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Issue #797 – Publication Week: Oct 30 – Nov 5, 2022

Geek Note:  As you might expect when one has both a wife and a Q&A column about computers and technology, there are certain expectations from said wife about obtaining Geek-level support on various issues relating to devices and their proper functioning.  Questions come up from my dear “Spouse Peripheral” all the time, and I often tell her “That would make an excellent question for that Geek-guy in the paper.  Why don’t you write to him?”  Today’s issue contains some questions that resulted from such interactions.

• • •

 Q:  I get notifications on my iPhone, but not on my Apple iWatch. What is wrong?

 – Spouse Peripheral
Bluewater Bay, Florida

A: For those not in the know, let me first clarify exactly what “notifications” are.  The iPhone allows you to configure the various apps that are loaded with the ability to pop-up messages to the device owner.  Typical notifications I receive on my devices include missed calls, incoming text messages, new e-mails, news headlines, events from my home security system, and much more.  These notifications can appear even when the device is locked. 

When you own an Apple Watch, it gets paired with your iPhone.  The two work together, and in many ways the watch acts like an extension of the phone.  It displays incoming call information, and in certain circumstances, the above-mentioned notifications.

I noticed something similar to what Spouse Peripheral is asking about occurring with my own devices.  Over time, it seemed to me that when I was wearing my watch, I would get the notifications there, but once I took it off, the notifications would appear on my phone.  But it was not consistent.  And a wishy-washy answer is not what S.P. is seeking.

So, I did what any Geek would do: I Googled it.  Which led me to a little article in Apple’s own support pages.  You can read it for yourself at, but the short answer is that by design, the messages only appear on one device or the other. When the phone is unlocked, they appear there.  When the phone is locked, they appear on the watch. Unless the watch is locked…  Really, Apple?

• • •

Q: Why is it that when I delete e-mail items from one device, they are still listed on my others? I have noticed that this happens with more than one my email accounts.  It happens between all my device: iPhone, iPad and desktop PC.

– Spouse Peripheral
Bluewater Bay, Florida

 A: I just happen to know that all of S.P.’s e-mail accounts use a protocol that causes all her e-mail to stay on the server, so items are not deleted from the device, because they are not actually on the device – it is only viewing what’s on the server.  When items are deleted, they are deleted from the server.  If another device shows them still present, it’s because that device’s view of the server hasn’t been updated or refreshed since the deletion occurred.

• • •

Q: My iPad’s Settings app has a message that says “iPad storage full – get recommendations on how to manage your storage and free up space on this iPad”.  Can’t I just buy more memory? What do I do?

– Spouse Peripheral
Bluewater Bay, Florida

 A: Apple devices are designed with fixed amounts of memory that cannot be upgraded by the user.  Your device’s memory usage is an aggregate of all of the apps and app-related files, pictures, songs, and text messages that are on the device.  When the combined amount of these meets the size of the device’s storage, the storage is considered full.  Look at it this way.  Your dining room table is a fixed size.  You can’t make it any bigger.  If you start putting stuff on it – plates, cups, silverware, the odd laptop or folder, eventually you’re going to use up all the available space on the table.  Whether it’s an iPad, or a table, you have two choices: either get a bigger one, or remove some of the items.  The iPad makes it easy to see where your memory is being used.  If you select the option to “get recommendations” it will show you a breakdown of the memory usage, as well as tell you how much storage could be freed by removing various apps.  It’s even smart enough to know which apps you hardly ever use, so you know which ones you won’t miss.

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