Apple New-ness

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Yesterday Apple announced their latest product upgrades for iPhone: 8/8Plus and iPhone X (pronounced 'ten', not 'x'), Watch (series 3/with LTE) and tv 4K(5th gen).  You can watch the full keynote here. In a nutshell, faster processors, face recognition to replace TouchID, and wireless charging for the iPhone. Cell phone function built into the Watch and 4K and HDR for the tv 4K. Notable is where this announcement took place - Apple’s shiny new Steve Jobs Theater on the new Apple campus. This inaugural keynote included a lovely tribute to Steve Jobs on the 10th anniversary of the iPhones debut.

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iPhone 8/8Plus and iPhone X

The question I get asked often: should I upgrade my iPhone? If you always have to have the latest ‘thing’ then of course, but really the answer depends on your individual needs and preferences. In general, if your phone is 2 years old or more, I would say yes.

The biggest reason: speed. The processor in these new devices handle tasks much faster and uses battery power more efficiently. Those two facts alone are enough to make this upgrade a noticeable improvement.

If you want more details Apple has outlined the differences between the various models of iPhones on this page: https://www.apple.com/iphone/compare/

Here are my highlights for all models (X, 8, 8Plus):

  • A11 Bionic chip
  • Wireless Charging
  • Optical image stabilization
  • True-tone flash
  • Portrait mode/Portrait Lighting (X, 8Plus)

Here’s why I’m getting the iPhone X. This phone is the special one. The One More Thing. The screen size is bigger than the screen on the iPhone 8Plus (and my current 7Plus) while the overall dimensions of the phone are smaller! It’s like magic. Apple has designed this phone with an edge-to-edge OLED display with HDR that doesn’t require backlighting - allowing the phone to be smaller. This will fit more easily in my hands without giving up the larger display that I have come to love. The iPhone X will be unique in that it will use FaceID (facial recognition) to unlock the phone. No more home button. Much more secure than even TouchID. I’m sure it will take a bit of getting used to. I’m also looking forward to the Animoji feature that uses the facial recognition hardware to create moving emojis based on my facial expressions. Cute! Of course,  those features come at a premium price (and slight delay).

If you aren’t excited about the iPhone X newness, the iPhone 8 and 8Plus are excellent choices.

Watch

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has been updated to Series 3, with a built in cellular option. The latter will include the ability to take and make phone calls, texts messages, stream music, use Siri, get app alerts, etc. on a cellular network (same phone number/carrier as your existing iPhone). It means you can go for run/walk and leave your iPhone at home. In addition the Series 3 Watch now includes an altimeter, can connect directly to some gym equipment, and has a brighter screen.

tv 4K

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This 5th generation of the AppleTV will now let you watch in 4K and HDR as well as streaming live sports and news. Interesting for some but the amount of 4K content available is still limited. If you currently have the 4th generation tv there's no rush to upgrade.

 

Hardware is one thing but software, the operating system, is what drives these devices. Stay tuned for my next post on macOS High Sierra, iOS 11 and watchOS 4 - all being released in the next weeks.

iOS 11 Release Date - Today!

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Apple’s latest operating system for the iPhone and iPad will be released today. I’ve been using it for a month or so and it’s quite nice.

Something very important to note – not all apps will work with the new iOS 11. Apps that have not been updated to 64-bit by their developers (most have) will give you a pop-up message that they don’t work if you try to launch them. (Apple started this move to 64bit in 2013, so developers really have no excuse).

 

To find out which of your apps won’t work, go to Settings/General/About/Applications. In my case, I have 4 apps listed: SwannView Pro, FlightTrack, AppShopper, and TextExpander. The developers might have release entirely new apps (TextExpander) to replace them or they are just no longer supporting that app. If a critical app for you is listed there, you might want to hold off on upgrading to iOS 11. Keep in mind that using old, unsupported software is not a good idea. You would probably be better off finding an alternative app

 

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First thing! Make a backup of your iPhone/iPad – I prefer to use iTunes and have the backup locally saved on my computer.
Encrypt your backup by checking the Encrypt box – you will be prompted to create a password here. Please keep that in a safe place (1Password) because you will need it in order to restore after a loss or upgrading to a new phone.
I also archive my back up so I can use it in case I need to revert back to the older iOS 10.
If you back up via iCloud you can temporarily change that to back up to a computer as a second backup and archive.
Note: Your backups do not include apps – those are restored automatically by downloading from the App Store. If an app is no longer in the app store, it will not be restored. iMazing a great app that will back up your apps if you think you need to save them.

There are lots of great reasons to upgrade – security concerns are always the first but it’s a nice clean operating system with a few great functional improvements. Some like to wait for the first incremental update before installing and that’s perfectly fine. There’s no hurry but there’s no good reason to wait longer than that to upgrade.

Two ways to upgrade: connected to a computer with iTunes or on the iPhone directly. The former lets you easily create a local back as I mentioned above. The latter will need enough space available on the phone to download the update. If space is tight, use the iTunes method to upgrade.

New stuff in iOS 11:

  • Control Center – selective add and delete items – new items available include AppleTV remote, Screen recording, and wallet
  • Files App – for organizing your files/documents all in one place
  • Notes – now you can scan, sign, and send documents from within Notes
  • Messages – new screen effects (Echo and Spotlight)
  • The iPad will see the biggest change with a Mac-like Dock. Swipe up from the dock to get to the familiar Control Center.

There is a lot of great new functionality in iOS 11 and I’ll be sharing more tips/tricks in the near future.