Casio G-Shock GWM5610: Watch Review

My first watch was a Casio. I don’t remember how old I was when I got it, or even what model it was, but my first watch was definitely a Casio. I’ve worn Casios on and off for most of my life, but none have connected with me more than the one I am wearing right now, the G-Shock GWM5610. It might not look like anything special, but this little thing is packed with history, (and technology), and that checks a lot of boxes for me. Here’s why.

The 2019 iPad: What’s New for Schools & Everyone Else?

At their annual September event, Apple announced a new seventh-generation iPad that replaces the sixth-generation iPad that was released in March 2018. New iPad models usually bring new features, but this one is mostly an exception to the rule. Although it does have some new additions, it’s certainly a more modest update than you may have expected. So, without further delay, here’s what’s new with the 2019 iPad.

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EP1: Read Better

Here is episode one of my new podcast, Unpacking iOS. It’s a podcast about iOS and how to get the best out of your iPhone or iPad. Take a listen, and if you like what you hear, please consider subscribing in Apple Podcasts. You can also listen on Spotify, Stitcher, and TuneIn, or in a podcast player of your choice.

If you have any feedback or ideas for future episodes, I would love to hear from you. In the meantime, you can learn more at unpackingios.com!

Unpacking iOS

Welcome to Episode 1 of Unpacking iOS. In this episode I talk about ways to make reading online more enjoyable on your iPhone or iPad.  Here’s the links from this episode. Listen online here, or subscribe in a podcast app.

Apps from this episode:

If you enjoyed the show, please subscribe, leave a review in the Apple Podcasts app, or share this podcast with your friends on social media. I welcome any feedback or ideas for future episodes. You can submit that via the contact form at unpackingios.com.

Check out Safari for iPad and iPhone on Amazon for even more iOS tips, or learn more at safaribook.net.

Music: Jahzzar (betterwithmusic.com) CC BY-SA

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Get More Done With YouTube’s Picture-in-Picture View

The research supporting the benefits of multitasking is a little scarce. Humans can’t give their full attention to two tasks at the same time, but there are still scenarios when switching between two simultaneous tasks can be beneficial. After all, this is the reason why picture-in-picture (PiP) was invented. People would watch one show while waiting for the other to start or switch channels between commercial breaks. The technology still exists today. Here’s how it works on YouTube, and some reasons why you might want to try it.

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How to Convert an Old Google Site to the New Google Sites

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When Google Sites got its long awaited update, nobody was shedding a tear for the clunky and over complicated classic Google Sites. However, not everyone jumped on the new Google Sites as quickly as you might think. Many had school websites or other content that would have been too cumbersome or complicated to transfer with just copy and paste. These people were waiting on Google to released the transfer tool that they promised would convert the old Google Sites to the new Google Sites. That time has finally come. Here’s what you need to know.

How to Convert to New Google Sites

The following procedure is available to those with personal Google accounts right now. It comes to G Suite domain administrators for schools and enterprise on May 22, 2018, and to other G Suite users with an eligible site on June 19, 2018.

  1. Open your classic Google Site at sites.google.com
  2. Click the gear icon in the top right-hand corner
  3. Click Manage Site
  4. At the bottom of the menu on the left hand-side, click Convert to New Sites.
  5. Choose the sharing permissions for the new site
  6. Click Start to begin the transfer

If everything looks good, and you have made any changes that you need to make, you  need to hit the Publish button to make your site live. When you do this, you will be asked if you want to keep the URL from your old site had, or to start fresh with a new URL.

If you choose to keep the URL you had before, (a useful option if your site is being linked to from multiple places), then the existing URL will automatically redirect users from the old site to the new site. It also means that any URL shorteners that you used, (bit.ly, tinyurl, etc.), will continue to work. If you choose a new URL, be sure to let people know about the new location for your Google Site.

Will Everything Transfer?

In theory, most content should transfer pretty well to the new Google Sites. However, your site won’t necessarily look the same as it did before, and that’s kind of the nature of the beast here. Pages and navigation will be the same, but you may need to tweak your layout, and the fonts and colors will have been modified so that they are in line with the theme options in the new Google Sites.

Widgets, iFrames and custom HTML will likely not transfer well to the new Google Sites, but File Cabinet pages, attachments, embedded Google documents, and YouTube videos should make the transition as expected, albeit with some minor changes. For instance, File Cabinet pages will be converted to an embedded Google Drive folder with all the files you previously uploaded.

A full comparison of what you will see when you convert your old Google Site to the new Google Site can be found on Google’s help page, What to Expect When You Convert a Site.

I Can’t Convert to the New Google Sites

If you’re reading this after June 19, 2018, and you still don’t see the option to convert to the new Google Sites, your site may not currently be eligible for transfer. Google doesn’t offer much guidance here other than to say you should continue to check back for when it may be eligible.

Alternatively, you could copy and paste content from the old Google Site to a new Google Site, providing you don’t have too much content to transfer.

How To Make iPad Screencasts on an iPad

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Recently, I had the need to create a screencast of an iPad app for a teacher I work with. Normally, I would just AirPlay my iPad to my Mac, and then record (and edit) my video with Camtasia. However, this time I felt like doing something different. I wanted to explore the options for doing this using an iPad, because I am increasingly of the opinion that there are very few things you can’t do with just an iPad any more. As it happens, there are a number of apps that will let you do this, so in this post I am going to demonstrate one of those apps, tell you about the process I used, and as suggest some others that you might want to take a look at if you decide to try this yourself. Here’s what you need to know.

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How to Use Chrome to Scan QR Codes on iPads and iPhones

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Let’s face it. Sometimes less is more. If one app can do the job of two or three others, then one app will often be a better choice. It takes up less room on your device, you don’t have to remember how to use as many apps, and it’s generally just more efficient. So, when Google updated the Chrome app for iPad and iPhones, I was intrigued to notice that they had included the ability to scan QR codes. Here’s how it works.

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Coding in the Classroom with Swift Playgrounds

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The recent release of iOS 10 unlocked a creative coding opportunity for iPad classrooms called Swift Playgrounds. It’s an iPad app that lets you solve interactive puzzles that are designed to help you learn the basics of how to code in a programming language called Swift. It is aimed at students aged 12 and over and is part of Apple’s Everyone Can Code initiative. So, if you are looking for new ways to start coding with students, this could be a great new platform for you to explore. Here’s what you need to know.

What is Swift?

Swift is an open source programming language that was developed by Apple engineers and released in 2014. It was created to help developers build apps for iOS, macOS, watchOS and tvOS. Swift has its origins firmly rooted in another programming language called Objective-C, but Swift is generally considered to be more concise. The app, Swift Playgrounds, was developed to help introduce a younger audience to the finer points of programming with Swift, and to help foster a new generation of programmers for Apple devices.

Getting Started With Swift Playgrounds

Swift Playgrounds is only available for iPads running iOS 10 or later. You also need at least an iPad Air, or an iPad Mini 2, because these are the oldest devices that are capable of running the app. The iPad 2, the iPad 3, the iPad 4 and the original iPad Mini are not compatible Swift Playgrounds because they either can’t be upgraded past iOS 9 or lack the hardware necessary to run the Playgrounds app.

Once you launch the app you will see lessons at the top of the screen and coding challenges underneath. If your students have never programmed with Swift before, the lessons are the best place to start because they introduce you to the basics that students will need in order to attempt the challenges.Read More »