January Tips and Tricks

Would you believe I learned some new things about my iPhone while on a cruise? Celebrity Cruise Lines features an iLounge on their ships with Apple products to use and purchase. I attended two iLearn sessions learning new things while cruising a week before Christmas.

The next meeting will be held January 18, 2018, at 1:00 p.m. in Charlestown Square in Classroom 116. The topic will be Tricks and Tricks for the iPhone and iPad.


No December Meeting

Enjoy all the Holiday fun with family and friends. We will be back January 17, 2017.

Program Notes iOS Shortcuts

Shortcuts app

Shortcuts in iOS 12 lets you automate actions on your iPhone and iPad. First, download the Shortcut app from the AppStore. The user guide from Apple support is very good with a table of contents that can be expanded to get more information.

You can trigger your Shortcuts with Siri. You can use a single action to get the weather or multiple actions to do more actions at the same time.

New Shortcuts

To find new Shortcuts in Apple’s Gallery, do this:

  • Launch the Shortcuts app on your device.
  • Tap Gallery
  • Look through the lists, or search for what you’re trying to accomplish. There may already be a Shortcut for you.

Make A Shortcut

Here is how to make your first shortcut.

  • Launch Settings on your iPhone or iPad
  • Tap Siri & Search
  • If you see a suggestion you want to automate, tap it. If not, tap All Shortcuts to see a much longer list.



If you see a shortcut you want to install do the following:

  • Select the Shortcut you want to use.
  • Tap the red Record button to teach Siri what to listen for when you want the action to happen.
  • Tap Done to finish up your Siri Shortcut.


Gallery of Shortcuts

The Gallery will offer you categories of premade Shortcuts to try. Tap on the Shortcut to view it and tap Show Actions to see how it is built. This is a great way to see what types of actions are available.

For many more examples of Shortcuts, there is a website with a Gallery of Shortcuts.

Shortcuts in Third-Party Apps

You have many applications that can use Shortcuts. Here is a list of apps that support Shortcuts. Many of your favorite apps will offer support. Many more will be added as developers add that feature to their apps.

Adding Third-Party Apps to Shortcuts

You must enable the Shortcuts button in the Share sheet of another app to allow shortcuts to run. Open the app and find the Share icon.

Screen Shot 2018-11-19 at 7.27.25 PM.png

When the Share screen opens, look in the second row of options and find More. If you don’t see it right away, swipe left until it appears.


In the list that appears, turn on Shortcuts and tap Done. A Shortcut button will now appear in the bottom row of the share sheet.

If you are a visual learner try watching a video.  Here is one that may be helpful to understand Shortcuts.

Siri Shortcuts for iOS 12


Program Notes iOS 12

There are many new features that make the iOS 12 upgrade worthwhile. iOS has a new upgrade to 12.0.1. Here are some links to get more information about the new features.

Explore the multiple of videos on YouTube and find a voice you like to listen to to learn more about your device.

Apple offers a GiveBack program for older Apple products. I used it to trade in my older iPad mini and received an Apple Gift card in return. Check it out.

Apple also has a new privacy website that allows you to download data that Apple has been collecting on you. After logging in to the site with you Apple ID and password, you will see information on how you can download a copy of your data from Apple apps and services.

The new Animoji that works on iPhone X and later is fun. Here is my version of myself made with the Animoji feature in Messages.

There is an app called Bitmoji that allows you to make your own personal emoji that can be included in your Messages. It is not animated but you can use lots of customization with different text to send your greetings. Bitmoji has to be added as a keyboard.

Bitmoji image

October 18 Program iOS 12 Features

October program notice

Composition in Photography

Betty Caldwell, Charlestown resident and nature photographer, will be the speaker at the September 20 meeting of the Apple Charlestown User Group. Her work has been featured in juried exhibits at the National Wildlife Center in Laurel, the National Institutes of Health, and the Howard County Conservancy. Since moving to Charlestown, she has taken on a new endeavor, the program Meditative Moments, featured on Charlestown’s in-house TV station, Channel 972. Betty is starting a Photography interest group for anyone with a camera. The Photography Interest Group will be meeting during after the Apple group starting in October.