone off….and the Kindle app will continue reading to me if the book is an actual audio book not being converted to text.

  • Amazon First Reads

Truly I don’t know much about 1st reads. I use Kindle Unlimited a lot. But some of the other programs I constantly forget the names of I use less often. For example I just borrowed the below book with Unlimited and didn’t pay attention at first to the First Reads deal that I almost missed.

A Highly Reviewed New Audio Book

Link to the Product page for all versions of the book ‘A River in Darkness’.’

It’s Free on Kindle Unlimited, so I just borrowed the audio version for free.

Prime members get to participate for free in Amazon’s First Read’s program.

Get Prime Free for 30 Days

To learn more about Amazon’s First Read’s Program use the link below.

First Reads + Amazon Prime Programs

Get 3 Months of Kindle Unlimited for $.99

Save 66% on 3 Months and of Audible for Reading Audio Books

Anytime we download an audio book it’s an Audible One…but we don’t have and Audible account.

That’s because Audible and Amazon merged many years back. It’s also because I’m cheap…I reacher use Siri to read to me for free. But my husband prefers real audio books from Audible…so we’re leaning more and more in that direction.

Today Only the First Reads Program let’s all Prime Members Download 7 Great Books for Free

So, that deal includes the one borrowed using Unlimited.

Conclusion

Prime Day only comes once a year. It’s been by far the best day ever for picking up Alexa enabled devices because you can’t beat Prime Day prices.

Posted in Amazon Prime, Android, Prime Day, Things I Love | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment