Sports scores, lost AppleID passwords, and Google preservation

Bob's Tech Talk

Q. I am looking for a way to follow sports scores from different games on my phone. Does that exist?

A. There are a few options. If all the games are in one league, such as MLB or the NBA, leagues usually have apps that can keep you up to date. Specific features vary within each app, but league-focused apps are a good place to start.

Following a group of teams from different sports altogether requires a little creativity. The ESPN app permits you to create custom alerts for individual teams, and those alerts are delivered to your smartphone. You can craft sophisticated notifications using the ESPN app, which makes it a more complete solution. The tradeoff is that it requires more work to set up.

For Apple iPhone users, the Apple Sports app (free download on the App Store) is a fresh take on a universal scoreboard.

When you first launch the app, you will be prompted to identify your favorite leagues and teams. The challenge here is that the app is new and not every sport is represented. Apple promises there are more stats to come.

The marriage of sports scores and smartphones seems ideal. Unfortunately, following a mix of scores from different sources requires extra effort up front.

Q. What happens if I lose the password for my AppleID?

A. If you prepare ahead of time, a lost AppleID password is a minor nuisance. If not, there is an excellent chance you will lose everything.

Lost passwords can have serious consequences for your family as well. If you die suddenly, and your password is known only to you, all your data and photos are lost forever.

The preservation of digital data is a big topic. However, there are simple steps you can take right now to avoid future problems.

Go to the Settings app on your iPhone and tap your name at the very top of the screen. This will open your iCloud settings. Next, tap Sign-in and Security.

There are two vital settings to configure here, Recovery Contacts and Legacy Contacts.

A Recovery Contact is a trusted friend or family member who is authorized to send you a “recover password” message, which will allow you to set a new password for your AppleID without the old password.

A Legacy Contact is someone you designate to receive an archive of all your digital data stored on iCloud in the event of your passing.

Configuring these settings require that everyone involved have up to date software. If that is not an option for you, a somewhat less reliable alternative is to print out a recovery code.

These features are fairly new, so there is a good chance this is probably the first time you have heard these suggestions.

Protect yourself and your family by setting up Recovery and Legacy Contacts today.

Q. I am an Android user. Is there something similar to Apple’s Legacy Contact for my Google Photos or other data?

A. Google does not have a Legacy Contact feature, although they do have a process that enables a somewhat similar result: the ability to designate an Inactive Account Manager.

Once established, the designee can access your Google account without a password after a set amount of time when the account is inactive.

This is not exactly like a Legacy Contact. The minimum time for an account to be marked as inactive is three months. After the timeout is passed, your data can be retrieved.

Until Google streamlines this process, this is the only option right now. To get started, visit and follow the prompts.

As I pointed out previously, preserving your data is much easier when it is done before something tragic occurs. Do this today.

Wander the Web

Here are my picks for worthwhile browsing this month:

One Small Step

This site has everything from countdowns to live video during launches. It also features extensive news coverage of space related activities.

Online Book Club

Glose is a service that helps you find interesting books to read and enables social interaction among readers.

America’s Finest News Source

Do not let the title fool you. The Onion is pure satire. Sometimes witty, sometimes controversial, but always entertaining.

Bob has been writing about technology for over three decades. He can be contacted at