iOS

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
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
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