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“Time” to Upgrade

Please do as I say, not as I do.

After Apple delayed the release of the highly-anticipated Apple Watch software upgrade — and then promised it would be available “soon” — I checked for it everyday.

Last Tuesday morning — almost a week delayed — the upgrade was available. I plugged in my iPhone and my Watch and started the upgrade. Once it began downloading, my phone read, “Estimated time: 2 Hours.” I had to be at work in an hour. Oops.

The lesson: leave plenty of time for upgrades.

When I saw that the upgrade was available, I should have searched the internet for what others had to say about how long it took them. (Even if the upgrade was just released, someone somewhere would have already written about it). And I should have waited until the end of the day to start it.

Not wanting to interrupt the process, I went to work without my phone or my watch.

The time that upgrades (and the smaller updates) take depends on the size of the new software, the speed of your device, your internet connection, and how busy the software company’s server is at that moment. Plan accordingly.

Be smarter about this than I was.

Charging Ahead

It’s our bedtime routine: plugging in the phone, the tablet, the fitness tracker, the laptop, and even the universal remote so that they, as we, face the next day re-energized.

But what if — egad! — you wake up and realize something isn’t charged. You can’t start the day with a phone that has only 15% battery life! What happened?

The electricity might have gone off overnight, or the phone was plugged into the cable but the other end wasn’t plugged into the wall, or perhaps there is debris in the charging port and the cable didn’t make full contact.

Your phone’s port can pick up lint in your pocket, crumbs on the counter, dirt outside, or sand at the beach. Unless you have a case that covers the port, you are probably collecting debris.

If you plug in the power cable and you don’t hear the “charging tone” or see the “charging icon,” check to see that the cable is fully seated in the port. If it’s not, the device won’t charge.

To remove the debris, try to shake it out, blow it out with a can of compressed air, or gently pry it out with a toothpick. Don’t use anything metal or jam anything in too deeply. If you are not successful, take the device to a computer store and ask one of the techs to remove the debris.

If your devices aren’t fully energized in the morning, you probably won’t be either.

My Fitness Pal

Do you know how many calories you consume in a day? How much protein? Carbs? Fats? Sodium? Do you know how many calories you work off?

Do you want to?

If you do, there’s “My Fitness Pal,” a free app to help you track what goes in, and what comes off.

This app has a database of more than 5 million foods (including dishes from popular restaurants), and allows you to save your recipes and meal combinations. It also estimates — based on your age, weight, height, and general activity level — the number of calories you burn doing different activities.

Whether you are trying to lose weight, gain weight, maintain your current weight, or just be more informed about what you eat and how effectively you exercise, this app is a user-friendly tool. I love it.

If, however, you identify with the woman in the cartoon above, this app is either not for you, or you should keep your experience with it a personal one.

Learn more at:

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