devices

Apple’s Facetime and iMessage. How to add a contact and what they do for us Apple users.

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Facetime and iMessage. On your latest iOS, OSX devices.

FaceTime adding contacts to iMessage and Video chat.

Apple devices come with 2 ways to contact another Apple user.
Their phone number if it’s an iPhone,
The Apple ID. The Apple ID can be used on all Apple devices.

How do you add a contact to your apple devices. There are a few ways of doing this.

If you know someone with an Apple product is trying to contact you. You both share your Apple ID and then you can do several things.

When you have each others information. In your contacts tab or icon. You click on the + sign to add a new contact. After you fill out the information and when you try to look at their information. You see 2 icons next to their number or email. One is a camera and the other is a text bubble. You can then choose to video chat or send a normal text chat to that other Apple user. I have provided a video showing the basic way of adding contacts to your Apple devices.

As long as you have the other persons information you can then FaceTime or iMessage that other person. This will only work with Apple products. This feature does not require a cell phone carrier. You just need your internet. It will work over an ethernet cable or wi-fi. It will also work at hot spots or anywhere you have access to your internet.

Consider your Apple ID your very own Apple telephone number to communicate with other Apple products.

FaceTime can also work as a voice call only feature if you are shy of being on cam. It is just a matter of going into the options and turning off the cam. The advantage of not using the cam with FaceTime is that it lets you make conference type calls with other Apple users. This is probably the only advantage using Skype.

iMessage works just like FaceTime. Instead though it uses chat or texts. You can send videos, pictures , share an abundance of things with other Apple users. An example is: You and your friends are running about recording videos and taking pictures. Everyone has different devices though. From iPad to an iTouch. iPhone and mom is at home on her macbook air. As long as you have internet either through wi fi or cellular service you can all just iMessage mom personally and send her all the information to her Macbook air.

Whats the difference between using Skype or just texting someone everything. There are a few things.
1. cellular service does not work on a majority of the iPad, iMacs,MacBooks etc. Think of your Apple ID like your very personal ID that you can give to only your closest of friends and family. Also It does not use up data from your cellular service if you are on wi-fi.
2. Some people do not want to give out their numbers for privacy reasons or their Skype account because it may be for work related reasons only. You can take any of those reasons and make them vice versa.
3. Some people just like to separate business/school and personal contacts.
4. I believe iMessage does not cap you on how big a file you can send through iMessage to other Apple users like a text message can.

Those reasons also apply to FaceTime usage. I personally use FaceTime for personal use. Another example. I use FaceTime for personal calls to my younger nieces to check up on them or for them to check in when they are out. The beauty is i can be out and about with my iPhone or ipad and still receive the FaceTime call or iMessage at a hotspot or anyplace i may be with internet. My 13-year-old niece has a iPhone 5c and in 8th grade and my younger 5-year-old niece has a little iTouch and they both can hit the little green icon and call me without hassle. Only down side is taking the time to set up their Apple ID which does not take long at all so they can be called or make calls. You can not share the same email incase some readers have a 1 family type email setup. You will not be able to call yourself. When someone does call you ALL your devices will ring. Even worst all your iCloud items will be shared through out all your devices and this is another article.

What do you think? Do you use FaceTime? Do you think it’s better or worst than Skype? Let me know what you think. Facetime and iMessage. On your iOS, OSX devices.

Feel free to send me any questions or comments at politech101@gmail.com

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Tech advice on shopping technology for your kids.

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My suggestions for devices for kids. What they can make use of and prices. Why to get each device and which is safe proof to last.

Choices Choices Choices

Laptops – Pros: Gets a kid used to searching for stuff and using a keyboard. Later on in life they will need some type of computer knowledge for school or work . Starting early isn’t a bad thing. Kids these days are super smart and can pick up on things quick and practice their spelling, grammar and typing all in one shot.
Cons: Depending on what laptop you get or desktop things will either run smooth or not. Operating systems like windows 8.1. I love windows but i love windows 7. This mash of confusion between desktop and tablet OS i would suggest you avoid. Especially for a kid who will have to deal with screens dashing back and forth. Lack of Applications and just about everything else.

Shopping :I believe in the you get what you pay for theory. I used to be the person to buy just enough in my budget and go along with it. But i was never satisfied till i bought something great or the best at the time. The benefits is a great product that will last you awhile. But this is for kids so we want to spend just enough for them to enjoy it but not destroy our bank accounts. What kind of specs or brands do i suggest, well lets see. Theres HP, Dell, Asus and a number of other brands. It will come down to what you are willing to spend. Lets pick a price point of something compared to a Playstation 4 or Xbox one which kids love these days so you are talking 300-500 depending on the bundle. You can get computers with specs of an i5 cpu, 8 gigs of ram, and integrated graphics maybe intel 5000. This setup will be speedy enough to do everything casual on the net and some light gaming. If you want anything under 300 you will be dealing with Celeron and low ram portables which i personally hate because nothing gets to you like spending money on something that struggles to run. The i5 cpu and 8 gigs of ram will be great for a kid. For fun, for school work, for any of your work etc. Another thing to note, The more RAM the better when a computer has integrated graphics. Your video will share RAM with your system to help push the graphics. Storage space is about 500 gig or more in this price range. Which should be more than adequate for a kid or teenager to store anything he or she needs. Most mobile devices come with a wi-fi card to get online. From that point on its up to you to decide what programs your kid needs. Games, learning software, etc.

more choices and choices

Tablets – Tablets are a smaller version of a laptop. Most tablets today like the Apple iPad or Samsung’s galaxy tablets are touch screen devices. A majority run Apples IOS software or Google’s Android OS. The difference between the two are its interface and app stores. Each comes with its ups and downs but both do generally the same thing. To make it easy, think of them as over sized smart phones. Millions of applications minus the calling and texting on some. Why would i suggest a tablet for kids? Lets see.
Pros – Small and easy to carry around. Can do everything the laptop can. It has a build in camera for videos and pictures. Games and learning software. Social sites galore if your teenager is into it and all at a press of the screen. No typing in a URL to get to do some of those things and it all at your finger tips. Tablets can also watch movies, amazon prime, Netflix, hobo go and so on. Apples iPad gives you the change to pay for mobile internet. Those versions of the device usually sell for about $100 more than its counter part. Some devices you can add a sd micro card to boost your storage from 64 gig to 128. Another great thing is most tablets these days are part of your devices echo system. if you all have iphones and macbooks then the iPad might be the choice for your kid etc. With applications like iMessage and Facetime  and their cloud system to share pictures and goodies. Other brands have their variation of an echo system but none as refined as Apples.

Cons: Price for internet access with a carrier. Storage the more affordable ones usually come with 16 gigs of space only. Most apps do not take up a lot of storage but it can build up if you have a ton of applications or pictures and music and movies that you can add to your device. Mainly Apple tablets which come with pre made storage capacity. The Samsung tablets can use sd micro cards to boost their storage.

These tablets can all be purchased anywhere from I would say between 200 to 400. The 1st gen mini iPad goes for 299 if that as new. Used on Amazon I have seen them as low as $100 used and in good condition. Samsung tablets also don’t get to expensive until you start looking at their higher end products like the galaxy notes and pros. Another tablet you may see that’s great is the Nexus 7, goes for around 250-300 and is often battling the mini iPad for best 7” tablet market. It sports the newer updates from google and a very high res screen. Another tablet you may see a lot of but I would not suggest for kids is the Windows surface tablets. Those are mini laptops/tablets. The RT version is not worth the money. You can’t install your own software and need to depend on Microsoft’s miserable app store. The higher end pro surface tablets are a completely different story but for a lot more money. For a kid my suggestions would be 1st or second generation mini iPad and Samsung galaxy tabs and nexus 7. All provide a bit of everything for a kid.

Applications: Whether its a laptop or tablet you will have tons of choices to choose from. The difference is how much easier is it to do. A laptop you need to dig up applications yourself and install. Worrying about a virus, malware etc. A tablet from Apple and Samsung you will have millions of choices from paid to free to play with.

PS: Hardware on tablets aren’t as impactful as laptops. The iPad to this day runs on 1 gig of ram. Just make sure to see what brand benefits you.

Some of the best places to shop for devices for me are newegg.com and amazon.