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iOS Complaint: Add to Existing Contact

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Chances are, when you add someone to your Contact List, you don’t have all their contact details. Besides their (first) name, you may only have a phone number or only an email address. But, while texting or emailing that person, you might get more contact details over time.

Well, this is what happens to me, at least. A client calls me, I speak to them and then when the conversation is over, I save the new number to my Contacts. At this point, I usually only know a first name and the phone number.

Later, I’ll get a text message with their email address. Great! Let’s just add that to an existing contact. Let’s see, how do I do that?

1. Hold down the email address link until the pop-up menu appears and select “Add to Contacts”.

2. Now I have two options: “Create New Contact” – nope, not that one – and “Add to Existing Contact.” I click that.

3. Now, find an existing contact…..WHAT!?!

But, but, but….. I want to add it to *this* existing contact, not some *other* existing contact. I mean, in my experience, over 90% of the time, I get contact details directly from the contact, not via a third-person.

This behavior has been present on the iPhone as long as I can remember, but I wish it weren’t so.

Am I missing something?

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Online services need to figure out the ‘Family’ concept

Recently, I’ve had several clients contact me asking to help them setup and configure multiple iPads, iPhones, iPod Touches and computers, both Apple and Windows. In each case, children were part of the equation.

“This iPad belongs to Johnny. This one is for Mary. They also each have their own iPhone.” That sort of thing.

The question is about sharing certain things but not other things. The children’s devices should be able to use apps, listen to music, watch movies that were purchased with the parent’s iTunes account, but they shouldn’t have access to the parent’s calendars, contacts,  emails, etc. “Everything” should synchronize, but you know, not everything. Often, the client can’t really specify what they want, much less figure out how to do it.

So, the answer is to set up iCloud accounts for the children. That shouldn’t be a problem, but it is. Because you can’t create an iCloud account if you are under 13. Oh, wait, you can’t do it without lying about your age.

Apple, Facebook, Google, etc. should have a way for a parent to create an account and then manage their family’s accounts, too. Mom and Dad have Apple IDs and iCloud accounts and want to create accounts for their kids? Great, let’s just open the “Accounts” page, click on “Add child,” fill in the correct information and done! iCloud configured.

Sadly, most online services don’t seem to see the need or have an answer. I’ve seen lots of articles about “How to setup iCloud for my family” and each one of them just skims over the “Create an account for each child.” They don’t address the “lie about your kids’ age” issue.

It’s possible that when the articles were written, that requirement didn’t exist. I’m pretty certain that when iCloud was released, I created an account for my under-13 son using his correct birthday without any problems. But, now when I look at his account, it indicates a problem with the birthdate. If I change it to his actual birthday, it says “invalid.” So I cancel and leave it as it is.

Please, Apple and others, add this to your To-Do list. Fast!

Sharing USB printer with Time Capsule on Macs and PCs

I was at a client today who has both Macs and Windows PCs. She has an Apple Time Capsule to back up her iMac and wanted to share her USB printer with it, too. Piece of cake.

  1. Connect USB printer to Mac and install it with the correct drivers.
  2. Connect the printer to the Time Capsule and configure it with Airport Utility.
  3. Download and install Apple’s Bonjour for Windows on each PC.
  4. Install the drivers on the PC (which might require plugging the printer in directly).
  5. Use Bonjour to discover the Time Capsule-shared USB printer for each PC.

Voilà!

The client also asked about using the Time Machine with Windows computers. Wouldn’t that be cool if they came out with a Windows version? Yeah, it would be cool.