Author Archives: MrsGeek

Traveling the country in an RV with her husband, Jim. We present seminars at RV rallies and computer clubs all over the country and run this website.

164. Gboard – a Better Keyboard to Type Faster on a Smartphone

Show Notes for Members below

Everyone can view all the episodes for free. Just click on the play button above.

A great benefit of membership is access to the extensive show-notes Chris writes up every week. Read them online and follow links directly to the parts you’re interested in. We recommend you print them out and keep them in a notebook. It’s a great way to learn.

Not a member? Join here. This episode covers:

  1. Tip of the Day: Reading a QR code from a photo
  2. Beginner’s Lesson: GBoard – a faster way to type
  3. App: InstaCart

Download .pdf (you’ll see a dropbox login, but you can just close it – no Dropbox account is needed)


This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is qt.jpg

If you see a QR code, but don’t want to read it right away, just take a photo!

Chris shows how they took a photo of a billboard with a QR code and then used Google Photos sometime later to read that QR code and watch the resulting video. Just open Google Photos, find the photo with the QR code and tap the Lens button – the third one from the left at the bottom of the screen. You’ll see a bunch of dots running around the photo. When it’s done you’ll see a link to tap on to view the results.

Try it! Take a photo of your screen with the QR code below, open it in Google Photos and scan it. It takes you to a form where you can sign up for our weekly tip newsletter.

5:52 Beginner’s Lesson – GBoard

If you hate typing key-by-key on these little phone keyboards, you owe it to yourself to try Glide typing.

Just using one finger, you drag over all the letters in your word and only lift finger in between words. It will notice every letter you touched, come up with all the possible combinations of those letters and compare them against a dictionary. When you lift up between words, it will automatically add a space.

Here is the video that demonstrates the basics
555.SM-What is Glide Typing?
Chris also demonstrates double-tapping the space bar at the end of a sentence to add a period and a space, and longpress on the period key to pop up all your punctuation marks.

Android – the built in keyboard can do this “glide” typing
iPhone – the built in keyboard cannot do “glide” typing

Here is the video that shows how to install GBoard on iPhone.
556.SM-iOS Install Gboard
First download the App – GBoard by Google – it’s free. Next you open your settings, General, Keyboard, select the GBoard keyboard and Allow Full Access. When you’re on a screen with keyboard, and you don’t see the multicolored G that indicates GBoard, you need to longpress on the globe button to the left of the spacebar and drag up to select Gboard. When you’re using GBoard, you may want to change settings. To get to settings you longpress on that globe button and choose Settings. Chris demonstrates changing the setting for “show number row.”

Here is the video that shows installing on Android:
557.SM-Install Gboard on Android

Use your Play Store to find and install GBoard by Google. Then go into your system settings, General, Language and Input, keyboards, onscreen keyboards, find GBoard and turn it on. When you are using a keyboard, look for the multi-colored G. If you don’t see it, you need to select the GBoard keyboard – look for the tiny keyboard icon at the bottom right, tap that and choose GBoard. To change settings, such as Top Row of Numbers, Tap on the G then you should see a gear for settings.


Security, I know people who have been scared away from installing GBoard because of the security message they get during installation. Actually, this is the same message you get with any 3d party keyboard. If you want to use its special features and you trust that the publisher (Google) is legitimate, then feel free to give it full access.

22:57 Demo – iOS

Here’s the video that demonstrates translation, GIFs, and Google Search
558.SM-Gboard Translate and GIF Search on iOS

Translate: just find the Translate button after tapping the G. Tap the Translate button and check that it is reading and writing the languages you want. Then you can type in your language – when you tap Translate – it will enter the other language in the results window.

GIFs: if you want an animated GIF, you start by tapping the emoji button to the left of the keyboard. There you will find emojis, emoticons, and GIFS. You can use the Search field to type something you want Happy, or Turkey, etc. and it will display matching animated GIFs. Tap the one you want and it will be copied, then you need to paste it into the message line. (this demo is on iOS, on Android the first tap inserts it into message AND sends)

26:33 Search: This is a Google keyboard after all! So you can search for a restaurant, for example, and then insert the results into your message without ever leaving the messaging app. To start searching, just tap the G and type what you’re searching for, tap Search. If you see what you’re looking for, tap it and tap Share.

28:01 Android demo Voice dictation is also available from the GBoard – just tap the microphone button at the right end of the line that starts with the G. You can see an indication that it is listening – speak and your words will be written for you. Tap the microphone again to stop it from listening. Note: on the iPhone the microphone button is on the spacebar – longpress it.

  • Deleting multiple words – start with your finger on the backspace key and drag from right to left.
  • Double-tap space bar to enter a period and a space
  • Fractions: long press on the first number e.g. 1 for 1/2
  • Punctuation: longpress on the period, OR longpress on a key with the symbol you want above it. Note: some letters have multiple options with the longpress – like the umlaut
  • To move cursor left and right – drag on the spacebar
  • Clipboard: GBoard gives you access to multiple items that you’ve copied. It remembers them for an hour. You insert items from your clipboard by tapping the G, then the clipboard button, then the item you want to paste. Note: this is not available on iOS … yet.
  • Translate: Tap the G – if you don’t see the translate button there, tap the 3-dot “more” button and you will see it there. Make sure the languages are what you want and just type your language – it will translate on the fly – no need to tap a translate button after a group of words.

39:51 App of the week InstaCart

InstaCart is a shopping app. Once you’ve installed it and created an account, complete with credit card info, it makes it VERY easy to shop items from a local store and get them delivered right to your door. The app makes it very easy, you can also use the website.

43:29 Review

163. Emergency! Configuring your phone to help

Show Notes for Members below

Everyone can view all the episodes for free. Just click on the play button above.

A great benefit of membership is access to the extensive show-notes Chris writes up every week. Read them online and follow links directly to the parts you’re interested in. We recommend you print them out and keep them in a notebook. It’s a great way to learn.

Not a member? Join here. This episode covers:

  1. Tip of the Day: Changing your phone’s wallpaper
  2. Beginner’s Lesson: Emergency! Configure your phone to help
  3. App: Living Wine
Continue reading →

Test your smartphone smarts

Every episode ends with Review Questions

We hope you have been watching and learning from our YouTube show called What Does This Button Do? Each show is about 45 minutes long and we present a beginner’s lesson on some topic of interest to smartphone users. We also present a quick tip and an app of the week. As of this writing, we have recorded 162 live episodes. All 162 episodes are archived on our website. Just go to and click the menu called Weekly Class.

At the end of each episode we have review questions about the topic in the beginner’s lesson. Here are a few samples. See if you can answer them. Use the comments for discussion.

  1. From Episode 162: T/F – if my phone is the same make and model as your phone, it will operate the same
  2. From Episode 162: Changing settings for Apps generally works differently for iPhones than for Android devices. The two methods are stated below, which is iPhone?
    A. Open Settings, then find the app
    B. Open the App, then find the settings button
  3. From Episode 156: T/F: you must install a dedicated scanning app on your phone in order to scan documents.
  4. From Episode 156: Can a .PDF file be edited?
    A. NO   B. Only if you buy the Adobe Acrobat software C. Yes, if your scanning app performs OCR  D. Yes, if you use Google Drive to scan, then open in Google Docs
  5. From Episode 155: If you paid for an App while using an old phone, when you get a new phone and want that app there will be no charge as long as: _____________________
  6. From Episode 146: T/F – A QR code is a link to a web page, that’s all.
  7. From Episode 146: To scan a QR code, you need a mobile device, an app for scanning codes and _____________________________
  8. From Episode 144: Camera Flash – should you leave it set to: A. on, B. off, or C. auto?
  9. From Episode 144: T/F: Panorama photos can only be taken from left to right.
  10. From Episode 139: How do you get the widgets on Android?
    A. Play Store, widgets  B. LongPress home screen, Widgets C. “OK Google” add a widget
Subscribe to our YouTube Channel and click the bell to be notified when we are live.

We hope you will check out the archives and also join us in future episodes of What Does This Button Do? You can watch any of the archived shows at any time. If you want to watch when we record a new show live, you need to subscribe to our YouTube channel and click the little Bell so that you get notified when we are live. We usually record on Sundays at 2pm Eastern time. If you are watching in real time, you can use the chat box to ask questions and we will try to answer during the show.

Whose iPhone is this? The problem with couples sharing one Apple ID.

An iPhone is identified by the Apple ID it uses.

Something we see a lot with iPhones is that 2 people are sharing the same Apple ID. Let’s say that Mrs. Jones gets a new iPhone and gives her old one to Mr. Jones. Mr. Jones hasn’t had any smartphone before, so he’s glad to get the hand-me-down that his wife will surely be able to teach him. They don’t bother to wipe it clean because there might be something useful on there, like a contact list. But, after a while, Mr. Jones gets irritated when he keeps getting his wife’s imessages, photos, and other notifications. After all, this is his phone now, how does he stop getting her stuff?

An iPhone’s owner is designated by the Apple ID. Even if spouses don’t get a hand-me-down, many of them share the same Apple ID. This is a problem. I ask Mr. Jones to go to his iPhone’s settings. Right at the top is the name of the phone’s owner, with the Apple ID. Even if he changed the name to his, if the Apple ID is still his wife’s email address, then her account is in control of this phone and is accessing all her information.

Want to know who an iPhone belongs to? Ask Siri. Launch Siri on the iPhone in question and ask “Who does this iPhone belong to?”

One person, one account, one Apple ID

Apple accounts are intended to be for one person only. One person, one account, one Apple ID.

Want to share information? Consider setting up Family sharing to do that. With family sharing, you can purchase apps and music that can be shared by everyone in the family. You can also have a shared family photo album, a shared calendar, and shared reminders.

How to change the owner of an iPhone

So, what to do? How does Mr. Jones make this his phone? There are 2 steps:

  1. Stop it from being Mrs. Jone’s phone: Remove her account from the phone
  2. Start it as Mr. Jone’s phone: Get an Apple ID for him and add that to the phone

Step 1Note: these instructions assume you’re on iOS 10.3 or higher. For earlier versions, or just more detail see Apple Support. Note: you will probably be asked to confirm the password for the old (her) Apple ID at some point in this process – be prepared.

  • Settings, AppleID, scroll down, tap Sign Out
  • You will be asked if you want to keep a copy of Contacts, Keychain passwords, Reminders, and Safari bookmarks. This is probably a good idea in the case of a spouse keeping the phone, otherwise not.

Step 2 First you (Mr. Jones) need an Apple ID. If you already have one, make sure you know the password. If not, create a new AppleID. Although this can be done right on the phone, it is much easier on a computer at If you already have an AppleID, this is where you can prove that you know your password by signing in. Otherwise, Create Your AppleID by clicking the link. Once you have Apple ID:

  • Settings, Sign in to your iPhone
  • Enter Apple ID – next – password
  • Enter iPhone Passcode – this is the numbers you want to enter to unlock the phone when you first turn it on
  • For more detailed instructions on setting up your phone see Apple Support

Everyone should have their OWN phone with their own AppleID.

162. There’s a setting for that! How to customize your smartphone.

Show Notes for Members below

Everyone can view all the episodes for free. Just click on the play button above.

A great benefit of membership is access to the extensive show-notes Chris writes up every week. Read them online and follow links directly to the parts you’re interested in. We recommend you print them out and keep them in a notebook. It’s a great way to learn.

Not a member? Join here. This episode covers:

  1. Tip of the Day: Download your Google+ data with Google Takeout
  2. Beginner’s Lesson: There’s a setting for that! How to customize your phone.
  3. App: none
Continue reading →

Mar 2019 Newsletter: Excel without Excel, Photo Descriptions, Don’t Delete Photos


Monthly Issue #138 March, 2019 | Newsletter Archives | Become a Member

Geeks on Tour is member supported. This FREE newsletter is made possible by our paid (Premium) members.  Member benefits include access to over 500 tutorial videos, asking questions on ‘Ask the Geeks’ forum, Show Notes for our weekly show, “What Does This Button Do?” and all our eBooks including Mrs Geek’s Guide to Google Photos. Already a member? THANK YOU! 


Geeks in February

Jim and I are dwarfed on top of a giant rock in an area known as Castle Hill in the South Island of New Zealand. For all of February we were traveling in New Zealand mostly in a rented camper van but we also took train and bus tours and stayed in hostels, airBnBs and Hotels. Check out our photo album photo album for Australia/New Zealand. And our personal travel Blog for the rest of the story.

We always continue to learn about technology! And, we share it with you on our weekly class, What Does This Button Do? Although we didn’t do any live shows this month, we still send out a weekly tech lesson via email. If you’re subscribed to this newsletter, you should have received:

By the way, our pictures, Blogs, Photo Albums, maps, and videos are all examples of what we teach.  You can learn how to plan, navigate, and remember your life’s events.  It makes the experience that much more enjoyable to get creative and share pictures, maps, stories, and movies with friends and family. Check out our Learning Library of Tutorial Videos, just go to and click the menu for Tutorials. There are plenty of free videos in addition to our members-only content to whet your appetite for learning.




Every Wednesday “What Does This Button Do?”

We send out a link to a technology lesson, usually an episode of our Button Show which is recorded in a live stream.

Upcoming Appearances

Here’s our speaking request form if you’d like to have us speak to your group.

March 2019

April 2019

  • 4/2 Sarasota Technology Club 6pm Smartphone Photography
  • 4/17 Cascade Lakes in Boynton Beach, FL 7:30pm Smartphones-What Does This Button Do?
  • 4/29-5/5 SKP ACRE in Pine Mountain, GA

Subscribe to our YouTube Channel for notifications of Live Streams from Geeks On Tour! Be sure to click the little bell to confirm delivery of notifications.

Like our Facebook Page for notifications to see us Live whenever we like.

See our Calendar



Ask the Geeks, Q&A forum

Here are some of the topics that have been discussed recently. Anyone can read the forum, only members can ask questions. This is a valuable benefit of membership. Join Today!

  1. Gmail sending mail problems
  2. Multiple Facebook accounts
  3. Blogger tables for Google Photos Albums
  4. Picasa Duplicate photos
  5. Best way to create a Presentation

If you are a member, ask a question! Go to then click the Q&A menu. Make sure you are logged in (there’s a form on the Q&A page), select a category (Photos, Maps, Blogs, Other) then click Add Topic. When finished scroll down to Submit Topic.



How to make an Excel spreadsheet without Excel – or any software

Maybe you just don’t need to make spreadsheets anymore so you don’t own the software, or maybe you’re on a trip away from your computer. What do you do when you have a need to make just one spreadsheet? It’s easy. It’s free, 

Read the article to find out


Photo Descriptions

Isn’t it great when you’re looking at old family photos and you find notes written on the back that describe what’s in the photo? Did you know that you can do the same thing with Google Photos? 

Read More


Don’t waste time deleting photos.

So many times I hear people saying, “I took so many photos on our vacation, I’m never going to get the time to organize them. I have to sit down and do some serious deleting.”

If you use Google Photos, you don’t need to delete them. Just spend a little bit of time picking your best ones and add to an album. On our New Zealand trip, we took nearly one hundred photos on one day alone – the day we visited Hobbiton movie set. 

Read More


That’s all for now. We hope you learned something. Your next issue will be next month. Any questions, please visit our forum. If you like this newsletter, please forward it on to your friends! If you received this issue forwarded by a friend you can subscribe to get your own copy delivered to your in box – it’s free. You can also visit the archives of past newsletters

How to create an Excel spreadsheet when you don’t have Excel, and you don’t want to install any software

We taught our Cloud Computing class today for the Deerfield Beach Computer Club and we’re always excited to see the lightbulbs go off in people’s eyes when we demonstrate creating an Excel worksheet without using Excel, or any other software installed on our computer! Cloud computing is a huge topic, and we try to give an understandable overview of what it’s all about. You can see our seminar handout here. Also see Episode 100 of our Button Show: Using OneDrive

How to use Excel in the Cloud

It just takes no time at all to demonstrate how to use Excel in the cloud.

  1. Browse to, that is Microsoft’s cloud storage service.
  2. Log in with a Microsoft account username and password. If you don’t have one, you can click the Create New Account button. (important note: if you use a Windows computer, you most likely have a Microsoft username and password. It pays to find your existing account credentials rather than creating a new one which will later complicate your life no end! (See Episode 137: Accounts)
  3. Click the +New button, then Excel workbook
  4. You should now see an Excel workspace where you can create your spreadsheet – this is Excel Online.
  5. When you’ve completed your worksheet, you may want to give it a name. Just click at the top where it says Book1, and type the name you want.
  6. Your sheet has been saved in your Onedrive account automatically, you can just close out the window. If you want to share it with someone first, click the share button in the upper right and enter an email address.
  7. If you want the sheet on your computer, click the File menu, Save As, Download a Copy

That’ all there is to it. You’ve just created an Excel spreadsheet, sent it to an associate, save it to your computer, all for free without using any software on your computer. That’s Cloud computing!

161. How to Remember your Travels with Photos, Maps, and a Blog – without spending days of work

Show Notes for Members below

Everyone can view all the episodes for free. Just click on the play button above.

A great benefit of membership is access to the extensive show-notes Chris writes up every week. Read them online and follow links directly to the parts you’re interested in. We recommend you print them out and keep them in a notebook. It’s a great way to learn.

Not a member? Join here. This episode covers:

  1. Tip of the Day: Seeing the location of photos
  2. Beginner’s Lesson: How to Remember your Travels with Photos, Maps, and a Blog
  3. App: CamperMate
Continue reading →

My secret for taking lots of travel photos and not deleting any of them

We are currently traveling in New Zealand and taking lots of pictures! I’ve taken about 1200 pictures so far, and Jim has probably taken nearly the same. How would you like to see a slide show?

I think not! But, here’s our trip album with just our selected photos – just click this link to view the album.

The conventional method of photo organizing teaches to:

  • Keep the best
  • Delete the rest

But, I am way too lazy! Deciding which pictures need to be deleted is both time-taking and stressful. That sounds like work to me. I avoid work! I will certainly delete the obvious garbage – the mistakes when my phone took a photo of the inside of my pocket, or my foot, but, at the Hobbiton movie set yesterday, everywhere we turned was a beautiful image. Our phones take great pictures, and Google Photos stores them in the cloud, unlimited and free, so why not take every picture you see. I am not even close to being a professional photographer, but if I take enough – I’m bound to catch a good one here and there! Here is what my phone’s Google Photos screen looked like yesterday:

This is about 1/4 of the pictures I took at the Hobbiton movie set

I can’t delete any of those! But, I can pick out 3 or 4 representative shots to put in our New Zealand trip album, so that’s what I do. My method is:

  • Keep them all
  • Pick a few for the album and add them

That’s easy, actually it’s fun. I can even accomplish that, using my phone, on the tour bus on the way back to the RV! I love looking at the pictures I just took, adding a few of them to the trip album is as easy as tapping the 3-dot menu, selecting Add to Album, and tapping the New Zealand album. Before I go to bed at night, my friends and family are all able to see the wonderful things we did that day by viewing the album.

Just a few pictures made it to the album

I cringe when I hear people say, “I took so many pictures on my vacation, now I have to spend a few days deleting and organizing them once I get home.” How many people never get around to that? That’s work. What a shame.

What about photos on your computer?

I took the pictures with my phone, Google Photos uploads them to the cloud. I can view all those photos using my computer as long as I have an Internet connection. So easy! If I add photos to an album using the phone I will see them in that album using the computer. If I use the computer to do the work, I’ll see it on the phone. So easy! But, what if I don’t have a connection? What if I want my photos on the computer? That’s when I download the album to my computer by clicking the 3-dot menu. Voila! I’m not taking up unnecessary hard drive space, but I have my best photos on the computer. Essentially it is a backup of my best photos.

For more details and a complete photo management workflow, see my book, Mrs. Geek’s Guide to Google Photos, chapter 11. Geeks on Tour membership includes free access to the .pdf of the book here.

Learn more