iOS 14 Tip: New Features in Messages With Voiceover

In iOS 14, you can pin your favorite and most important conversations to the top of the list, so you’ll always know where they are. It is now also possible to create Mentions within group conversations, and be notified only when you are mentioned. Listen to the included audio demo, to experience these features with Voiceover. Stay tuned for more tips and tricks.ios-messages.m4a

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Join our next TTJ Virtual Help Session, and ask questions about your Apple products, first and third-party accessories, TV streaming, home automation, networking, printers, and much, much more. The session begins at 3PM Eastern. Today’s session will cover people who’s first names begin with the letters A through L, but everyone may join to listen, regardless your name.

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How to add widgets with iOS 14

How to Add Widgets to Your Home Screen in iOS 14:  Rita’s iDevice Advice for September 28, 2020

A new feature of iOS 14 is the extra widget options you can add to your Home screen. Adding these can range from fun, such as adding featured photos, to useful, such as having the weather front and center for your daily planning.

With widgets, you get timely information from your favorite apps at a glance.

With iOS 14, you can use widgets on your Home Screen to keep your favorite information at your fingertips. Or you can use widgets from Today View by swiping

right from the Home Screen or Lock Screen.

Note:  These instructions were written for sighted persons, who are not using voiceOver.  If you are using VoiceOver:  when the instructions say “Tap on an item”, perform a one finger double tap.

1.  Unlock your iPhone if it is locked.

2.  Press your Home screen until the icons start to wiggle.

3.  Tap the Add button in the top left corner.

4.  Apple will suggest widgets. If your desired widget is there, tap it.

5.  If you don’t see the widget you want to add, scroll down or use the search bar at the top of the feature.

6.  Tap Add Widget.  Select a widget, choose from three widget sizes, then tap Add Widget.

7.  Tap Done.

You can also add Widgets from the “Today View”. From Today View, touch and hold a widget until the quick actions menu opens, then tap Edit Home Screen. Drag the

widget to the right edge of the screen until it appears on the Home Screen, then tap Done. 

If you do not want to add Widgets to any of your screens of apps, you can Add them to the “Today” View on your iPhone:

Add widgets to Today View.

1.  Touch and hold a widget or an empty area in Today View until the apps jiggle.

2.  Tap the Add button 

gray plus icon

 in the upper-left corner.

3.  Scroll down to select a widget, then choose from three widget sizes.

4.  Tap Add Widget, then tap Done.

With iOS 14, you can customize your widgets. For example, you can edit the Weather widget to see the forecast for your current location or a different location.

1.  Touch and hold a widget to open the quick actions menu.

2.  Tap Edit Widget 

Edit Widget icon

3.  Make your changes, then tap outside of the widget to exit.

You can also move your widgets around to put your favorites where they are easier to find. Just touch and hold a widget until it jiggles, then move the widget

around on the screen.

Use widget stacks:

With iOS 14, you can use widget stacks to save space on your Home Screen and in Today View. You can use Smart Stacks or create your own widget stacks.

Create a Smart Stack:

A Smart Stack is a pre-built collection of widgets that displays the right widget based on factors like your location, an activity, or time. A Smart Stack

automatically rotates widgets to show the most relevant information throughout the day. Here’s how to create a Smart Stack:

1.  Touch and hold an area on your Home Screen or in Today View until the apps jiggle. 

2.  Tap the Add button 

gray plus icon

 in the upper-left corner.

3.  Scroll down and tap Smart Stack.

4.  Tap Add Widget.

Create your own widget stacks:

1.  Touch and hold an app or empty area on the Home Screen or Today View until the apps jiggle.

2.  Drag a widget on top of another widget. You can stack up to 10 widgets.

3.  Tap Done.

Edit a widget stack:

1.  Touch and hold the widget stack.

2.  Tap Edit Stack. From here, you can reorder the widgets in the stack by dragging the grid icon 

three gray lines

You can also turn on Smart Rotate if you want iOS to show you relevant widgets throughout the day. Or swipe left over a widget to delete it.

3.  Tap gray x icon for remove

 when you’re done.

Remove widgets


1.  Touch and hold the widget that you want to remove.

2.  Tap Remove Widget.

3. Tap Remove again to confirm.

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Urgent! Please read! An open letter concerning TTJ class and help session policies and etiquette

Please read this entire announcement. The following is an open letter, written by Matthew Vollbrecht, founder of The Tech Juggernaut, to anyone who currently attends, or plans to attend, any T TJ live session, including classes and virtual help sessions, or any other sessions that TTJ may one day offer. It is very important.

I have been praying and thinking a lot about exactly what to write here, and whether to even write anything at all, but I feel it needs to be done now, so as to prevent potentially bigger problems in the future. First off, I know it is very hard to determine someone’s tone when they write, so I want to assure you that my tone is not meant to be critical, demeaning, or combative. I thank God for the blessing of being able to work with all of you, and I genuinely appreciate all of you, and your continued support. I think I speak for the entire TTJ team when I say that you inspire us to keep doing what we do.

It is with that heart, and that spirit, that I feel the need to clarify a few policies, and draw attention to a few specific incidents that concern me.

First regarding policies:

In an attempt to clarify how messages and other communications are shared, I want to again mention the multiple channels we use to make announcements and share recordings. There are four basic distribution channels we use. These are:

The TTJ Blog, Google Classroom, WebEx, and the Google Groups email list,

Each of these serves a separate purpose, but since many people may be part of multiple events and courses simultaneously, there is a good chance that a few materials may come through multiple sources.

The Blog:

The TTJ Blog is a newsletter of sorts for anyone and everyone – all TTJ customers, interested spectators, and anyone else. The blog sometimes features audio recordings as a part of tips and tricks articles, in much the same way that many online news stories feature audio or video. On the blog you will find promotions, product reviews, and as stated, tips and tricks articles. You may also find announcements that may impact anyone interested in TTJ services. This means, all communications regarding TTJ Virtual Help Sessions get posted to the blog. These help sessions are for everyone – not just for class members, so that’s where you’ll see their information.

If you have subscribed to the TTJ Blog, you will also receive email notifications every time something is posted to the blog. Note that information that pertains only to a specific TTJ course will never be posted to the blog.

Google Classroom:

Google Classroom is an online learning platform. It’s where we distribute all materials for class members. Each of our courses will have a separate class in Google Classroom, and you will use an enroll link, not a code, to join each class. You need only enroll once, and again as stated, there is no code. All assignments, class teaching session recordings, and other class-related materials are posted to Google Classroom. Depending on your Google account settings, you may also get an email directly from Google Classroom, whenever we post something. Class-related announcements are also made to the Stream section of the Google Classroom app. Such announcements may also come to your Google account directly from Google Classroom, again depending on your account settings.


Cisco WebEx is the platform for all live teaching sessions and virtual help sessions. Every session requires a separate, brand new join link. We will never reuse a join link. Join links for all Virtual Tuesday and Thursday Help Sessions will be posted to the Blog, while join links for Monday and Wednesday class teaching sessions will be posted to the Stream of Google Classroom, and to the Google Group to be discussed next.

Google Groups Email List:

In addition to the above channels, if you registered for a class, your name is added to a Google Group for that class. Each class gets a separate group. Not all groups are ready yet. But eventually, you will be in a group for every class in which you are enrolled. You are enrolled automatically with the email address you provided when you completed the online registration process.

This Google Groups email list is used as an additional means of communicating important, class-related announcements, and class session join links – not help session join links.

Now on to other important business:

With such an incredibly large number of participants, with numerous personalities involved, this is bound to affect the dynamics of things. While we indeed understand this, we also have a certain atmosphere we are attempting to preserve. It has come to my attention, somewhat through first-hand knowledge and some from other concerned folks, that a small number of people, and I do mean very small, have been rude and abrupt with other students. I heard some of it myself on a few occasions. In some cases, this rudeness was more in tone of voice, while in others it was specifically in what was said. Sometimes it was said directly to another person, and in a few unfortunate cases, I suspect it may have been said by someone not realizing they were unmuted.

Again, let me stress that this is not the majority, but it is happening, among other assorted grumbling. My friends, I mean this in the most loving way possible – this is not ok. I understand it. We all have our moments. I don’t pretend to be perfect; I’m far from it, just ask my wife. Yet as an instructor in this course, and as the founder of TTJ, I cannot ignore it. Kliph, Rita, Lynne, Maria, and I always look so forward to these sessions, and part of the reason is because we get the chance to spend part of our day with such an awesome group of people, many of whom we have gotten to know andlove. As such, we strive to maintain an atmosphere of kindness, energy and excitement, loving support, Godly guidance, and professional courtesy. In a few isolated cases, some of what I’ve heard or been informed of, has not been up to those standards.

So, in response, I am making the following statements, and your continued participation in any TTJ sessions indicates your understanding and acceptance of them:

Firstly, please do not email, iMessage, or post to Google Classroom, if you cannot get into WebEx as early as you’d like. You are not having a problem joining. The meeting just has not opened yet. You are not standing out in the cold, you are waiting wherever you choose, for the virtual doors to open, and having to try again is a first-world problem. Posting about it is a distraction and an improper use of the time of other students and instructors who have to read it. Be patient. The doors will always be open by the class start time.

Secondly, it is imperative, that you please, please, please, stay muted. Do not unmute unless you are asked to, which will only happen during help sessions, not class sessions. We have had to re-mute participants too many times to count, and this does not happen by accident my friends. All participants enter the sessions muted, and it takes actual gestures on your part to unmute. This distracts instructors and other students, as well as being unpleasant for those who wish to listen back to the session recordings.

Along these same lines, please do not start your video during class. If you wish to use your cameras on help session days you may do so, though most of us won’t, but only when it is your turn to talk, and please be aware of your surroundings.

Next, remember that during class teaching sessions, all questions must be submitted using the Chat feature within the WebEx app. Also, on teaching days, please keep all questions on topic. The help sessions are for general questions – not class days. Questions submitted during class that do not relate to the topics being discussed will be ignored.

If you have a question you feel cannot wait for the next help session, you may send iMessages to,, or Maria’s new Apple Support Group.

Next up, please keep all suggestions, and all reports of issues, kind, courteous,, and positive. Evaluate whether your issue is actually a problem, or a preference. For example, some of you may like background music before class, others may not. But this does not hurt you in any way. It’s just a preference, not a problem. And yes, you can hear each other over the music. I know. I was there.

Furthermore, please be patient with the TTJ team. We have done our best to design the most awesome, and the strongest curriculum for you, and to make it available in the best possible ways. But, we know we’re not perfect. There are growing pains as we begin using new platforms, and believe it or not, we don’t know it all. We certainly value opinions and feedback, but at the end of the day, decisions have to be made, and we do our best to prayerfully, carefully, evaluate all circumstances and make the best decisions possible. What I can tell you is that the TTJ Instructor team works very hard – far harder than you will ever know, because they don’t make it known. And, they do it for free. We are all humans here at TTJ, and we all want this to be the best experience possible for everyone.

Finally, be kind to everyone. We all learn at different speeds, and in different ways, There are no stupid questions, everyone is at different places in their learning journeys, and everyone wants to do his/her best. A negative, critical, or abrupt attitude will not help anyone at all. Besides which, ,it is not your job to parent other students. Help them if you feel lead, but do not be abrasive. If the situation is too challenging for you, simply walk away, and do it kindly. If we hear anyone not keeping to this level of kindness, we will remove them from the session. No disrespect whatsoever will be tolerated, under any circumstances, and remember that other people may feel differently about what you said, in spite of how you intended it.

Once again I am so grateful to God for the chance to know all of you, and I believe you are a fantastic group of people. Let’s all do our best to make this the best learning environment anyone has ever experienced. Throughout this fall and spring training season we will take you to new heights, never before thought possible. You will be writing professional looking documents, creating multimedia presentations and videos, keeping grocery lists, and so much more. The entire instructor team is honored and overjoyed to be working with you, and we can’t wait to see the awesome things you’ll do with your devices by the end of thes courses. We are here for you, we care about you, and we want to help and support you in every way possible. That is our motivation. That’s why we do what we do. That is our heart. Thank you for taking the time to read this and adhere to it, and May God richly bless you all.

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Our next free virtual help session starts today, Tuesday, September 22, 2020 at 3PM Eastern.

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The app library in iOS 14

The App Library, In iOS 14:  Rita’s iDevice Advice for September 21, 2020

Note: below there will be a link to listen to a M4A Audio tutorial posted by Matt Vollbrecht with the Tech Juggernaut at

How to Use the iPhone App Library 

A new feature introduced in iOS 14 is the iPhone App Library. The App Library automatically sorts your apps into folders and also offers an alphabetical directory where you can search for any app you have downloaded. This takes away the difficulty of searching through your Home screen for lesser-used apps, and offers helpful suggestions when you’re not sure which of your apps would best suit your purpose.

In addition to being able to put Widgets on your home screen, you can now remove apps without uninstalling them. A new top-level screen called the App Library contains all the apps installed on your iPhone. Mastering the App Library is key to keeping a tidier and organized iPhone and quickly being able to find the app you want. Here is how the App Library works.

App Library organization:  Once you install iOS 14, you will find the App Library to the right of your last home screen. Just keep swiping and you will soon be there.

Note: when running VoiceOver, perform a 3 finger swipe gesture (from right to left) to advance screens of apps, until you get past the last page of apps and then the App Library will appear with one more 3 finger swipe gesture.

You can also get to the App Library by selecting the Page selector, which is located just above the Doc and is represented by dots.  If you have 5 pages of Apps, then there are 5 dots in the page selector area.  You can flick up and down with one finger to go forward and backward through the pages of Apps on your iOS device.  When you keep flicking up, you will go past the last page of apps and then there will appear the App Library.  If you keep flicking down, you will arrive at the “Today View” which used to be Page 1 in prior versions of the iOS.

When you do get to the App Library, you do not have to organize this screen. All your apps will appear in little four-square boxes. The upper left box is always Suggestions. This will show four apps that Siri has determined you are likely to use based on the time of day, your location, etc. It gets smarter the more you use your iPhone, and the suggestions are calculated entirely on your device. No data about your app use, habits, or location is ever shared.

In the upper right you will find Recently Added, which is self-explanatory. It shows apps you have most recently installed. Tap the big app icons to launch the app. Tap the small four-square group to open the category folder. Beneath that are four-square folders that are auto-arranged by app category. Apple automatically determines to which category an app belongs, Each of these boxes will show three full-size app icon together with a little four-icon grouping in the lower right. Apple does not make it clear, but if you tap a full-size app icon the app will launch. If you tap the little four-icon grouping, you will open up a view of all the apps in that category.  The category boxes themselves are not always in the same place. They will reorder themselves based on which apps you use most often.

Searching the App Library:  If you do not want to open and close the app category boxes looking for the app you need, search is the way to go. Just drag down on the App Library, or tap the search box, to get an alphabetical index of all your apps. Tap the search box at the top of the screen, or swipe down anywhere on the screen, and you can search by name or scroll through an alphabetical list of all the apps on your iPhone.

Adding apps to the home screen:  If there is an app in the App Library that is not on your home screen, it is easy to add. Just tap and hold on an app icon until you see the context menu, and choose Add to Home Screen. If an app already exists on your home screen, you won’t see that option. Long-press an icon in the App Library to add it to your home screen.

Adding an app to your home screen does not remove it from the App Library it will always contain all the apps on your iPhone. You can also enter jiggle mode and drag apps off the left edge of the App Library to place them on your home screen.

Removing individual apps from the home screen:  If you want an app to exist in the App Library but do not want an icon on your home screen, that is easy to do. Tap and hold on the app until the context menu pops up. Choose Remove App and you will be presented with a popup with three options: Cancel, Remove from Home Screen, or Delete. Just long-press an app icon to remove it from your home screen. It will stay in your App Library, if you choose. Delete will remove the app entirely, but Remove from Home Screen will simply take the icon away, and it will still exist in the App Library where it always has been.

Removing pages of apps from the home screen:  You can remove entire pages of apps (and widgets) from the home screen, too. Tap and hold on an empty space of your home screen to enter jiggle mode and then tap on the little page indicator near the bottom of the screen. Enter jiggle mode and tap the page indicators to disable or enable entire home screen pages. This will bring up an Edit Pages screen where you can select or de-select entire home screen pages. If you de-select one, it will no longer appear on your home screen, but all those apps will always be in your App Library. Your iPhone saves those layouts, so you can simply re-enable them later.

Downloading apps to the App Library:  Once you get used to a minimalist home screen with just a few widgets and app icons, it is hard to go back to all that clutter. When you download a new app from the App Store, it will still appear on your home screen, but you can change that behavior. You can download apps without cluttering up your home screen. If you want new app downloads to skip the home screen and only appear in your App Library, open Settings, tap on Home Screen, then select whether you want new app download to appear in both the App Library and the home screen, or just the App Library. You can also choose to show notification badges (the red dots in the corner with numbers) on App Library icons. Remember, all your apps are always in the App Library.

More instructions for Accessing the App Library with iOS 14

1.  Swipe to the last page of apps on your Home screen.

2.  Swipe to the left one more time.

You are now in the App Library

1.  Scroll down to see all the groupings your iPhone has created for you.

2.  Tap on the small grouping of 4 in the lower right-hand corner of your screen to see all the apps in that category.

Use the Search Function

If you already know what you’re looking for, the Search function will help pull it up quickly. To search by name just:

1.  Tap the Search bar at the top of your screen.

2.  Type in the name of the app you’re looking for.

3.  Alternately, you can use the alphabet scroller on the right side of the screen to search for an app alphabetically. You can also pull this up by swiping down when you have your App Library open. 


Notes and link to Audio Recordings from Matt Vollbrecht with

just wanted to let you know that I have begun releasing a series of tips, tricks, and demos of various iOS 14 features with Voiceover. The first two are I think highly sought after – App Library with VO, and Calendar with VO. You can find them on my website, right on the main page, under the Latest Posts. I also suggest subscribing to following the Blog by e-mail, as more posts like this will be released over the next several days.

The web address is:


The new Home Screen widgets and widget stacks, the App Library, and how to hide Home Screen pages, all while using Voiceover.

ios14-homescreen.m4a <>