PCM32: iPhone Tricks, iOS 9, and How to Keep Email Private

Because email contains the word “mail,” it seems natural to assume it offers the same kind of privacy laws that apply to items sent through the U.S. Postal Service.

But as PC Mike Wendland tells one of our listeners this week, guaranteed privacy is not the case.

In fact, what you send through so-called “free” email services like GMail, Hotmail, or Yahoo Mail are anything but free and actually can be used to try and sell you stuff based on the content of your electronic messages. Don’t worry, though, Mike has a great tip for how to protect yourself.

It’s just one of the many things discussed on this episode of the PC Mike podcast.

Other topics include the biggest tech news of the week, some great tips and tricks for users of Apple devices, and more.


Show Notes for Episode #32 Sept. 25, 2015 of the PC Mike podcast:

First Things First: Happy Apple Availability Day!

Mike welcomes everyone to the show with a greeting of “Happy Apple Availability Day!” as the day this podcast is released (Sept. 25, 2015) is the first day that consumers can walk into a store and buy iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus [spp-timestamp time=”1:12″]

Listener Question: I Heard GMail is Not Exactly Private. What Can You Tell Me?

A listener named Roger says he has heard Google’s free GMail service is not private and can be searched by Google at any time. He wants to know if it’s true and what can be done about it. Mike confirms such searches can be done by companies that offer free email – which is largely why they offer free email. Mike also mentions a service called StartMail  [spp-timestamp time=”3:51″]

Tech News of the Week: Verizon Testing 5G, Chinese Tech Bootcamp, Microsoft Event

Verizon First to Test 5G:  Verizon is conducting field tests on offering wireless service that is up to 50 times faster than current speeds. (Read more) [spp-timestamp time=”9:10″]

Chinese Bootcamp Looks to Break Phone Addiction: Too much tech is becoming such a problem in China that a bootcamp to break phone addiction is making news.  (Read more) [spp-timestamp time=”12:15″]

Microsoft Surface Pro Expected Oct. 6: Not to be outdone by Apple’s recent event, Microsoft is holding its own on Oct. 6 and not saying exactly what it is all about (other than it involves Window 10 devices). Speculation is that a new Surface Pro will be revealed.  (Read more) [spp-timestamp time=”13:56″]

Thingamajig of the Week: Apple’s New iPhone 6s and iOS 9

Paul Ulreich, Verizon’s Uber User, joins the show to talk about the new iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, along with iOS 9. [spp-timestamp time=”18:12″]

This part of the podcast is brought to you by Verizon Wireless, the nation’s largest and most reliable 4G LTE network.

Verizon customers have given solid reviews to the recently launched Verizon Plan, which offers data in familiar S-M-L-XL sizes.

But many customers also wanted another, bigger data option – and we listened.

Now and for a limited time, the new Verizon Plan will offer a fifth size choice: 18GB for $100 per month. That provides customers with the value of 50 percent more data than the XL option for just $20 more each month.

Each size comes with unlimited talk and text and can be shared among up to 10 devices, with extra data available for just $15 per GB. Customers who need even more data can visit Verizon Wireless.com for details.

Monthly line-access charges on the Verizon Plan are simple, too – every smartphone line is $20 per month, tablet and Jetpack lines are $10 per month and connected device lines for devices like smart watches are $5 per month.

Over the next few months, Verizon customers will also see a simpler and more streamlined bill, making it easier to see and understand monthly charges.

And visit Roadtreking.com/vzw for stories about how technology can enhance and improve your life.

Tech Tip of the Week: Airplane Mode is Your Friend and Other Ways to Not Drain Your iPhone Battery

Simple Tips & TricksIn leading up to introducing the Apps of the Week, PC Mike Producer Andrew Dietderich joins the show to offer several tips to save iPhone battery power, including switching to Airplane Mode in some places and shutting off unnecessary notifications. A detailed blog post about the tips can be found at: https://pcmike.com/airplane-mode-is-your-friend-other-tips-to-save-iphone-battery-power/ [spp-timestamp time=”23:53″]


Apps of the Week: Finally! Ad-Blocking and Anti-Tracking Available with Apple Devices

In what is a first for users of iPhones and iPads, those annoying Internet ads and tracking activities that invade privacy can now be a thing of the past. [spp-timestamp time=”29:30″]

It’s all because Apple’s new iOS 9 operating system allows for installation of third-party apps that block ads and tracking – unlike previous versions of iOS. This week we bring you three ad-blocking apps for you iPhone users to consider:

Purify Blocker uses the tagline “browse in peace” and promises no ads and no tracking. Purify Blocker’s developer says users can expect to browse up to two times faster than normal while reducing data consumption by half. Purify Blocker also makes for a less-cluttered screen. The app is $3.99 in the App Store.

Ad blocking apps for iOS9Blockr includes a whole bunch of ways to block ads, tracking, and more. Blockr contains easily customizable and extremely useful options. You can set Blockr to block automatic loading of videos and other images so that only stuff you want to read will appear on your screen. Blockr is 99 cents in the App Store.

The Crystal app also blocks ads and prevents tracking. Crystal’s developers say it can improve page-loading speeds by up to four times and cut data usage by half. Crystal also conserves battery juice since your device isn’t loading as much info. Crystal is 99 cents.

Online Learning – Free Trial for PC Mike Listeners

I get asked a lot about finding online courses for learning how to use photography software such as Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom CC, which are both on my recently updated list of tech gear. I talk about how I benefited from taking online courses as well as a special deal available only to PC Mike Techcast listeners at pcmike.com/lynda, where you can even try it free for 10 days and see if online learning works as well for you as it has for me. By the way, they have more than 3,300 courses to pick from – including more than 100,000 video tutorials – in subjects ranging from photography, video and audio to graphic design and web development. With Lynda, you can get:

– Unlimited access to all 3,314 courses – more than 100,000 video tutorials
– Learn new software and stay up to date

Listeners of the PC Mike podcast can get a free 10-day trial. Try any course. Start your trial now and see what you can learn. Just go to https://pcmike.com/lynda to get the free 10 day trial.


We Need Your Help!

As we begin a new podcast like this, it’s very important to get a bunch of reviews to be able to show well in the iTunes listings. So if you can, I’d sure appreciate it if you’d subscribe and leave me your rating and review.

Here’s how:

First, open up the iTunes app on your computer or mobile device. Click on Podcasts on top
> From the iTunes Podcasts page, use the “Search Store” field up at the top right corner of the page. Type in PC Mike Techcast under the Podcasts category.
> Click on the logo image of the PC Mike Techcast on the search return page
> From there, you can:

1) Subscribe

2) Choose and Click on a star (1-5) that reflects your rating. Five stars means you really like it, one star not so much.

3) Leave a written review.

Thanks to all for the kind reviews we’ve received so far. I read and appreciate every review! If you haven’t left a review please do so. I will be so grateful!

And remember, you can appear in future episodes. Ask a question or voice your comments by clicking the Leave Voicemail tab on the right side of this page here at pcmike.com. You can then use the microphone on your computer to record your question.

Thank you!


Mike is a veteran journalist whose video "PC Mike" reports have been distributed weekly to all 215 NBC-TV stations since 1994, making him one of the most experienced tech reporters in the country. His tech stories and videos have appeared on MSNBC, CNBC, the Today Show, The New York Times, USA Today and in numerous national newspapers and magazines. In addition to the PC Mike tech blog, he also publishes the Roadtreking.com RV Travel Blog in which he travels North America in an RV reporting about interesting people and places.