iPhone

Apple’s new announcements for Fall 2018

Apple’s new announcements for Fall 2018

It’s going to be a busy fall for Apple.


This past week, Apple announced new iPhones and new Apple Watches. Also of note, new software updates for iOS devices and the Mac will be released in the coming weeks.

Every year, Apple announces new iPhones with slight improvements and new features. And of course, this year is no exception. This year, they announced 3 new models: The iPhone XS and XS Max, and the iPhone XR. These look to be solid upgrades to the current batch of iPhones, without necessarily being ground-breaking in any way.
Perhaps most surprising is the iPhone XR, which is a good bit cheaper than the other models now being sold by Apple, without compromising too much.
The other note-worthy aspect of these phones is the new A12 chip which powers these devices. In theory, this is a big step up from previous models. It’ll be interesting to see whether people can actually feel the difference in speed and performance that is expected from these new A12 chips.
I won’t list all the new changes and features here, instead you can find a summary of the new iPhones in this article. Or go directly to the Apple website to find out more info on these new phones. The 2 iPhone XS are available on September 21st, while the XR doesn’t become available until October 19th.

The other announcement that possibly generated more excitement is the new Apple Watch Series 4. The Apple Watch is seeing significant improvements on a regular basis now. This year, they’ve made the display bigger, improved performance, and really focused on the health aspects of the watch. It is quickly becoming a very capable heart rate monitor, gathering data that was previously only possible by going to your doctor or the hospital.  The fact that you can now make phone calls and generally stay in touch with people with just the watch is becoming very appealing to a lot of people who want to leave their phone behind more often
Apple is already selling a lot of these, and I expect that more and more people will want one in the next couple of years.

The other two big changes coming this month are the yearly updates to iOS and macOS.

The new iOS update, iOS 12, comes out on Monday September 17th. It is designed to make your iPhones and iPads faster and more responsive. Last year, Apple admitted to slowing down older devices with deteriorated batteries, which turned out to be a PR nightmare for the company. So, this year, the main focus seems to be making sure that even older devices work great with this update. There’s a few new features such as Screen Time that allows you to track how much time you spend using your phone, and which apps you use most. Siri shortcuts, privacy improvements, better password management, and quite a bit more. But I’ve been using the beta for a while, and I can definitely agree that the speed improvements are what’s most noticeable with this update. I highly recommend it.
For a full run-down of what you’ll get with this update, check the iOS 12 page on the Apple website.

And then finally you have the new macOS Mojave update coming up on Monday September 24th. I find this update really interesting for the simple fact that it adds very few new features. You get the feeling that Apple is really focused on making the operating system for the Mac the best they can. A lot of experienced Mac users have been complaining about a variety of bugs with Sierra and High Sierra, and I think that Apple is trying to remedy that. Instead of just adding new features that most people won’t use, just make sure that all the basics work great first and foremost. And to me, that is a great decision on Apple’s part. So, while you do get a few new things such as Dark Mod, Dynamic Desktop, Stacks, and other small improvements, the stability of the Mac is clearly the main focus here. To see what’s new with macOS Mojave, check out the Apple website for information.
As always, make sure to back up with Mac before proceeding with any of these major upgrades.

Alright, hopefully that gives you a general idea of what to expect over the coming weeks. If you have any questions, let me know.

 

 

Posted by Ian Van Slyke in Apple news, iOS, iPhone, Software, 0 comments
Using Low Power Mode for your iPhone

Using Low Power Mode for your iPhone

Almost everyone who owns an iPhone has on a few occasions run dangerously low on power. You then have to scramble around to find some way to charge your iPhone before it runs out of juice completely. If you want to avoid that unpleasant situation, you should be using Low Power mode before the problem occurs. Maybe you have in the past been prompted by your iPhone to enable Low Power Mode after your battery reached 20%. But in my opinion, you should enable it way before it reaches that point, as it can make a big difference. If you know for example that you’re going to be out on the lake all day with nowhere to charge, you should turn it on even if you’re at 80% charged. It can extend your battery life by a few hours in some cases.

So, what does Low Power Mode do exactly? And how well does it really work?
The trade-off is that when you turn it on, it will affect certain features on your phone, which you should be aware of before you turn it on. Mainly, it will pause a lot of background tasks that your phone usually does automatically repeatedly all day long. Such as:

  • Email Fetch: Your phone will no longer fetch your emails in the background. It will only fetch them when you actually click your email app such as Mail or Outlook.
  • “Hey Siri”: The phone will no longer be always listening out for you to voice activate Siri, if that’s a feature you’ve got turned on.
  • Background app refresh: This is a big one in my opinion. Apps like Facebook and Instagram will no longer constantly update your feed when you’re not using them. Your feed will populate only when you open the app. So, you may have to wait an extra second or two before you see all the new stuff. For most people, this is not a big deal.
  • Automatic downloads: App updates will no longer be downloaded in the background. It could also affect things like podcast downloads.
  • Some visual effects: Some of the visual eye candy that happens while you’re using your phone will be reduced, and the screen brightness may be automatically reduced in some cases.
  • Auto-Lock: Auto-lock will default to 30 seconds.
  • iCloud Photo Library: The syncing of your iCloud Photo library will be temporarily paused, and will resume once Low Power Mode has been turned off.

In my experience, most of these things are not a big deal for the majority of iPhone users. But still, you do need to keep an eye on things, as you may encounter some unexpected behavior once in while. For example, I realized after a few mishaps with my Uber app that Low Power Mode messed with my location on the Uber map for some reason. I’m not sure exactly why this happened, but it happened repeatedly, only while I was using Low Power Mode. That’s really the only quirk I’ve ever experienced with Low Power Mode, even though there may be more that I’m just not aware of.

how to turn on low power mode

Once you’ve decided that you want to use Low Power Mode, you can activate it from Settings  > Battery and activate the “Low Power Mode” slider. The battery indicator in the status bar will turn yellow while Low Power Mode is enabled. Your iPhone will always automatically disable Low Power Mode when you charge it up to a certain point. Low Power Mode is always temporary and only lasts until the next proper charge. There’s no way to permanently enable it.

Now, if you end up using Low Power Mode a lot, you don’t really want to have to turn it on and off by going through Settings app every single time. So, instead you can create a shortcut that’s really easy to access through Control Center. On iOS 11 or later, you can  activate and deactivate Low Power Mode from the Control Center. However, you have to add the shortcut to Control Center yourself.
Hers’ how: Go to Settings > Control Center > Customize Controls. Tap the plus sign to the left of “Low Power Mode” to add the toggle to your Control Center, and then touch and drag it to position it where you like it. You can now swipe up from the bottom of the screen and tap the battery-shaped button to enable or disable Low Power Mode.

Customize Control Center part 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alright, so that’s it for how to use and customize Low Power Mode for iPhone. I hope that you’ll find it useful.

Posted by Ian Van Slyke in iOS, iPhone, Productivity, Tips & Tricks, 0 comments
How to hide Photos on iPhone

How to hide Photos on iPhone

Most people have a few pictures in their Photos library which they would rather keep private. If you let someone browse through your photos, you don’t necessarily want them to be able to see everything in your Library. So today, I’ll show you how to move those photos out of you main library and into a hidden photos album. It’s easy and free, and while there are dedicated apps available specifically for this purpose, this technique should be enough for most people.

While browsing through your photos, if you see a photo you’d like to hide, click on it to select it and then click on the share button on the bottom left side of the screen. So, four steps:

  1. Open your Photos app.
  2. Select the photo or video that you want to hide.
  3. Tap  > Hide.
  4. Confirm that you want to hide the photo or video.

The nice thing is that once you’ve picked one photo, it will also be very easy for you to choose adjoining pictures that you’d also like to hide.
And that’s it, those photos will now reside in an album called “hidden album” which you can find in the album section of your Photos app.

If you need to Unhide a picture in the Hidden Album, you basically do the same thing in reverse. Select an image in the hidden album, and click on the Share icon and then choose Unhide.

As you can see, it’s really easy to do once you know the steps. Have fun hiding photos !

Posted by Ian Van Slyke in iPhone, Learning, Tips & Tricks, 0 comments
iOS 12 beta: Apple releases the third beta available to the public

iOS 12 beta: Apple releases the third beta available to the public

Yesterday, Apple released the third iOS 12 public beta. And it is now something a lot of iPhone and iPad users may be tempted to install on their main devices.

Generally speaking, these public betas are fairly buggy and not for everyone. The first couple of betas usually have significant bugs, and are not a good idea for most users. But by the time the 3rd and 4th betas come around, things tend to be much smoother. And that is turning out to be the case with iOS 12 as well.

There is a fair amount of new features to iOS 12, which I will list later. But, one of the major appeals of iOS 12 is that it has been engineered to really speed things up. Even with older devices. So in theory, even an older like the iPhone 5S is going to see a significant speed boost. The keyboard should display faster, the camera will appear more quickly, and much more. You can tell Apple no longer wants to be criticized for devices that dramatically slow down after an update. And they’ve actually chosen to do something about it.
So, that’s a reason some people may want to get on board before the full release this fall. And I do think this 3rd beta is good enough for most people to use.

Besides the speed improvements, there’s a few really cool new features in my opinion. Screen time let’s you see how much time you spend looking at your screen, with very detailed stats. Do Not Disturb now has more options, such as the ability to last for only 1 hour. Notifications have been greatly improved and give you more control.
Instead of listing everything here, I will link to a couple of pages which have more details :
This Apple page highlights the bigger features included in iOS 12.
And this page from 9to5 Mac has a couple of videos which go much more in-depth with what iOS 12 has to offer.

Alright, so hopefully, this gives you an idea about whether or not this beta update is something you’re interested in. And if so, here’s where you can sign-up for the beta.

Posted by Ian Van Slyke in Apple news, iOS, iPad, iPhone, Recommendations, 0 comments
Using Messages in iCloud

Using Messages in iCloud

Last week, Apple released updates for the Mac, iPhone and iPad which finally introduced the ability to start using  Messages in iCloud.
Messages in iCloud is a new feature that Apple announced last fall, but didn’t become available to the public until now for some reason. If you enable Messages in iCloud on your devices, it will store all your messages to the cloud, and then sync across all the devices almost instantaneously.

Obviously, this has a couple of big advantages. First, once this is turned on, if you delete a message from one device, it will delete from your other devices on which you have Messages in iCloud enabled. So, you’ll no longer need to delete the same message from 3 different devices for example. And secondly, it clears those messages from your iPhone / iPad so that you can reclaim storage space on your various devices. This is very similar to using the iCloud Photo Library option on your devices.

Personally, I think this is a great feature. But, if you’ve not turned this on yet, there’s one thing you should be aware of that could decide whether you want to turn this on or not:

And that is that if you move your messages to iCloud, it will count against your storage quota on iCloud. If you’re on the iCloud free plan, or 50 GB plan, your messages could end up eating up quite a bit of the space you have available. I often work with people to help them figure out why they are running out of space on their phone, and quite often, Messages is the biggest culprit. People who send a lot of photos and videos to friends and family can easily rack up a few gigabytes of Messages being stored on their phones and iPads. I’ve had a few clients with 30 Gigabytes worth of messages on their iPhone. It can happen very quickly if you send a lot of videos back and forth. If you don’t keep a lot of messages on your phone, or delete them often, then you shouldn’t have to worry about this.

Also, please note that this service does need to be turned on before you can take advantage of it. It doesn’t turn on automatically when you do the update.
So, first, you need to update to macOS 10.13.5 and iOS 11.4. Then you turn on Messages in iCloud in your settings.

Here’s a good article and video from Appleinsider that shows you exactly how to do that.

Alright, well hopefully, that sheds a little light on how this new feature works, and you can now decide whether or not it’s something you want to use yourself.

Posted by Ian Van Slyke in Apple news, iCloud, iPhone, Mac, Tips & Tricks, 0 comments
iOS 11.4 was released today

iOS 11.4 was released today

Today, Apple has released the iOS 11.4 update for iPhone and iPad. It has a few new features, but the most anticipated one is the long-awaited arrival of Messages in iCloud. This feature syncs your messages on your iPhones and iPads. So, whenever you delete a message from one device, it is also deleted from your other devices.
It’s important to note that the feature is not available on for your Mac yet. It’s coming for Mac in the upcoming macOS 10.3.5 update, which will hopefully be out very soon.

Other new features include Airplay 2 and HomePod stereo. AirPlay 2 is the first major update to Apple’s wireless audio streaming protocol in years. It primarily adds multi-room audio to iOS devices, when using AirPlay 2 compatible speakers. You can adjust the audio levels on a room-by-room basis, or even play different music in different rooms.
While HomePod stereo allows you to pair and sync two HomePod devices in the same room in order to give them a wider, stereo range.

If you need help to enable Messages in iCloud on your iPhone and iPad, this article explains how to set it up.

Posted by Ian Van Slyke in Apple news, iOS, iPhone, 0 comments
New security updates

New security updates

Today Apple released the iOS 11.3.1 update, and the macOS 10.13.4 update. The iOS update includes a fix for a display bug that some users experienced with 3rd party replacement screens.

Both of the these are mainly security updates, and just be aware that the macOS update is fairly large and requires a lengthy restart. The download itself is around 1 Gigabyte and it took about 45 minutes for my MacBook Pro to restart after starting the update. So, make sure you will not need your Mac for a while before you do this update.

Posted by Ian Van Slyke in Apple news, iOS, iPad, iPhone, Mac Security, 0 comments
Apple buys the Texture app

Apple buys the Texture app

A few weeks ago, Apple announced that it was purchasing the Texture app. Texture has been described as a sort of ” Netflix for magazines”, and gives you access to over 200 publications on your iPhone and iPad. Texture has been around since 2012, and for a monthly subscription fee of $9.99, you can read a wide variety of well known magazines such as People, the New Yorker, Vanity Fair, National Geographic, Vogue and many more. But there’s also a very broad section of lesser known publications. Pretty much any magazine that you can find in the magazine section of you local grocery store and most book stores is available in the app. You can view the whole catalog on the Texture website and see if you favorite magazines are included.

I tried the app years ago, but just never used it enough to justify the subscription price. And it also felt very slow at the time. So, I decided to give it another try.
Once you’ve installed the app to your device, you can read the magazines while connected to Wi-Fi, or you can choose to download the publications to your device for offline reading. I’d recommend against downloading too many magazines to your iPhone and iPad unless you have plenty of space on your device. Magazine downloads can add up very quickly and use up a lot of your available space.

Overall, I have to say, I’m very pleasantly surprised by how well the app works nowadays. Even on an older device, such as an iPad 2 from years ago, the app felt very responsive and worked great.
So, if you like to read magazines, this is a great option to catch up on many of your favorites, all in one place and for a very reasonable monthly fee.
You can find the app in the iOS app store and download directly from there.

Posted by Ian Van Slyke in Apple news, iPad, iPhone, 0 comments
The best To Do apps for Mac

The best To Do apps for Mac

There are some great options available on the Mac to help you organize your to-do list and manage your tasks efficiently. Given the fact that many Mac users are also using an iPhones and iPads, I will focus on to-do apps that work on both macOS and iOS.

There is some excellent free to-do apps currently available, as well as some really top notch paid apps available on the market.

Things 3: This is one of the most popular task management application available for the Mac and iPhone. This application has been around for 10 years, and they’ve won many awards over the years as one the best productivity tools for Apple users. It’s a very elegant looking application with a very minimal interface, yet still manages to pack in a lot of features. Things 3 has won a lot of praise recently and has a large user-base, and continues to receive regular improvements and new features. With a price of $49.99 for the Mac version, $19.99 for the iPad version, and $9.99 for the iPhone version, it can be pretty costly to have it installed on all your devices. Also keep in mind that you have to buy these all over again apps again when they introduce a new version, such as the upgrade from version 2 to version 3.
So, while I think it’s a great app from a great company, just be aware that it’s also one of the most expensive tool you can buy for task management.
You can find more information about Things 3 on their website here

2Do: This is my personal favorite at the moment, and the one I use on a daily basis. This one is also a paid application which usually costs $49.99, but is occasionally on sale for $24.99. But unlike Things, the iPhone and iPad versions of 2Do are free, which is a great little added bonus. It’s a very powerful application loaded with features and many ways to customize it the way you like to work. It is always one of the most highly rated productivity app on the Mac App store with a 5 star rating, and for good reason. I highly recommend that you check it out.

You can find more information about 2Do on their website here

Wunderlist: Wunderlist is a wonderful to-do list app which works well on your Mac, as well as on mobile devices. It’s also cross-platform, meaning that it also works for Android, Windows and Kindle devices. It’s completely free to use, with an option to sign-up for some premium features which are mainly useful for teams. And while I used to really recommend Wunderlist, the company that created it was bought by Microsoft in 2017, and it now looks like they will eventually kill off Wunderlist for their own to-do app. So, for that reason, I wouldn’t get too invested in Wunderlist, as I think it’s eventually going away.

Get more information about Wunderlist on their website.

These 3 apps are the most useful for anyone using Apple products at the moment in my opinion. Leave me a comment below if you think there’s something else better out there.

Posted by Ian Van Slyke in iPhone, Mac, Productivity, Recommendations, Software, 0 comments
New Apple updates

New Apple updates

This week, Apple has released updates across multiple devices. The iOS 11.2.6 update fixes some issues on iPhones and iPads. While on other devices, be sure to download macOS 10.13.3 supplemental update, watchOS 4.2.3, and tvOS 11.2.6.

These updates fix security issues and various other bugs which could hamper your devices. Better safe than sorry !

Posted by Ian Van Slyke in Apple news, iPhone, Mac, Mac Security, 0 comments