was successfully added to your cart.

Touch screen basics for new iPhones

By | Tips

If you getting a new iPhone, you may wonder how a device without a physical keyboard can do everything from checking your bank balances to telling your Facebook friends about your daughter’s birthday party. The answer: It’s all in the touch screen. The following post explains how to use touch screens on new iPhones (including the iPhone 7, iPhone 8 and iPhone 10). Some of the instructions will be valid for older iPhones as well.

The iPhone touch screen lets you press virtual buttons, enter text on a pop-up virtual keyboard, and use other types of gestures, including:

  • Force Touch. Pressing and holding a finger on the screen can place the cursor in a document or email, select an area or object, or mark an item for cutting, copying, and pasting. Force Touch can also be used to remove apps from the phone (see Chapter 4, ).
  • Swiping and Brushing a finger across the screen allows for horizontal browsing (for instance, to see the next picture in a photo album) or vertical scrolling (useful in the iPhone’s browser, if you want to read to the bottom of a long article or page). Flicking can be used in book apps to flip through the pages, and some games even use swiping for special actions such as slicing tossed fruit (no joke—this is the object of a game called Fruit Ninja).
  • Double-tapping. In email, double-tapping text will highlight text and give you the option of copying, cutting, and pasting. In games and other apps, double-tapping might allow certain moves or special functions.
  • Dragging is a combination of holding and swiping, and is similar to “dragging” an item with a mouse on a desktop computer. Try it by holding down one of the app icons for two seconds. Without letting it go, drag it to the right side of the screen. The icon will follow your finger and will eventually be dragged over to the next pane of the Home screen. Let go of the icon, and the icon will be deposited on the new pane.
  • Zooming. This gesture is commonly used for zooming in and out, which can be useful for examining photos or maps. To zoom in, place the tips of two fingers or a finger and a thumb next to each other on the screen, and then spread the digits. To zoom out, do the reverse.

Many gestures and touch-related actions are contextual. That means a gesture may be assigned different functions, depending on the app that is being used. Fortunately, some gestures are nearly universal. For instance, the swiping gesture rarely changes from app to app (Fruit Ninja being one amusing exception!)

3D Touch, Peek, and Pop

All newer iPhones have additional touch screen actions, which Apple collectively calls 3D Touch. The touch screens on these newer models are able to differentiate between taps, light pressure (Peek), and heavy pressure (Pop). Peek generally previews content or provides additional options, whereas Pop will open the content.

Here are some examples of how Peek and Pop work:

  • From the Home screen, light pressure on an app icon will reveal a menu of Quick Action options for that app.
  • When reviewing the list of email in your inbox, light pressure on a particular message will preview it, while heavy pressure will open up the message.
  • While browsing photos and videos in the Photos app, use Peek on a single image to open it up for preview.
  • From your list of contacts, Peek will let you quickly mail, message, or call someone.
  • In Maps, use Peek to preview a business or organization, share its location, start driving directions, or browse contacts in your favorites (see the image below).

iPhone 7 Plus Peek favorites iPhone touch screenHowever, there are some drawbacks to 3D Touch:

  • It takes some getting used to. Press too hard or too softly, and it may not work as expected.
  • Apple Apps widely incorporate 3D Touch, as do some popular apps such as Instagram. However, not all apps support 3D Touch.
  • For certain apps, there does not seem to be much of a point to Peek or Pop—for instance, why bother using 3D Touch to preview or open a photo when it is already so easy to use the touch screen to open it?

Nevertheless, some apps are really improved by the addition of 3D Touch, such as Contacts. If you own a newer iPhone model, play around with 3D Touch to determine which apps work best with the new touch screen technology.

This post was excerpted from an IN 30 MINUTES guide.

Announcing PowerPoint Basics In 30 Minutes

By | News

Publisher i30 Media released its new guide to Microsoft PowerPoint this week. Titled PowerPoint Basics In 30 Minutes: How to make effective PowerPoint presentations using a PC, Mac, PowerPoint Online, or the PowerPoint app, the book explains how to make great PowerPoint presentations that get real results.

PowerPoint Basics In 30 MinutesThis unofficial PowerPoint user guide covers the basic features of PowerPoint 2016 (part of the Office 365 suite), PowerPoint Online, and the PowerPoint mobile apps, including PowerPoint for Android and PowerPoint for iOS. The PowerPoint manual also demonstrates how to use some of PowerPoint’s most powerful features and tools, such as:

  • Premade PowerPoint templates with gorgeous backgrounds and fonts.
  • Custom PowerPoint layouts that fit your personality or corporate identity.
  • Special PowerPoint formatting and design options.
  • Tools to place photos, video, and audio onto slides.
  • Shapes, graphs, tables, and SmartArt.
  • Graceful transitions between PowerPoint slides.
  • PowerPoint animations that can make text and other elements come to life.
  • Proofing tools for spelling and review.
  • PowerPoint collaboration features that make it easy to work with colleagues or classmates.
  • Exporting PowerPoint PDFs, online versions for the Web, and package presentations to share with others.
  • Creating paper copies and printed PowerPoint handouts.
  • Showing your presentation with a mouse or mobile device, or using a PowerPoint remote or PowerPoint clicker.

Author Angela Rose also gives tips on how to communicate more effectively using PowerPoint decks. Whether you are giving a business presentation, preparing a lecture for a class or seminar, or using Microsoft PowerPoint for personal use, PowerPoint Basics In 30 Minutes can help you create a better-looking presentation that makes a big impact.

The book is available as a paperback, a Kindle book, and an ebook for the iPad and other e-reader devices. A PDF version is also available. Visit powerpoint.in30minutes.com for more details.

About the author

Angela Rose is a writer and B2C marketing strategist based in Colorado. She is the author of the award-winning LinkedIn In 30 Minutes (2nd Edition) as well as Microsoft Word In 30 Minutes.

About IN 30 MINUTES Guides

i30 Media Corp. is the publisher of the award-winning IN 30 MINUTES series – quick guides for a complex world. Thousands of readers turn to the series to understand mildly complex topics, ranging from genealogy to computer software. The tone is friendly and easy to understand, with step-by-step instructions and lots of examples. Top-selling titles include Google Drive & Docs In 30 Minutes, Twitter In 30 Minutes, and the award-winning LinkedIn In 30 Minutes. For more information about the series, visit in30minutes.com

LinkedIn In 30 Minutes is a Foreword Indies winner

By | News

I am pleased to announce that one of our top-selling titles — LinkedIn In 30 Minutes, Second Editionis a Foreword Indies winner. The book, by author Angela Rose, explains how to get the most out of LinkedIn, from creating a rock-solid profile to finding a job. Angela’s book was considered a top pick by the judges (librarians and booksellers working with the organizers of the Foreword Reviews competition) and received an honorable mention in the Career category. Considering this year was a record year for award submissions (there were some 15 entries in this category alone), this was no small feat. Foreword Reviews describes the selection process as follows:

As part of their mission to discover, review, and share the best books from small, university, and indie publishers (and authors), independent media company Foreword Reviews hosts its annual awards program each year. Finalists represent the best books published in 2016, and submitted to Foreword Reviews for award consideration, and were narrowed down by Foreword’s editors from over 2,200 individual titles spread across 65 categories. …

INDIES finalists are moved on to final judging by an expert panel of librarians and booksellers curated specifically for each genre and who will determine the books who will be named Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Award winners. Winners in each genre—along with Editor’s Choice winners, and Foreword’s INDIE Publisher of the Year—will be announced during the 2017 American Library Association Annual Conference in Chicago on June 24, 2017.

Congratulations to Angela for her hard work on LinkedIn In 30 Minutes. We have just updated the second edition with new information, screenshots, and best practices in line with LinkedIn’s new interface. For more information about the book or to order LinkedIn In 30 Minutes, please visit the companion website to the book, located at linkedin.in30minutes.com.

Amazon Pay WooCommerce extension: Why we’re turning it off

By | Blog

We recently set up e-commerce capabilities on in30minutes.com to make it easier for our customers to purchase In 30 Minutes guides, our line of technology cheat sheets, and EasyGenie genealogy forms. It wasn’t easy. Besides dealing with the WooCommerce settings in WordPress, there was additional work required to get an SSL certificate for the site (to protect our customers’ information and enable secure transactions), set up Stripe for credit card payments, load items into the store, and test the workflow.

Besides Stripe, I also enabled PayPal for transactions. That was straightforward, and afterwards the PayPal button appeared below the Stripe/credit card options on our shopping cart. So when I saw that Amazon offered similar functionality via the Amazon Pay WooCommerce extension (available via the WooCommerce site), and it allowed merchants to access the customer information (a big deal for shipping and other forms of contact) I was enthusiastic. A significant number of Americans (between 24% and half of households) have Amazon Prime accounts. If adding the Amazon Pay button makes it easier for customers to buy our products on our own store, that was great. I created my Amazon Merchant Account, installed the Amazon Pay WooCommerce extension, and followed the integration instructions.

The first thing I did was test the shopping cart. I was not happy with what I saw:

amazon pay woocommerce extension

Instead of the Amazon Pay button appearing with the Stripe and PayPal options (blue arrow), the Amazon Pay WooCommerce extension forces the button to the top of the screen (red arrow) with a giant prompt asking customers whether they had an Amazon account. It’s the first thing customers will see, even before the products they have ordered. Ideally, the Amazon Pay button should appear next to the Stripe and PayPal options, not at the top of the page with a giant banner screaming for people to use it. Neither PayPal nor Stripe demand such behavior from their merchant partners, so why should Amazon?

I am not the only person to have problems with the setup of the Amazon Pay WooCommerce extension screen options. And they apparently cannot be changed, short of messing around with custom PHP work.

So, the choice is simple. We’re deactivating the Amazon Pay WooCommerce extension. Maybe they’ll add an option to remove the banner and relocate the button to the bottom of the page where it belongs. Until then, visitors to our store are welcome to use PayPal or a credit card to make purchases. Our products are also for sale on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other locations.

Ben Franklin silver award goes to Genealogy Basics In 30 Minutes

By | News

Last week I flew to Portland to attend the Independent Book Publishers Association annual conference, Publishing University. I have attended in the past, but this time was special: In 30 Minutes guides was picking up a Ben Franklin award for Genealogy Basics In 30 Minutes, by author Shannon Combs-Bennett!

Ben Franklin silver award goes to Genealogy Basics In 30 Minutes IBPA’s Benjamin Franklin awards are well-known in the independent publishing community. Submissions are judged by multiple people according to very specific criteria, and the competition is fierce: This year, there were 1,300 submissions across several dozen categories. Genealogy Basics In 30 Minutes was one of only three titles to make it to the final round in its category (crafts & hobbies) and we were very happy to be awarded a Ben Franklin silver award (congratulations to the gold winner in our category, Bricks, Cobblestones and Pebbles: A Path to Modern Quilts by author Gyleen X. Fitzgerald, as well as the other finalist, Building Block Dress: A Sewing Pattern Alteration Guide by author Liesl Gibson).

Shannon and a friend joined me at the awards ceremony–it was actually the first time I had ever met her in person–and we really had a great time talking about genealogy, history, and some favorite historical dramas. I did not know this, but Shannon and her friend are experts on period historical dresses and were able to answer a question that I had long wondered about–why do the men in the PBS drama Wolf Hall have such heavy clothes? Answer: It was a mini-ice age in Europe in the 1520s!

Congratulations to Shannon for all of her hard work in preparing a manuscript, rewriting the draft, providing materials, and answering questions from me and the copy editor. The guide has been a great help to many readers (including one as far away as Australia!) and it made me proud to see her accepting the Ben Franklin award.