My podcast, The Busy Latter-day Saint, is now available on Overcast, my favorite podcast app.
Overcast is, in my opinion, the best podcast app for Apple users. There are many great features, but then the two that I enjoy the most are Smart Speed, which shortens the silences, and Voice Boost that remasters the audio. The app is free with ads that take up minimal screen real estate. If the ads are a bother, then you can subscribe to Overcast Premium for the very reasonable price of $9.99 per year.
If you have not tried Overcast, download it today and give it a try.
iOS 13.4 for iPhone and iPadOS 13.4 for the iPad offers file sharing from iCloud. This is huge!
In the past, to share a file or folder, you had to use Google Drive, Dropbox, or other cloud services, and it took several steps to get to the link. Sharing a folder or files from iCloud is quicker and offers more options.
Here are the steps for sharing a folder (use the same steps for files):
Sharing One Folder or File.
Tap on the Files app.
Tap on iCloud Drive.
Do a long press on a folder until a menu appears.
Tap on Share.
Tap on one of the people in the Recent Sends row or one of the apps in the second row. If you don’t find what you are looking for in either row, slide the row to the left to see more options.
Finding the Copy Link
There are times that you only want the link. To see the link, scroll down and tap on Add People. If you don’t see the Copy Link slide the row to the left. If you still don’t see it tap on More at the end of the row. Scroll down, find Copy Link, and tap on it. When on this screen, you can also set Share Options.
I find one oddity. The row of apps in step 5 and the row of apps in the above step are different. For example, in step 5, I don’t see my to-do app Things in the app row, nor is it in the More list, it only shows up in last step.
In addition, when using an app found in the above step, you will be presented with the option to add email addresses or phone numbers, to bypass this tap on Continue.
To share multiple files, open the folder, tap on Select, tap on the files to share, then tap on Share and follow steps 1 through 5. There is no Add People option when sharing multiple files. To add more people tap on the message or email apps, then add the phone numbers or email addresses of the recipients in the respective app.
Sharing folder or files from iCloud is quicker than sharing from Drive or Dropbox, but what excites me more is I can quickly send the link to Things, Slack, Drafts, and more.
Apple users have been waiting for the sharing feature for several years. Last June, Apple announced that it would be part of iOS and iPadOS 13, and now it is finally here.
Take the time to get familiar with this great feature; you will find it a real time saver.
The spread of the coronavirus has provided us opportunities to become creative in doing the Lord’s work. Heavenly Father has prepared us for these times by providing us with technology so we can continue serving others.
There are many ways we can accomplish that goal. Live streaming with Facebook or FaceTime for Apple users. Conferencing services such as Zoom, Skype, FreeConference, Google Hangouts, and GoToMeeting can be tools to enable us to reach out and serve. Each of the above has strengths and weaknesses.
It is not the purpose of the writing to compare the above but to focus on Zoom, one of the most popular conferencing services.
Zoom is easy to use, works on all operating systems and has a free version that will supply you with all the options that you will need.
After you have downloaded the app, tap on Sign Up to create a free account. Enter your email address and first and last name, tap on “I agree to the Terms of Service,” and you are set to go.
While each of the apps may be laid out differently, they all provide the same four functions:
New Meeting – start a meeting now
Join – to join a meeting someone as started
Schedule – to schedule a meeting for the future
Share Screen – to share your screen with others
Also, there are four options at the bottom or side of your screen:
Chat (may also be shown as Meet & Chat) – to chat with another person
Meetings – upcoming meetings you have created or are a participant
Contacts – a list of your contacts (you have the choice of connecting with your current contact list)
The person or persons you are meeting with do not need the app or have an account. They will receive an email from you providing them with simple instructions to join the meeting.
Once the meeting has started you will have various features to use during the meeting.
Mute – to mute the sound
Stop video – to close your camera so others participants cannot see you. To open the camera tap on Start Video
Share Content – a list of things you can share such as photos, a whiteboard, your screen and more. When you share your screen any app you open will be seen by the particpants.
Participants – allows you to control and invite particpants
More – various other settings
The best way to practice using Zoom is to call your companion. To avoid feedback make sure each of you are in different rooms, then start playing with the various options.
Zoom is an efficient and easy service with a quick learning curve. It enables you to continue teaching and ministering to others without leaving your home.
NB – Just as I finished this post reports came in that some Android users are reporting problems with reception when using Zoom. Currently the app has a bad rating in the Play Store and there is no reason, at this point, to know the reason. Ratings on the App Store remain high. If you are an Android user and have a problem, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The latest edition of the Gospel Library (5.4.0) for iOS and Android has some exciting additions and improvements. The screenshots below are from an iPhone but are identical for Android.
In the Note Editor, undo and redo buttons have been added, which is a welcome addition. The bold, italics formats are now complete with the addition of underlining.
But there is more. It is now possible to indent and outdent a list, and text can be aligned left, center, right, and justified.
Another helpful feature is the ability to add a horizontal line and inserting a timestamp. The horizontal line will help in creating sub-divisions in a note, while the timestamp is useful when a note is updated, or a section is added.
Something that has always been available but has never discussed is using emoticons in Notes. An emoticon can convey nuances and can affect emotions, and they are fun to use. Tap on the smiley face that is to the left of the Space Bar and select the emoticon of your choice.
The list is extensive, so to see all of the formatting options on an iPhone in the portrait mode, slide the formatting bar to the left to see the remaining options. If you view the phone in the landscape mode, the entire bar can be seen.
The iPad in portrait and landscape mode shows all of the formatting options.
There has also been a massive increase in the maximum characters in a note. Up to now, the limit has been approximately 23k. This number was never an official limit, but a few years ago, through some of my contacts, I was given the above number. To be able to put 23k characters in perspective, I did a character count on a few conference talks and found they average 16-17k. Now the new limit of 500k characters can allow us to go crazy. This may seem extreme, but I have had incidents where I have copied and pasted an article that exceeded the previous limit forcing me to cut the material into sections.
Now for the most biggest news. The Note Editor now has hyperlinks. I am super excited to have hyperlinks now officially supported.
For several years I have pasted links from outside sources in my Library notes, and they worked (most of the time). But they were messy, long and not very attractive, and the biggest problem was while scrolling down a note, I would unintentionally touch the link and find myself outside of the Library, requiring me to jump back to the app. Now with hyperlinks, no mess, no fuss, no accidentally activating the link, and the link lowell, cool.
Some improvements also show up in the Search function. Search suggestions now appear based on where you are located in the Library. Here is an example:
Go to Scriptures/Book of Mormon.
Tap the Search icon at the bottom of the screen.
Type in the search field “faith” (without the quotes)
Tap the search suggestion “Find ‘faith’ in Book of Mormon.”
Here are the results
The “Find on Page” feature has been simplified. Now tapping on the option goes directly to the page instead of loading results in the search panel. The final improvement is the date modified shows for notes on the Notes tab in search results.
Another nice touch is a general search for any related notes that appears in results; the date modified will show under the title.
Excellent addition to the Conference talks is topic tags are added to the bottom of the talk. While a great addition, I wish they were at the top of the talk.
These topics are the same that are in the “Topics” column in the General Conference library.
The final improvement is in the Doctrine & Covenants. Links to Revelation in Context have been added to the sidebar. The link icon is the same as used for the recently added photos and video links.
All in all, the update is a welcomed addition. The Gospel Library continues to grow and provide a productive environment to study the scriptures.
A few weeks ago, Cedar Fort Publishing interviewed me about my book. The podcast is now available on your favorite podcast app. If you do not have a podcast app, try Overcast or Castro. Do not want to download an app but want to listen to the podcast? Go to Cedar Fort directly and listen.
The Gospel Library (available as a mobile app and online) has been upgraded to include three types of multimedia that you can access right alongside the scriptures. You can access images and watch videos right in the “Related Content” sidebar.
This is not the latest news on the subject. It was a hot topic in September which was before I started posting news articles. This topic was brought to mind today while listening to a podcast, and I thought it is something you need to know about.