Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone from your favorite turkeys at Smartphone Fanatics! Gobble Gobble!

iOS 9.1 and watchOS 2.0.1 - Small But Important Updates

[Editor's Note: I don't know why this article didn't publish on the intended date and time, so we are publishing it now for completeness.]

October turned out to be a much busier month than I had originally expected it to be as I was working a particularly tricky production email migration from one cloud based vendor to another.  (Upgrades to Exchange Server 2013/Office 365 and Outlook 2013 were thrown in for fun.)

All that said, I didn't want to let a pair of updates from Apple slip by without at least mentioning them.

iOS 9.1

iOS 9.1, available for all devices that are capable of running iOS 7.0 and later, is a minor update to iOS 9 that adds 150 new cartoony emoji images.  Anyone who has kids knows how important that is. (Ok, my wife and I send emojis - emojii? - to each other more often than we should.)  Let's just get it out of the way now, the finger emoji is in this update.  It's my wife's favorite.  iOS 9.1 also has the "eye in a speech bubble" Ad Council anti-bullying campaign emoji.  At lease we got the taco emoji.

The other iOS 9.1 update is for the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus and the Live Photos feature.  With iOS 9.1 on board, your new iPhone and detect when you are raising or lowering your phone to take a Live Photo and not include those images in the Live Photo image.  It's a nice feature to have.  When I was taking a few Live Photo shots, the early ones didn't come out so great unless I was holding my iPhone 6s Plus perfectly still while shooting them.

watchOS 2.0.1

With watchOS 2.0.1 Apple rolled out some minor but necessary updates for the Apple Watch.  As you can see from the screen shot (above), all of the fixes address bugs that if not otherwise patched right way could leave to a poor customer experience.

Both updates are available right now using the iOS Software Update feature for iOS devices and, for Apple Watch owners, via the Software Update feature in the iOS Watch app.  Both updates are recommended for iOS and Apple Watch owners.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Apple Releases OS X 10.11 El Capitan for Macintosh

Apple, today, released the next generation of the Macintosh operating system: OS X 10.11 El Capitan.

2015 is a "rebuilding" year for both iOS 9 and OS X El Capitan with both new operating systems focused on making things run smoother, faster, more efficiently and securely.

With El Capitan, Apple brings Split view to OS X - one of my favorite feathers - new features to Mission Control, the new San Francisco display font, faster graphics with Metal (requires 2012 or later Macs) and many more features and enhancements.

El Capitan runs on most Macs that have been released since 2007 and requires that the Mac has OS X Snow Leopard 10.6.8.  El Capitan requires about 6GB of free disk space.  As with the last few releases of OS X, OS X 10.11 El Capitan has been released by Apple for free.

Download El Capitan from the Mac App Store.

Apple Releases iOS 9.0.2, Addresses Lock Screen Bug

 Today, Apple has rolled out iOS 9.0.2.  The 45MB update addresses a few minor issues with the new mobile operating system.

The unreported security update is the main reason why you will want to apply this update.  According to enthusiast blog AppleInsider, the unreported fix addresses a vulnerability with the lock screen security.
"...[T]he iOS 9.0.2 update issued today fixes a security issue that allowed malicious users to bypass a passcode protected lock screen and gain unfettered access to an iPhone's photos and contacts."

iOS 9.0.2 is available now for all devices that are running iOS 9, iOS 8 and iOS 7 via the Settings application > General > Software Update.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Apple Store Weekend Continues...I Bought the Apple Leather Loop Band

I was suppose to be going to the Apple Store Trumbull with my father to see about getting him an upgrade to an Apple iPhone 6s Plus.

Before leaving the house, I said I wasn't going to buy anything.  Everyone laughed.  I guess they were right, because while my dad was talking to the Apple Store employees, I ended up buying a fancy new blue leather band for my Apple Watch Sport.

The Leather Loop band is made from quilted Venezia leather and, like the Milanese Loop band, closes the strap magnetically.  The leather is very comfortable and I liked the way if feels on my wrist.  It's a very nice upgrade from the two sport edition bands that I have.

Not wanting to wait until I got home to try on the new band, I had to unbox it right in the store.

Apple Store Trumbull was packed on iPhone launch weekend
Boy, that sure is a smart looking leather band
The Apple Store app can be so dangerously easy to use

Apple iPhone 6s Plus Unboxing Photos

It's launch day for the Apple iPhone 6s Plus and that means it's time for unboxing photos!  So, without further a due, here they are!

Apple iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus Launch Day

On Friday, Apple release the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus to the legions of Apple fans around the world.  Here is an account of my experience.

Pre-Ordering my iPhone 6s Plus

The story starts a little over a week ago with a pre-dawn 3:00am scramble to place my pre-order for the iPhone 6s Plus.  Just like last year's iPhone 6 order and this past April's Apple Watch pre-order, I chose to use the iOS Apple Store app.  It's the best way to jump in and get your new hardware ordered on pre-order and launch day.

As you can see, it was a few minutes after 3:00am before the Apple CDNs updated and the Apple Store app started serving pages.

At 3:07am, I was able to begin the pre-order process.  Notice the lack of a link for in-store pre-order reservations.  We'll get to that in a minute. At 3:08am, I was done.  Not too bad.  What I ended up doing was placing an order for delivery directly to my home.  What I wanted to be a part of the in store launch day hoopla that we've come to expect from launch day.  Then tweets started trickling in that other people where able to select a local store for pick up.  At 4:00am, things looked a little different.

Now, the "Check reservation availability" link was showing up.  I wan't able to change my order to a reservation, so after a nice chat with Apple customer support, they helped me fine an Apple Store in Connecticut that still had the iPhone 6s Plus that I was looking for and then, once my reservation was confirmed, they cancelled my order.

iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus Launch Day

This year, reservations worked a little different than last year for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus launch.  Pre-order reservations were doled out with reservation times.  Since I had the fumble with the order vs reservation situation, my reservation was for 8:30am and not 8:00am.  Still not bad.  It didn't really matter because I took the day off.  There was virtually no chance that work would get done with a new phone to play with.  (Ironically, I did end up getting called to handle an emergency, and why this post is going up on Sunday evening and on Friday afternoon.)

I arrived at the Stamford Apple Store at about 6:30am.  I was a little surprised by the fact that I was the first reservation customer to show up.  There were already about 40 - 50 people standing in the stand-by line.  The lines were broken up into three groups: 8:00am reservations, 8:30am reservations, and stand-by.  Also new this year, the reservation customers would be taken into the store first and then the stand by customers.  I was talking with the store employees and they told me that since I was there so early, they would let me in with the 8:00am group.

First in the pre-order reservations line
As with previous Apple product launches, the Apple Store team reviewed how the morning would go, had a quick team meeting and even got in a few team building activities.

Getting everything just right
Reviewing how the morning will go
An impromptu iPhone 6s demo session
Group photos
and my obligatory selfie with Apple Store employees
Apple Store team meeting
Team building activities
At 7:57am, the team lines up and gets ready to open the store at 8:00am.  From down the hall you can hear clapping and cheering as Apple Store employees get the stand by crowd all worked up and head into the store.

I was hoping for a 10...9...8... style count down, but why should the customers be the only ones having all the fun.

At 8:01am, I was taking inside the store to purchase my new iPhone 6s Plus.

Taking my seat inside the Apple Store Stamford
Unfortunately, it was not by an iPhone get a new MacBook Pro day
Checking out

All told, I was in the store for about 10 minutes.  Since I was buying my new iPhone outright, there were no contracts to sign, purchase plans to pick out or having to wait for phone activations.  Before leaving, I took a minute to thank everyone who helped me for coming in early just so I could buy a new phone on launch day.

Now it was time to head home, take some unboxing photos and setup my new iPhone 6s Plus.

Thanks Apple!  I know I'm going to love my new iPhone 6s Plus!