iOS

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
Customizing your iCloud settings on iPhone

Customizing your iCloud settings on iPhone

If you’re using an iPhone or iPad, it is beneficial to have a basic grasp of which iCloud services are available to you on those devices, and how to turn each setting on and off. When you use iCloud on your iPhone, you are allowing Apple to back-up some of your information to the Apple servers somewhere in the US. Once the initial back-up is done, you can also ask iCloud to sync all your Apple devices so that you will the same information across all devices.
In this video, I cover all the different settings which are available to you on iPhone / iPad, and how to customize them for your needs:

Over the years, iCloud has grown to include a broad set of features which are all pretty useful, but you may not necessarily want or need to use all of them. So, we’ll look at what each service does, and you can decide whether you want to turn it on or not.

  1. iCloud Drive: This is Apple’s answer to other cloud services such as DropBox, Google Drive, and OneDrive. This service allows you to easily back-up files and documents from your computer and mobile devices to the the Apple servers. Those files an documents are then synced across all your devices on which iCloud drive is turned on. If you tend to save a lot of large files onto iCloud Drive, you may at some point need to buy extra storage space for iCloud.
  2. Photos: This allows you to sync either some of your photos and videos, or all of your photos and videos to iCloud. If you turn on the iCloud Photo library, all your pictures and videos will be stored on iCloud and then synced across all your devices on which iCloud photo library is turned on. Turning on the iCloud Photo library can help clear space on your devices, particularly on iPhone and iPad if you’re running out of room.
    But it is important to keep in mind that if you turn on the iCloud Photo library on all your devices, once you delete an image or video from one device, it deletes from your other devices as well. Your Photos library will be identical on all devices on which this feature is turned on.
  3. Mail: This feature is available if you have one of the Apple supplied email addresses that are available for free to anyone. These addresses end in @icloud.com,  @me.com, and @mac.com.
    If you use one of these email addresses, your emails will then be synced across all devices. You can also save previous emails in folders as a back-up should you ever need to retrieve anything.
    These use the IMAP protocol, just like a Gmail address or a Yahoo address, which means that when you delete an email from one device, it also deletes it from everywhere else.
  4. Contacts: When you use the Contacts application (formerly known as Address Book) on your Mac, you can either save contacts to your Mac or to iCloud. The advantage of saving your contacts to iCloud is that your contacts will always be in sync on all your devices, and also become available on www.icloud.com. For the vast majority of people, you will probably be using the cloud to back up and sync your contacts. But it can also be used in conjunction with contacts you may have stored with Google, Yahoo, Microsoft Exchange and many other providers.
  5. Calendar: The Calendar app lets you can create events, appointments, and to do’s in a simple scheduling app. You can create calendar events either just on your Mac, or create them using iCloud, which will then sync across all your devices. Again, I strongly recommend that you use iCloud for your calendar events so that everything syncs across all your devices.
  6. Notes: Same as the previous two, most people should store their Notes in the cloud, unless you are really worried that someone could gain access to your iCloud account. You can create super simple notes, or far more intricate notes with tables and attachments in the latest version. It’s a pretty powerful tool which many people are starting to use instead of something like EverNote because it integrates so well with all your Apple products.
  7. Siri: Turning on Siri in the iCloud panel allows Apple to learn your voice across multiple devices. The way that Siri is supposed to work is that it learns your voice over time and gradually gets better at recognizing your voice and the way you ask it questions. If you’ve been using on iPhone for some time, and you get a new device, having Siri turned on in iCloud means that it doesn’t have to start from scratch and learn your voice all over again on that new device. Slightly spooky maybe, but pretty useful …
  8. Keychain: Keychain is password manager built into Apple products, which allows you to save only certain passwords. When you create or enter a username and password on a website while using Safari, you can save that username and password to your Keychain so that Safari will enter it automatically for you the next time your visit that sit. Your Keychain can also remember wi-fi passwords and various other internet related usernames and passwords. You cannot use it to store just any passwords like you can in some other applications like 1Password or LastPass. But it’s still a very handy feature.
  9. Back to My Mac: Hardly anyone uses this feature, because it hasn’t always worked very well. But, in theory, if you have 2 or more Macs using the same Apple ID, you can access your Macs remotely. So, if for example you’re on the road with your MacBook Air, and you have an iMac at home… If both are turned on and using that same Apple ID, you can access and operate you iMac from your MacBook Air. You can grab files from your home computer while you’re away basically. Again, it’s not used much, but it can be very useful for some people.
  10. Find my Mac / iPhone / iPad: With this feature turned on, you’ll be able to track down your Apple devices and see them  on a map when you log into www.icloud.com, or by using the Find my phone feature on one of your mobile devices. Of course, your device needs to be turned on and within reach of a network for this feature to work. For most people, I’d recommend you have this feature turned on in case you ever lose your device.
Posted by Ian Van Slyke in iCloud, iOS, iPhone, Learning, Tips & Tricks, Training, 0 comments
Keep your apps updated

Keep your apps updated

Today, YouTube updated their iOS app after users reported that their devices would get unusually warm and the battery would deplete much quicker than usual while watching videos on the YouTube app. This update is supposed to fix that. And I think this brings up another important point. Whenever Apple releases a major software update such as they did with iOS 11 a couple months ago, many users will experience battery issues and are often very quick to blame Apple for what they are experiencing. I see a lot of comments implying that Apple is intentionally breaking or slowing down their phones with these updates so that consumers will be forced to buy a new iPhone or iPad. But I think that’s completely wrong. In most cases, I do think the problem lies with poorly written apps, or outdated apps that do not function properly with the new iOS update.

I often work with clients and when I open up their App Store, there is often dozens of apps that need updates. And once we’ve updated those apps, it usually resolves most of the issues they had been experiencing. Somewhere along the way, it seems like many people using various technology have gotten weary and suspicious of updating their devices. But updates in the vast majority of cases actually fix bugs and improve the app. Rarely is it a bad idea to update your devices. So, keep all your apps up to date and and you will most likely experience a better functioning device and new feature in your apps.

Posted by Ian Van Slyke in iOS, iPhone, Productivity, Software, Tips & Tricks, 0 comments
Apple released macOS High Sierra 10.13.1 and iOS 11.1 today

Apple released macOS High Sierra 10.13.1 and iOS 11.1 today

Today, Apple released two important updates for Mac and iPhone/iPad users. These are the first substantial updates for these two operating systems which came out last month. They introduce very little in the way of new features apart from 70 new emojis. These are mainly security and stability improvements which should be much welcomed for anyone who upgraded to these operating systems. You can download and install these updates from their respective App Store.

Posted by Ian Van Slyke in Apple news, iOS, iPhone, Mac, Mac Security, 0 comments
iOS 11 is now available

iOS 11 is now available

The long awaited iOS 11 update is finally available to the public, and it brings some really cool new features to the iPad and iPhone. The iPad definitely benefits the most from this update with big speed improvements, and a host of new functionality that radically improve what you achieve with your iPad. Features such as a new Dock, better app switching and drag and drop functionality. These a game changers for the iPad and makes it a much more powerful device than before.

The iPhone also benefits greatly from some of the new changes such as a much improved and customizable control center, a completely revamped App Store, an improved Siri and a whole lot more. Some of my other new favorite features include : Do Not Disturb while Driving, a new document scanner in Notes, and QuickType keyboard improvements.

All in all, there are hundreds of small changes throughout this new operating system. And there will be new features added in the coming months such as the eagerly anticipated Apple Pay Cash for sending and receiving cash within Messages.
The only negative for some people is the fact that some older apps which are 32bit will  no longer work on iOS 11. If the developers do not release an update, then those apps will never work on iOS 11 and you’ll need to find an alternative app.

So, overall, I’m really impressed with this update and what it brings to the iPhone and iPad, and I would highly recommend that you update your devices when you get a chance. As always, just make sure to have a back-up of your device before you start the update process, just in case something goes wrong.

Posted by Ian Van Slyke in Apple news, iOS, iPhone, Software, 0 comments
Apple’s September 12 event

Apple’s September 12 event

Apple has finally announced a date for their annual iPhone event in Cupertino. On Tuesday September 12, Apple will make new announcements, most likely regarding the new iPhones, iOS 11 and a few other things to be sure. There may be news about a new Apple watch, the upcoming High Sierra software update, and hopefully a couple of surprises. So, if you’ve been eagerly anticipating more information regarding the new iPhones, you don’t have much longer to wait.

Posted by Ian Van Slyke in Apple news, iOS, iPhone, 0 comments
iOS 11 Beta 7 and macOS High Sierra Beta available now

iOS 11 Beta 7 and macOS High Sierra Beta available now

Apple has released the sixth public beta versions of iOS 11 and macOS High Sierra to users enrolled in the public beta testing programs. There’s no major changes in these releases, just bug fixes and minor improvements, as we seem to be getting closer to the official release in the coming weeks.

Posted by Ian Van Slyke in Apple news, iOS, iPhone, Mac, Software, 0 comments
The new iOS 11 update is great

The new iOS 11 update is great

For the last couple of weeks, I’ve been playing around with the iOS 11 beta release on my iPhone 6S. And I have to say, I am very impressed. This update is loaded with a lot of small improvements that all add up to a greatly improved experience. The new Control Center is customizable and I think that it’s incredibly useful now. I love the fact that you can now place different apps in this new Control Center for super quick access. The Lock screen lets you see more stuff than iOS 10 did, and it just feels right. The Photos app added some cool new features and feels a little more responsive somehow. The App Store redesign threw me for a loop initially, but now that I’ve gotten used to it, the changes they made totally make sense to me. Apple Pay in messages is something I could see myself using quite a bit in the future. The QuickType keyboard let’s you choose a shrunken keyboard that is supposed to make it easier for you to type messages one-handed. I don’t know that I’ll ever need that one myself, as I tend to speak my messages if I find myself in a situation where it’s hard for me to type. But I’m glad it’s there.

The iPad is the device which is going to benefit the most from the iOS 11 update. They’ve packed some awesome new features for use specifically with the iPads. Unfortunately, this update will only work with fairly recent models, and does not work with my current iPad. Probably time for an upgrade 😎

Posted by Ian Van Slyke in Apple news, iOS, iPhone, Productivity, 0 comments