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Storing items digitally reduces need for physical wallet

by JOY SCHWABACH | September 11, 2021 at 1:48 a.m.

I rarely carry a physical wallet. I prefer the digital kind, such as the new Apple Wallet.

With this month's update to iOS 15, the latest iPhone operating system, Apple Wallet will store your driver's license, car keys, boarding passes, tickets, vaccination card and any other form of ID. When you show your digitized driver's license, it will automatically conceal your home address if you wish.

To digitize any document to store in Apple Wallet or elsewhere, tap your phone's camera app and snap a picture. I store mine using Google's free app, Stack for Android. It makes documents quick to find. No more wasting time rummaging through Google Drive for my driver's license .

Eight U.S. states accept digitized ID cards at airport Transportation Security Administration checkpoints, which, as you probably know, is a faster way of getting checked in. I'm going to go for my pre-check approval next week. It costs $85 for five years and requires an interview. I'm looking forward to not having to take my shoes off or put my electronics in a separate bin, not to mention breezing through a much shorter line.

Apple Wallet, a method of storing IDs, is not to be confused with Apple Pay or Google Pay, a method of paying what you owe without getting out your credit card. Though I often use Google Pay at the cash register, it doesn't always work. So I store a credit card in a rubbery envelope that sticks on the back of my phone. My dentist and insurance company gave me some as freebies. If you didn't get one, you can buy a five-pack on Amazon for $3.29.


Have you noticed the new weather bar in Windows 10? It takes you to the world beyond. Here's how to make the most of it.

Look at the day's temperature in the lower right of your screen. As your cursor hovers over it, a bunch of news blurbs will pop up. If you don't like the categories, change them. I added "books" and took out "sports."

Here's how to do that: Tap the three dots at the top of the news window or in any of the individual news blurbs. Then choose "Manage interests." There are dozens listed-- everything from the coronavirus to world news and entertainment. You can click to see more stories like the ones you're viewing or click to get fewer of them. I was tempted to click "fewer stories like this" when I saw "Duchess of Cornwall Shares Her Personal Recipe for Victoria Spongecake." Then I wondered:"What is that recipe?" The article had no specifics. I had to Google it.

I added a stock watch list to my new news panel, but it proved frustrating. Every time I hover over the weather bar at the bottom of my screen and click on my watchlist, a screen opens up with a list of suggested stocks. As a workaround, I click "recently viewed" instead of "watchlist."


ZeroMouse is the smallest mouse I've ever seen. It's the size of two quarters. We're talking computer mouse, not actual mouse, or I'd be running out the door shrieking.

ZeroMouse can rest on a tiny corner of your laptop or on your thigh. Use it to move your cursor around the laptop screen with one finger. Tap your finger to click on something.

This mouse includes a laser pointer. That means you can wow your audience by pointing to something on a big screen.

Early birds pre-ordered the ZeroMouse on Kickstarter for $35, but that period has ended. The company raised more than $65,000, which was $64,000 more than they set out to get. When it launches in October, it will cost $95.


My cooktop went on the blink so I called its maker, Samsung. They told me to text "Support" to an 800 number. Whenever someone asks you to text this to that, here's how.

Open your messages app. Type in the phone number in the "to" field. Then in the message area, type in the word you want to send off. In this case, it was "Support."


My friend Mary Lynn Funk is a great writer, and I enjoy all the threads in our back-and-forths. But with Gmail, if you keep replying without ever starting a new email, the threads get too long. My latest message to Funk is one of 80 emails in the same batch. I get tangled up every time I look for one of my previous gems.

Here's a better approach. Open an email. Then hold down the shift key at the same time you click on "Reply." (Or tap "R" if you've enabled keyboard shortcuts in settings.) This will open a new email window side by side with the long threaded one. Now you can cycle through all the old responses without losing your place.


Moldiv is a free photo editing app for Android or iPhone. Among other choices, it has a magazine template that lets you turn your photos into faux magazine covers. I love those.


Thirty-four million people have watched the YouTube video "Do You Love Me?" It features two dancing robots and a robot dog, rocking out to a song of the same title. Another good one is "Atlas: Partners in Parkour," which features robotic gymnastics. The robots were made by Boston Dynamics.

Joy Schwabach can be reached by email at

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