Thursday, July 28, 2011

Updating ALL apps in iTunes Solution

For several weeks now, I have been noticing that I have not been able to update ALL the apps (200+) in my iTunes for my Mac.  I was consistently receiving a message that the connection with the store was not working or timing out and to try back later.  Finally today, I noticed someone on the Yahoo iPhone forum was also experiencing this problem.  So, as I often do, I sought out the solution.  I have been able normally just to pick each app individually and update in that manner, but that can be time consuming when you have 200+ apps.

As I had installed Lion recently, I thought maybe this was the culprit, but didn't want to blame the new system for something without thoroughly testing some ideas.  So, as I scoured the preferences in iTunes, I noticed under the advanced settings an option to Reset the iTunes Store Cache.  So I thought what can I lose, so I clicked on the Reset Cache button next to this option.  IT WORKED.  My apps are being updated ALL at once. 

So if you are having trouble updating ALL your apps at once in the iTunes store, you might try this solution.  Be sure to let me know if it worked for you or if you have an alternate solution you wish to share.  Happy updating to you.

Monday, July 25, 2011

International Charges on iPhone

I've decided to outline some of the things I learned today, about using your iPhone abroad.

If you wish to use your iPhone for voice, text messaging, email, surfing the web or using apps that access the internet, while you are in Edge or 3G mode, then you will be charged.
  • If you receive a VoiceMail, you will be billed per minute and if you listen to that voicemail, you will be billed per minute.  Note: You can have this Voicemail disabled by calling AT&T.  It is nice to have this feature, assuming you don't have a lot of friends calling and leaving you messages all the time.  A good reason to consider leaving this option enabled would be if you need to hear from someone back home. 
  • Any calls you make overseas to overseas or the US will incur a charge per minute for each call based on the roaming fees associated with that country.  To receive discounted per minute roaming rates, you can take out a World Traveler Plan costing $5.99 per month or you can be charged the standard rates for that country which a generally higher rate for the countries without taking out this plan.  Therefore, if you just plan to make a few calls or only for emergency, it might not benefit you to also have the additional $5.99 monthly plan.
  • Text messages are received and billed as well.  Check the ATT site for international costs and plans.  Usually text message options will offer a cheaper alternative to incurring costs for lengthy voice calls.
  • When using email, surfing the web, streaming movies, or using apps that rely on data transmission you can rack up some pretty hefty charges.  If you do not use these services on your iPhone while in the voice mode and only while using wifi, you can avoid these added costs.  You should try to take advantage of free hotspots and inexpensive wifi services in cafes, hotels and restaurants during your trip.  If you plan to access these services while under Edge or 3G, then it is advisable to get a plan offered for international usage which currently includes:  
  • 50 MB for $24.99 Monthly Charge
  • 125 MB for $49.99 Monthly Charge
  • 225 MB for $99.99 Monthly Charge
  • 800 MB for 199.99 Monthly Charge.  
  • Once you exceed the data by 1MB, you will be billed $10 for an additional 10MB 
  • Note:  The only way to keep your iPhone from automatically transmitting data is to keep both the "Data Roaming" and the "Fetch New Data" settings to OFF. Even if you change these settings to the OFF position, you will still be able to use your phone for voice and text. You also have the option of using wifi when available. To turn off data roaming please select Settings-General-Network-Data Roaming. To turn off data fetch Settings, Mail-Contacts-Calenders, Fetch New Data, Change push to off and select to Fetch Manually. 

    Note:  The monthly plans for discounted rates per minute on voice calls and plans for data downloads can be added or removed at any time and do not involve a cancellation fee.  
    You are able to add and remove international features by accessing your online account or calling AT&T International Care at 1-800-335-4685. or if you are out of country you can dial 001-916-843-4685. 

    If you need to speak to an International Care Representative you can always chat with one online at the AT&T site. You can also send us an email by logging onto your online account at>contact us. Or you can reach a representative by dialing +1-916-843-4685 while you are outside of the country.

    To reduce costs while overseas consider using wifi when available, using Skype or FaceTime type apps when wifi is available to make your calls, emailing or texting while using wifi.  If you need navigation, see if your current handheld GPS devices are up-to-date with maps of the regions you plan to visit and use instead of incurring charges for downloading maps while using 3G or edge connection on your iPhone.  Yes, Google Maps can be expensive to use while on data roaming charges are incurring for large data downloads of maps.  I often download maps and use with GoodReader in the form of pdf file.  That way, I can zoom in on city maps much like we did when we used paper maps.  This can also be done by storing your pdf maps in your iBooks and can be accessed without using wifi or expensive data roaming plans.

    Happy traveling.  Remember with a little pre-planning you can enjoy your trip and avoid any unexpected expenses or surprises when you get home.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

DKVBrowser Hiccup with Lion System

I updated my Mac with the new Lion System today and have experienced a few problems with some of my applications.  My Office programs like Excel, Word and Adobe Acrobat Standard no longer work.  I also had a few hiccups with some of the other applications like FaceTime and Mail.  Both of these are working fine, after installing the latest updates and rebooting my computer after a few forced quits.

I decided that I needed to test out controlling my Yamaha Disklavier Pianos, using DKVBrowser application. I clicked on DKVBrowser and received a message to the effect that I needed to update my java script.  I clicked on the button to start the download and install.  That seemed to work fine, but the DKVBrowser screen came up saying the connection failed.  It could not locate the correct IP address which may have be reset not due to Lion, but to a power outage this morning.  Anyway, entering the DKV###### into the IP Address box was accepted and everything working fine as usual now.

Always great when I can turn on my piano and pick a great song and listen to the music all from my downstairs office.

I have tried twice to run the virtual remote software from Yamaha on my Mac, but am receiving a message and error log. I will check it out and it report on it later.  Need to check my notes to see the procedure.

Saturday, July 09, 2011

I Can Sing with Songify iPhone App - It's Easy

This morning I kept receiving singing messages from my children who were out and about exploring and having a good time.  They have been keeping me up to date on their daily adventures from having breakfast to traveling on a ferry to go to the beach.  Something very cool about hearing an audio message instead of just reading an email, especially when that message is set to the beat of music. 

The iphone app Songify is available in the apps store for free and has several installed musical genres and songs that you can use with your recorded message.  The software analyzes your voice and composes music to match.  I've never been able to rap, but now I might.  The software also allows you to buy various other tunes for options.  Even if you can't sing it still works great.  You also have options to allow duets and sharing with Facebook and Twitter, as well as emailing to your friends.

Check it out. Click here for iTunes link.  It is marvelous and fun and a very clever app - I know you will love it!

Here is a sample: 

Monday, July 04, 2011

What Happened to My App Store Icon?

Today my daughter wasn't able to find the App Store icon on her iPad.  This seemed odd as this is one of the icons that represent applications that come with the iPad system software.  Normally, it is understood these apps can not be deleted, but can be moved to other pages and into folders on your iPad.

My daughter searched on other pages and in folders, but could not find the icon.  I suggested typing in "app store" in the search box on her iPad.  Again, there was no resulting app store icon.  Oddly, it appeared to not be accessible on her iPad.

Finally, I suggested that she check her settings. She could see the App Store in the settings menu on the left hand-side of the iPad settings screen.  She was logged in to the app store and everything appeared normal under the settings, but still no app store icon available on the home or other screens of her iPad.  Next,  under Settings> General> Restrictions -- it was noted that the restrictions were enabled and both deleting and installing apps were set to OFF.  Once she set these back to ON, the app icon magically reappeared.