Archive for the 'David Pogue' Category

Jake and I are in iPhone – The Missing Manual


I just got the latest edition of David Pogue‘s iPhone: The Missing Manual. Consider yourself warned… this year, my picture is in it next to my friend Jake!

Here are more details about the book as well as how to order a copy for yourself: “I helped with iPhone: The Missing Manual. Please buy it here!”

I highly recommend it to every iPhone owner… even though you’ll have to put up with my face being in it. Hey, you could always use a Sharpie to add a mustache/tattoos to my picture or use it with your dart board!

I helped with iPhone: The Missing Manual. Please buy it here!


Once again, I was thrilled to assist award-winning tech writer David Pogue with his latest iPhone: The Missing Manual book. And this year, my picture is even in it!

No, that’s not me cartwheeling on the cover. David was out walking and had his iPhone 5s with him when he saw a complete stranger walking on his hands. David asked if he could snap him and the guy agreed.

For many years now I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to help David with his iPhone guides. It’s quite an honor that he appreciates my work. He sends me each of the books’ chapters as he writes them. I review the tech in the book—trying out his tips and suggesting some of my own. I also took some of the screenshots for sections of the book where it’s helpful to see a picture of what he’s writing about. And in two of those I snuck in “selfies” of me—but don’t let the prospect of seeing my ugly mug keep you away from the book! With a Magic Marker you can customize those pictures to make me look even sillier.

This year was a huge undertaking because Apple didn’t just make an incremental update to last year’s iPhone operating system, they started from scratch with iOS 7—changing almost everything about it. This meant that in the expanded 7th edition of iPhone—The Missing Manual, David had even more to explain than ever before.

I highly recommend this book to all iPhone users, and not just because I helped with it! After reading just a few pages of it, you’ll discover why it’s the world’s most popular iPhone book. David has a fun, witty way with explaining the complexities of Apple’s computer-in-your-pocket while providing tips, workarounds and shortcuts in his full-color illustrated guide. You can read it all the way through and enjoy it—or pick and choose which parts of iOS 7 you want help with immediately.

Both of Apple’s new iPhones are covered, too—the iPhone 5s and 5c—as well as information for those who’ve upgraded to iOS 7 on their old iPhones. The changes in iTunes on a Mac or PC as well as tips about the revised apps that Apple makes for the iPhone are in the book this year as well.

You should order iPhone: The Missing Manual now using this link that takes you to When you order the book from that link—or anything at all there after using the link, for that matter—I’ll get a few cents out of each sale. (That’s whatcha call “full disclosure”… Oh, I am also paid very generously by David for helping him each year with the book. But I’d love iPhone: The Missing Manual even if I wasn’t a part of it).

I’d love to hear from you if you have a comment or a question about this. Leave a reply below or follow me (@DisneyEcho) on Twitter and leave a comment there!

Weird stuff viewed on the Disney Echo this yEAR

Crunchy numbers

4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This Disney Echo blog had 28,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 6 Film Festivals. But probably not very well.

Disney Echo readers are weird. Or maybe I’m weird, I forget. But here are the posts that somehow got the most views in 2012:

Subliminal Message in Disney Tangled Marketing

Ghost orb photo courtesy D.Frazier, http://www.diannespiritlight.comTitanic Ghost Tour

Disney Park AppNew Official Disney Parks iPhone App Features Augmented Reality And Official Wait Times

TangledDisney Tangled: Spoilers

Free iPhone app lets you zoom while recording

Disneyland PeopleMover, Innoventions replacement, Tomorrowland revamp, Frontierland expansion approved? Here’s why

Song of the SouthDisney rereleases classic Song of the South

Lego Store at Disneyland’s Downtown Disney

20121110-130130.jpgiPhone — The Missing Manual for iOS 6, iPhone 5 and earlier iPhones

20121112-183334.jpgiPhone iOS 6 Bug with Sounds

20120929-200532.jpgHappy birthday, Siri!

20120921-153417.jpg Siri vs Siri: The battle of the iPhone 5 turn-by-turn navigation apps

20120304-200613.jpgSiri and iPad 3

Thanks, everyone, for a wonderful year!

iPhone — The Missing Manual for iOS 6, iPhone 5 and earlier iPhones


It’s here! The latest version of David Pogue’s iPhone: The Missing Manual

With the iOS 6 software and the new iPhone 5, Apple has two world-class hits on its hands. This sleek, highly refined pocket computer comes with everything—cellphone, iPod, Internet, camcorder—except a printed manual. Fortunately, David Pogue is back with this expanded edition of his witty, full-color guide: the world’s most popular iPhone book.

The important stuff you need to know:

The iPhone 5. This book unearths all the secrets of the newest iPhone. Taller screen, faster chip, 4G LTE Internet, thinner than ever.
The iOS 6 software. Older iPhones gain Do Not Disturb, the new Maps app, shared Photo Streams, camera panoramas, smarter Siri, and about 197 more new features. It’s all here.
The apps. That catalog of 750,000 add-on programs makes the iPhone’s phone features almost secondary. Now you’ll know how to find, manage, and exploit those apps.

The iPhone may be the world’s coolest computer, but it’s still a computer, with all of a computer’s complexities. iPhone: The Missing Manual is a funny, gorgeously illustrated guide to the tips, shortcuts, and workarounds that will turn you, too, into an iPhone addict.

Also take a look at my blog post written last year about how I became the tech editor for this helpful and informative book.

Order iPhone: The Missing Manual at

Update: Thanks, David!


iOS 5 and iPhone 4S: The Missing Manual—Buy the Book!

This is all about why you should get David Pogue’s iPhone: The Missing Manual—and how I lucked into helping David edit his book

The iPhone became my first cellphone (and first iPod) the very first evening it was sold by Apple. It’s been my faithful electronic companion through the years since, being replaced by new iPhone versions as they came out. From the start, I began corresponding with David Pogue, personal-technology columnist for the New York Times—sharing tips, tricks and observations with him about the iPhone.

Eventually, David asked me to be the beta-reader of the first edition of iPhone: The Missing Manual—and hired me as the tech reviewer/editor of the later editions, too.

How did this happen?

Well, that’s what this article is all about.

First bite of the Apple

My wife Carol is the person who first got me interested in the iPhone, before it even came out. She had seen Steve Jobs’ iPhone presentation on the interwebs and let me know I had to see it, too. For years we had been putting off getting a cellphone because none of the so-called “smart phones” seemed smart to us; they all seemed dumb in what you had to do to get their features to work. Too hard and clumsy to use, that’s what we both thought. So, we never bought one, putting off the decision on what to get.

But after Steve Jobs unveiled the iPhone on January 9, 2007 and the video of it appeared on Apple’s website, my wife offered me an Apple—just like Eve tempted Adam with an apple—and I got my first taste of the iPhone’s magical goodness watching Steve Jobs tell everybody what he had been keeping a secret for so long: his revolutionary iPhone.

Neither of us had owned anything made by Apple at that point, not even an iPod. We both used Dell computers at home, and put up with Windows because that’s all we had known. Eventually we’d switch to using Apple computers as well as the iPhone. . . but I’m getting ahead of myself. More on that later.

Drinking the Kool-Aid

Seeing the demonstration of the iPhone that Steve Jobs gave, I was hooked. I knew without even holding an iPhone in my own hands that this was the cellphone for us. It was everything we had been waiting for, and then some.

The first day the iPhone was sold, June 29, 2007, my wife and I were on line at our local AT&T Store to buy two of them. The doors opened at 6:00 pm and we eagerly entered when it was our turn, emerging the store shortly afterwards holding our precious purchases.

Say hello to iPhone

Our iPhones quickly became a part of our daily lives. I started reading everything I could find about the iPhone—Google searches led me to David Pogue’s columns in The New York Times and what he had written about the iPhone. I also found him on Twitter and saw that he was writing a book about the iPhone—called a “Missing Manual” because it would provide much more information than the little booklet Apple provided in the iPhone’s box.

David asked for tips from his readers about using the iPhone and offered to give a free copy of his upcoming iPhone book to anyone who submitted a tip that he hadn’t already written into the upcoming book. That was all I needed to know! I submitted tip after tip, only to hear back from him each time that he already had that in the book. But through our email correspondence he must have liked my writing style—or perhaps he simply took pity on me—because he offered me a free copy of the book in return for being its “beta reader”. He would email me the book’s chapters before it went to the printer in return for my looking it over and proofreading it. That was fine with me! I’d get to read the book for free and get to see it before it was even published!

As he completed each chapter, David would send me drafts of them one by one. I tried out things he wrote about on my own iPhone, letting him know when there was an alternate way of doing things in addition to how he had described it. As beta-reader I looked closely through the entire book before it was printed, watching for errors in spelling or gramatical use, missing portions, and even factual errors.

Stop the presses!

As his August 1st deadline approached, the chapters were sent to me faster and faster. I eagerly devoured each one.

On the night of July 18th and early the next morning, David and I had a very interesting email exchange about his book which I’ll share with you now. We were commenting on the “final” PDF version of the book he sent me, after it had already gone to the printer a few days prior to that.

David Pogue: We’ve actually caught a couple of small typos since this went out, but the gist is there. 🙂

Me: I found one which said to go to page xxx — and the real page number wasn’t filled in. Is that something like you mean?

Later that night, I got an email reply:

David Pogue: Oh, dear. No, we didn’t find that one. We’ll fix it asap! ( I did a global search for xx’s—wonder why it didn’t come up!?) 😦

Then, early the next morning, he wrote me again:

David Pogue: Oh, dear. You found a serious error! Chapter 8 was apparently turned in the wrong version! :(Heads are rolling, presses are stopping ( I sure hope)…

I quickly replied,

Me: Wow! A real-life ‘Stop the presses!’ I can see Perry White snarling now! ‘Lois, Jimmy! Where’s Clark?!? He’d know what to do.’

‘I dunno, Chief. He was here just a minute ago…’

‘Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird… It’s a plane! …It’s POGUEMAN!!’

‘Never mind that… And stop calling me ‘Chief!!’

‘Sorry, Chief.’

Phenomenal job

Well, they did in fact stop the presses, swapped in the corrected chapter, and only had to delay the book’s release by one day. But at least it was fixed!! The book got printed with the correct version of the chapter and none of the readers of it knew what had almost happened.

It turns out David wasn’t expecting much to come from this beta-reading experiment, but I surprised him by giving it my all—examining each page to find words spelled incorrectly, incomplete sentences—and I even added some tips which he wound up including in the book! In fact, he used almost all of my suggestions. He appreciated my input, so much so that he later sent my brother and me one free copy (each) of the book—and he also provided two additional copies for me to give away on my Disney Echo website in a contest for the Echo’s members. In addition, David included a special thanks to me in the introduction of the book as well as separately writing to me that he felt very lucky that I volunteered to beta-read it and felt I did a “phenomenal job” and made the book “SO much better!” I was just doing what I could to help, so I’m glad he appreciated it so much and that he even included a link to my website in the book, as well. Take a look at the Acknowledgments page:

Acknowledgments in that first iPhone book. I circled the part about me!

The iPhone had a large part in putting together that book, beyond the book being about the iPhone. If I hadn’t seen some of David’s emails pushed to me wherever I was (through my Yahoo email account), we wouldn’t have caught things like that wrong chapter in time.

From beta-reader to tech editor

When new versions of the iPhone came from Apple, David Pogue wrote a new version of iPhone: The Missing Manual. For the 2009 edition I was asked again to help out, but not as a beta-reader. No, I was given a promotion to Tech Editor and paid for my work—in cash as well as another free book! I was lucky enough to help him again in the same way for the 2010 edition of the book. Then, even better: for the 2010 edition of iPhone: The Missing Manual I was not only tech editor but David had me rewrite the chapter on iPhone Accessories, updating it with many new products that can be used to enhance the iPhone. That was quite an honor for me.

I’d like to thank MainStreetJake, lar3ry and “Those Darn Cats” podcast’s Lisa sambycat for helping me provide David with last-minute demonstration screenshots of the Find My Friends app. I also want to thank my friends Melanie Ross and Sandi Cummings for recommending two iPhone cases which I included in the Accessories chapter of the book.

iPhone changed our lives

Our iPhones impressed us so much they were the “gateway drugs” for my wife and me to switch away from PCs and getting Macs—his and hers matching MacBook Pros, to be precise. And what they say is true: “Once you go Mac, you never go back!” We’re very pleased with our iPhones and wouldn’t switch to another cellphone for anything in the world.

As for me, I’m happy to assist David Pogue in any way I can with his iPhone books in the future. Maybe one day I’ll even meet him in person!

If you enjoyed this article, please use this link to to buy the book and you’ll be helping me out: iPhone: The Missing Manual

UPDATE: Here’s a picture showing three of my friends (@sambycat / @ThoseDarnCats, @mainstreetjake, and @lar3ry) in the part of the book about Find My Friends:


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The Disney Echo at is your interactive online magazine to discover new wonders and share magical Disney memories.

The display on this page is set up to show the posts in reverse chronological order of when they were posted originally, so if you want to read the reports from the beginning, go to the last post on the last page and work forward. The first entry about the Koster family's July 2008 Disneyland trip can be found by clicking here and the first entry about their Easter 2008 Disneyland trip can be found by selecting this link.

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FTC-Mandated Disclosure: As of December 2009, bloggers are required by the Federal Trade Commission to disclose payments and freebies. Unless otherwise noted, Rich Koster did not receive any payments, free items, or free services from any of the parties discussed in these articles. He pays for his own admission to theme parks and their associated events, unless otherwise explicitly noted.

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