iCloud Backup on iPhone and iPad – Discussing The Process and Its Many Advantages

Your iPhone and iPad might have cost you a fortune. In a manner, these are almost like prized possessions. However, leaving aside the financial aspect, you are more concerned with the idea of saving your precious memories stored in these expensive devices.

That’s where you look for a backup. Since your primary intention is more about protecting the events that you had captured on your iPhone and iPad. Moreover, there is also the potential risk of the devices getting stolen or damaged ( circumstances beyond your control).

If it comes to a point, where you are interested to restore an iCloud backup to iPhone, then surely you are free to go ahead. To a large extent, it appears to be a good move.

By having a backup of the data, you are just making sure that nothing goes wrong.

The Process of  Backing up Data on iPhone and iPad

iCloud backup, by and large, gives you the ability to restore the iOS-based devices( new &old) with considerable ease. In fact, with iCloud backup, transferring data from one iOS device to another is not really a problem.

However, it processes itself that in general confuses you. Since you are not quite sure about the whole procedure, restoring the iCloud backup to your iPhone or iPad might seem to be a difficult task.

Nevertheless, restoring the backup is not an impossible idea. In fact, it all boils down to following a set of steps, which do not take much of a time.

Even before making an attempt to look at the process, it makes a lot of sense to look at the possible advantages.

Advantages of Restoring iCloud Backup

  • Almost all the settings and account will be restored from the iCloud backup that you had selected.
  • Movies, books, shows, app and other content which you have purchased will be download automatically.
  • The iTunes Store, App Store long with iBook Store will be re-downloaded almost instantly.

The advantages listed above give a general glimpse of how restoring the backup to your iPhone and iPad can be beneficial.

Well, there is no set script that you have to follow. On the contrary, it is more about choosing the particular medium that will make it convenient for you to achieve the desired objective. What really matters, in the end, is the type of device you are using.

Restoring iCloud Backup on iPhone and iPad

The process described herein can be used to restore an iCloud backup data for a new iOS device as well as an existing one.

  1. To begin with, you have to make sure that your iOS version is up to date on the iPhone or iPad. From herein, you need to go to Settings>General and make sure to tap on the “ Software Update’ option. The iOS will now look for any new major update. In case, you come across any new update, download the same and install it.
  2. In order to proceed further, you have to make sure to have a recent iCloud backup. Now, access Settings> Enter your Apple ID>iCloud> Manage Storage. Under backups, all you are required to do is to select the particular device, after checking up the backup date along with the size, so as to confirm that it is recent.
  3. If for any reason, the backup is not new, you are then forced to manually restore the iCloud backup. Go to Settings> [ Insert your Apple ID]> iCloud > iCloud Backup. When you are almost done, hit the “Backup Now” button. Follow the on-screen instructions and allow the iCloud backup process to complete.
  4. As far as restoring the iCloud back up on a device that happens to be already in use, you are required to reset it to factory settings. Once you are done, Open Settings and proceed to General> Reset and tap on the option- Erase all content and settings. Allow the iOS to complete the processing of erasing the earlier settings.

By now, you have completed the first objective. Now, comes the most intriguing part. To set up the device from an iCloud backup, you have to follow the instructions, listed below.

How to Setup Device from an iCloud Backup?

  • To turn on your new device and reset an existing one,  you need to access the Home screen. Keep on following the directives, until and unless you see the option – Apps & Data.
  • On the Apps & Data tab, just make sure to tap on- Restore from iCloud Backup.
  • In order to access the iCloud backup, sign-in using your Apple ID and password. Depending on the preference, select the iCloud backup that you want to restore. This way, iCloud data start to download automatically. Remember, iOS might ask for your Apple ID, in order to download and install any specific app purchases.
  • The restore time is based on the backup size and your internet connectivity. Preferably, you can use a Wi-Fi connection, so as to let the downloading of iCloud data such as music, app, photos, videos and other documents.

When everything is done and dusted, the device restarts and starts downloading. In short, if you are trying to restore an iCloud backup to iPad or iPhone, the whole procedure takes time. But it’s worth the trouble you take. Ultimately, you are looking for a way to safeguard the precious data, for your own good.

In a way, you are trying to keep some of the cherished memories intact.

Are We Afraid of Developing Technology for the Elderly

I work for a hospice program providing palliative care which means we attend to the emotional and spiritual needs of terminally ill patients at an inpatient facility or at the patient’s home, and I see lots of people near the end of their life. Some of them are too lethargic to use an iPad, but many are not.

birdbeard-300x300Though all of my clients are dying, they are otherwise able to function normally for a person their age. Those who are not lethargic or in their last days often tell me how bored they are!

They speak about their inability to find anything that entertains them. So, I did a little research on the subject thinking “Well maybe a computer for older folks might help.” Turns out there are some, the options are not great, and I have yet to see one in an assisted living facility.

So why has Apple not attempted to make iPad adaptable to Seniors’ needs?

Personally, I want to be able to browse the internet when I am seventy, and I want to be able to keep up with the news when I have arthritis and can’t swipe properly. Below are some reasons why we don’t have it and why we are going to need it.

Generational Gap

The affordable personal computer came out in the 80’s which means those who grew up with computers are now just entering their early to mid 40’s. To everyone else, computers were new and confusing.  However, this doesn’t excuse the lack of technology for those who are older, but it does help to explain the lack of attention to this market.


In-fant-til-ize-a-tion: To treat or condescend as if still a young child

Would you let a baby play with your expensive iPhone? If the answer is yes, you have more money than I do. Most people are afraid their child will break their expensive toy. They are not wrong either most children will. We assume the same of older adults, that they will either break it out of frustration or will not be able to comprehend its use. Neither is true. There are many older adults who know how and enjoy using computers to entertain themselves


Likely the worst offender, we refuse to make these adaptations to technology because doing so would be admitting our own mortality. It would require acknowledgment that we will grow old and may eventually need these devices ourselves. Once we can admit we are growing older as a society more and more of these devices will be present.

That’s it for now, but I can’t wait for the Angry Bird’s senior edition to come out. In the comments below tell me about what you want on your computer when you are older!

Best Mood Charting Apps for Apple and Android

Frequently, therapists request clients to record their behaviors, triggers, and symptoms to help them become more aware of their reactions. These can include energy levels, medication taken, number of hours slept, anger outbursts, alcohol consumption, negative thoughts, etc.

Traditionally, this has been accomplished with notepad and pen, but it has proven to have low adherence rates to the regime and clients often have difficulty recalling the week in their therapy session. Self-monitoring “provides clinicians with a more contextualized understanding of patients’ struggles and an opportunity to tailor treatment accordingly.” Digital mood monitoring with smart phone apps offers a reliable and easy way for clients to track their symptoms themselves.

Since I’m cheap and I know you and your clients often are too, I chose to only review apps that are free. Here are the top 3 apps that showed the most promise reviewed from best to last.

T2 Mood Tracker 

Available in Google Play Store and Apple App Store for free



T2 Mood Tracker was created by the National Center for Telehealth and Technology, and it is a very straight forward app. There are 6 categories that can be visible or hidden – anxiety, depression, general well-being, head injury, post-traumatic stress, and stress – with 10 anchors on sliders for each. Results are graphed on a simple line graph and reports can be created in PDF and CSV format as well as emailed straight from the app. A PIN can be added for security and a reminder can be set for 3 specific times during the day. I couldn’t figure out how to access notes or add/edit rating categories.

It is very straight forward and the email option as well as the well-informed anchors on each category look like it would be an excellent tool for therapists.

Personal Progress Tracker 

Available in Google Play Store and Apple App Store (as PTracker) for free



Progress Tracker must be registered online before using. In this account, you can add lots of info about yourself as well as access various other resources. This app is extremely comprehensive. The Symptoms tab gives prompts for all major symptoms of the following diagnoses: OCD, anxiety/panic disorders, depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, addiction/substance abuse, ADHD, autism spectrum disorder, eating disorders, and insomnia. When a symptom is clicked it asks the user to give a rating (scales change from yes/no, number, low to high, etc) for the day as well as add optional notes. The user can add a custom symptom (“Custom Activity”), define the rating type, and under what category it goes.

The Activities tab allows for tracking of a number of things associated with mental health including medication taken, hours slept, stress level, exercise, drug and alcohol use, etc. There is, again, a place to add a custom section. The Reports tab allows for a variety of ways to run data. A detailed report gives all reported symptoms and activities for each day,. A summary report gives some basic statistics over a period of time, and you can also choose one symptom to focus on to see its change over time. Everything can be accessed and manipulated online and reports can be printed from there. Users can assign therapists who can access client reports online.

There are a few typos through the app, there is no way of sending reports from the phone but must be done from the computer, there is no reminder setting or security settings, which are big downfalls. It’s extremely comprehensive, which would be wonderfully helpful if the client were to fill it out completely, but I fear that many would be daunted by the enormity of it all and there is no way to hide unwanted categories.

ToadKing Mood Tracker

Available in Google Play Store for free



ToadKing is fantastically versatile. There is nothing preset, but the user must go into Edit Markers to create symptom, mood, activity, etc, categories. Once these are created (with the assistance of the user’s therapist, if applicable), data can be input on a 0-10 scale and notes can be added. Backlogs or editing previous days can be done with Modify Data. View History allows the user to generate text, line graph, or bar graph of individual markers for a month. From this screen the data can be emailed (or shared in any medium actually). Share Data on the main screen generates the chosen form and groups the text or graph images for each marker into a zip file when emailed.

This app requires the user (or therapist) to set it up before use, it doesn’t have a reminder or security features, and I would prefer if there were a way to change the rating type. However, it’s extremely versatile and so simple, making it easy to use.

Digital Native or Digital Colonized?

The phrase “digital native” has evolved pretty effortlessly into the common lexicon in the last five years, but is it accurate or a misnomer? The most relevant definition of “native” in this context is “belonging to a person by birth or to a thing by nature; inherent” (Dictionary.com). So do iPads, Facebook, X-box anything else in the digital/online/connected world, to which we may refer to young people as being native, belong to them by birth, by nature or inherently?

Cartoon-baby-with-iPhoneI’m splitting hairs here, I know. The thought only came to me half an hour ago in a discussion with someone who may well be described is “digitally native,” so it’s not like I’ve thought deeply about it. But it’s interesting to consider an alternative frame: that kids and young people aren’t native to technology — they’re being colonized by it.

It’s hard to find a wide enough definition of “colonization” to encompass the socio-cultural meaning social activists and critics ascribe the term, but Wikipedia did throw up an interesting alternative:

Cocacolonization (alternatively coca-colonization) is a term that refers to globalization or cultural colonization. It is a portmanteau [combination] of the name of the multinational soft drink maker Coca-Cola and the word colonization. The term is used to imply either the importation of Western (particularly American) goods or an infusion of Western and especially American cultural values that competes with the local culture.

No, it’s not a perfect match. But think of the likes of Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter and other brands that have infiltrated our lives in the last five to fifty years, not to mention the Internet, through which these brands have become globalised to the point of omniscience. It’s not hard to see how these capitalist forces (incidentally Marxist theory equates capitalism and colonialism) have been imported and infused into the lives of our children.

No baby has yet, as far as I know, been born clutching an iPhone, which would better embody the concept of “digital native”. So it’s interesting that we’ve chosen this more benign term to describe a phenomonen that has been imposed on children by the free market.

I’m all for technological development, don’t get me wrong. I’m an early adopter if ever there was one. But as an adult I adopt new technology by choice.

What we need to keep reviewing, I think, is how early we allow children to adopt technology. If we think of them as digital natives, we may be risking the loss of a sense of restraint, which may be leading us to allow them to adopt it prematurely.

The idea of digitally colonizing our kids, on the other hand, may make us think again about how old they are before we let their minds be gobbled up by our smartphone interfaces.


5 Technologies That Can Help Special Needs Children

You love your children, and want to see them grow and learn. However, when your child has special needs or learning disabilities, it can seem like a constant struggle against the very forces of nature. School programs have made great strides in the last few years towards creating an educational program designed to benefit special needs children, but there is still a long way to go. Thankfully, where other programs or efforts may have failed, technology has succeeded. By using the almost limitless power of modern innovation, you can help your special little person develop independence and reach his or her goals. Here are five technologies that can help special needs children advance.

1. Special keyboards

Sometimes the only thing standing between confusion and understanding is a specially designed keyboard. Computer keyboards and programs designed to help children with physical disabilities, as well as visual and learning disabilities, can improve a child’s ability to communicate, as well as help improve spelling and reading skills. The Teacher’s Institute for Special Education offers specially designed keyboards for a variety of abilities and even takes custom orders.

2. Apps and software

Special applications and school software that makes learning more interesting and accessible are available for all school subjects. Reading, spelling, math, problem solving, and other important skills can be taught using special programs tailored to the specific needs of your child. Video programs that improve attention spans are also available.

ipad3. Mobile smart devices

There’s something about iPads and smartphones that can really capture a child’s attention. In addition to providing access to any number of special apps and programs, smart devices seem perfectly designed for use by special needs children. Those who have difficulty holding books and turning pages can easily swipe a finger across the screen. Best of all, the technology’s capabilities, and the available programs for use with it, are growing every day.

4. Speaking devices

For many special needs children, communication is a big issue. Some children struggle with the confidence to speak out loud, while others want to communicate but are unable to form the right words or sounds. Still others have visual or learning disabilities that prevent them from reading words on a page. Recent advances in speech technology have made it possible for these children to improve their abilities. Those with speech impediments can listen to properly spoken words and better learn to imitate the sounds. Those who have trouble reading can hear the words on the page and make important connections between text and sound.

5. Social media

When it comes to the social aspect of school, many special needs children feel completely left out. This can break your heart as a parent when you see your son or daughter become sad because they can’t enjoy the same relationships as other children. One way to use technology to help make things better is through social media. By connecting with parents of other special needs children, you can set up playdates and plan fun activities for everyone involved. One mom used Facebook to find a prom date for her autistic daughter. Social media can be used in other ways as well, by providing your child with a circle of friends from around the world. It can even help improve language, writing, and other communication skills.

Raising a special needs child can be difficult, but when you see the look of pride light up your child’s face as he or she grasps a new concept for the first time or completes a puzzle that had been difficult, you’ll know that it’s worth it. With technology, you can help your child become something more than they are.

Photo Credit: Steven Moshuris, an autistic student at Belle View Elementary, uses an… (Jahi Chikwendiu/WASHINGTON POST)

How Technology and Social Media Assists People with Disabilities

children with disabilities using ipads

There is no denying the impact technology and social media has on our ability to connect with others.  It gives us the ability to connect with like-minded people who are passionate about the social and political issues that are dear to us.  Whether these like-minded people are in our neighborhoods or on the other side of the globe, social media is removing the geographical boundaries preventing connection.  Most importantly, it has enabled people with disabilities the ability to effectively advocate and/or protest against policies and programs that affect their quality of life.

People with disabilities of all ages are seen using Twitter, Facebook, blogging platforms, businesses websites, and Kickstarter campaigns to share their life experiences.  Additionally, it is providing a platform for people with disabilities to voice the changes they want to see in expanding inclusion, education, employment, and advocacy opportunities.

The advancements in technology, for example iPads and other tablets, have broken down barriers to allow people of various limitation levels to display their presence on social media and in society.  The invention of these devices has opened doors when it comes to communication, therapeutic progress, and educational enhancement for students and adults with disabilities.

The creation of mobile apps on tablets and smartphones has provided a way for those who cannot use their voice to utilize  touch-and-speech technology at greater access and more affordable prices.  Traditionally, touch-and-speech technology would cost close to $8,000.  Whereas now, the purchase of an iPad at about $499 in price, making this technology affordable and accessible through downloadable apps.  Individuals who are hard of hearing can also download applications that can increase the volume for easier listening.

Physical therapists and teachers have found inventive ways to incorporate the use of technology and applications into their interactions with those with physical, cognitive, and learning disabilities.  Such applications have increased individuals’ ability to improve fine motor skills by touching the screens versus having to move a mouse to direct the action they want to take.  Along with providing supplemental instruction methods in the classrooms, this technology seems to resonate well for students with autism who seem to grasp the use of tablets with ease.

With the advances in the tools we use to communicate, social media helps to bridge the gap between those with disabilities and those who are able-bodied, as well as allow people with disabilities to connect with others who share their health and medical conditions.  There are countless personal and organizational websites in chatrooms and other platforms for almost every medical condition that exists.

Speaking from a personal standpoint, I am a member of several Facebook groups for individuals with Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI), and I also follow numerous blogs on Tumblr and Twitter profiles for organizations and individuals with OI and other physical disabilities.  Social media is being used as a means to connect people with disabilities who may have shared similar life experiences.  This connection creates a sense of community with those who know first-hand the struggles and challenges of living with a life-altering and at times life-threatening, medical and/or psychological condition.

Social media also allows people with disabilities a platform to educate the public about what it means to be disabled while allowing people with disabilities to become self-advocates without having to leave their own homes.  Advocacy and self-advocacy are key components for people with disabilities in order to promote empowerment within the population.  Additionally, it allows for discussion and advocacy for the implementation of effective and efficient programs and policies in order to improve the well-being, social, educational, and economic needs of the group.

For example, social media allows those who utilize it to raise the public’s social consciousness about policies that can either greatly benefit or hinder people with disabilities when it comes to employment opportunities.  It can also create a wider awareness of politicians who seek to strip people with disabilities of their basic human rights by supporting discriminatory practices and legislation.

If the message broadcast through social media receives enough support through individuals resharing, retweeting, and the like, then the potential for that message to go viral on the web increases the ability for gaining the attention of mainstream media outlets.  The power of social media cannot be underestimated, and people with disabilities should consider using social media as a tool to gain allies in the fight for a more equal playing field in our society.

For the people with disabilities who follow Social Work Helper, how do you use technology in your everyday lives?  Has social media proven to be an effective tool to promote advocacy efforts, both personally and professionally?  If so, in what ways has social media proven to be beneficial?  What barriers are there when using social media?  How can advocates and helping professionals promote the importance of using social media to people with disabilities?

I am very interested in hearing the responses of those with disabilities, disability rights consultants, self-advocates like myself, helping professionals, parents, caregivers, or anyone who has witnessed the power of social media has in impacting the lives of people with disabilities.

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