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!

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Apple Releases watchOS 2.0

Earlier this week, on Wednesday, Apple-mainia continued with the release of watchOS 2.0, the first major software update for Apple Watch.

With watchOS 2.0, Apple adds a number of software enhancements for customers and developers alike with new features like improvement to Siri for making FaceTime audio calls and replying to email, new watch faces, Time Travel, third-party complications, and apps that run natively on the watch.

The new Apple filmed time lapse watch faces look fantastic. (Spoiler: New York is my favorite!)  The Music app now supports Apple Music and Beats 1 radio.  Passbook has been upgraded to Wallet with Apple Pay and you can now use a single photo or all of the photos from a selected photo album as the artwork for your watch face.

The real magic of watchOS will shine through as developers begin releasing watch native applications that don't require an iPhone to be within Bluetooth or Wi-Fi range to run.  And with third-party watch face complications, developers will be able to surface more options for providing you with personalized information at a glance.

watchOS 2 is available now for all versions of Apple Watch.  To install it, you must first download the 512MB update with your iPhone, connect your Apple Watch to it's charger, charge it up to at least 50% and keep your iPhone and Apple Watch within Wi-Fi range on the same wireless network.

The watchOS 2 update should take less than 30 minutes to install.

iOS 9.0 was release last week and watchOS 2.0 was suppose to launch along side it.  Apple chose to pull the watchOS 2 update after Apple confirmed they needed some extra time to correct a software bug, which has since been resolved.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Apple Releases iOS 9.0.1 [Updated]

Yesterday, Apple released iOS 9 for all devices that are capable of running iOS 8.


Apple has released iOS 9.0.1, a minor update that fixes issues with the iOS 9 setup assistant, alarms and timers don't alarm and a distorted image issue with Safari and Photos when playing video.  iOS 9.0.1 has been released for all devices running iOS 9.0.

iOS 9 can largely be thought of as a 'tock' release - in other words, iOS 9 is iOS 8's "Snow Leopard."  With iOS 9, Apple chose to go back and shore up all of the new features that have been released in iOS 7 (2013) and iOS 8 (2014).

Even with the focus of iOS 9 being on performance, stability, and setting the stage for what will come in the future, Apple did manage to add new features to iOS 9, including the all new News app, enhancements to Passbook, now called Wallet, Siri Suggestions, iCloud and Safari content blocker (read: ads and ad tracking blockers).  Here's the full list of what's in iOS 9, directly from Apple:

With this update your iPhone, iPad and iPod touch become more intelligent and proactive with powerful search and improved Siri features. New multitasking features for iPad allow you to work with two apps simultaneously, side-by-side or with the new Picture-in-Picture feature. And, built-in apps become more powerful with detailed transit information in Maps, a redesigned Notes app, and an all-new News app. And improvements at the foundation of the operating system enhance performance, improve security and give you up to an hour of extra battery life.

    •    Proactive assistance
    •    Presents relevant information even before you start typing
    •    Notifies you when you need to leave for appointments using traffic conditions
    •    Learns what you listen to in a certain location or at a particular time of day and can automatically display playback controls for your preferred music and audio apps
    •    Suggested events and contact details are added to apps based on information found in Mail
    •    Siri improvements
    •    Search your personal photos and videos based on dates, locations and album names
    •    Ask Siri to remind you about things you’re looking at in your apps, including Safari, Mail, Notes and Messages
    •    Request directions via public transit
    •    Spotlight search improvements
    •    Get sports scores, weather conditions and stock prices
    •    Simple math calculations and conversions
    •    Initiate messages, phone calls and FaceTime calls from contact search results

New iPad Features
    •    Slide Over
    •    Quickly use a second app without leaving the one you’re in
    •    Easily switch between Slide Over apps
    •    Support for Apple apps and enabled third party apps
    •    Split View
    •    View and interact with two apps at once
    •    Ability to resize your view to give equal attention to both apps or prioritize one app over another
    •    Support for Apple apps and enabled third party apps
    •    Picture in picture
    •    Continue watching a video while using your favorite apps
    •    Support for Safari video, FaceTime, Videos and Podcasts and enabled third party apps
    •    QuickType improvements
    •    Multi-Touch gestures for easier text selection on iPad
    •    Quick access to text editing tools with Shortcut Bar on iPad
    •    Support for hardware keyboard shortcuts
    •    Support for all Unicode emoji flags

Built-in Apps
    •    Map improvements
    •    Support for public transit lines, station details with exits and entrances, schedules and directions in select major cities
    •    Browse for places around you by category, including Food, Drinks, Shopping, Fun and more
    •    Apple Pay support is indicated on place cards at participating retail locations
    •    Place cards include Wikipedia information for landmarks and cities
    •    Redesigned Notes app
    •    Add photos to your notes with the built-in camera or from your Photo Library
    •    Create useful checklists and check off completed items with a tap
    •    Sketch a quick thought using just your finger
    •    Save interesting items directly from other apps using the Share menu
    •    All-new News app
    •    Read your favorite newspapers, magazines, and blogs, or choose from over a million topics
    •    Beautiful typography and layouts, photo galleries, videos, animations, and more
    •    Browse articles that are chosen based on your interests in For You. Find channel and topic recommendations in Explore. News gets more personalized the more you read
    •    Easily share articles with friends or save them to read later — even when you’re offline
    •    Mail improvements
    •    Search improvements help you quickly find what you're looking for by filtering results based on sender, recipient, subject or a combination of options
    •    Support for Markup lets you annotate an image or PDF attachment with text, shapes and even your signature, then send it back — without leaving Mail
    •    Easily save the attachments you receive or add files from iCloud Drive or other document providers while composing a new message
    •    Apple Pay and Wallet improvements
    •    Support for Discover cards
    •    Support for rewards cards and store credit and debit cards
    •    To check out even faster, you can prepare an upcoming payment by double-clicking the Home button from the Lock Screen and keeping your finger on Touch ID
    •    New iCloud Drive app
    •    Easily search for a file or browse in the new iCloud Drive app by date, name, or tags you added on your Mac
    •    Open files in any compatible app or share with those you choose
    •    Organize folders and files
    •    Get the iCloud Drive app in Settings > iCloud > iCloud Drive and select Show on Home Screen
    •    CarPlay improvements
    •    Plays back audio messages, letting you hear from people in their own voices
    •    Full support for car knob controls, so you can tilt and spin to scroll through lists or pan around in Maps
    •    Support for CarPlay apps from auto manufacturers

    •    Longer battery life
    •    Up to one hour of additional time before you need to charge your battery
    •    Facedown detection for turning display off when not in use
    •    Low power mode optimizes device performance to extend battery by up to an additional three hours
    •    Software updates require less space to download and offer an option to install later
    •    iOS apps and user interface now use Metal to deliver faster scrolling, smoother animation, and better overall performance
    •    Improved security with two-factor authentication support and a default 6 digit passcode support for Touch ID devices

Other improvements
    •    New San Francisco system font
    •    Leave a message option if recipient isn't available for a FaceTime call
    •    Share voicemails from the Phone app using the share sheet
    •    Flight and package tracking for data detectors
    •    Health app adds support for reproductive health, UV exposure, water intake and sedentary state data types
    •    HomeKit adds support for motorized windows and shades, motion sensors and home security system accessories
    •    Podcasts has an all-new design, makes it easy to find the latest episodes of your favorite shows and notifies you when new episodes become available for you
    •    Support for Wi-Fi calling on iPad, iPod touch and Mac, without iPhone in proximity on participating carriers
    •    Wi-Fi Assist to automatically use cellular data when Wi-Fi connectivity is poor
    •    Transfer content from an Android device with the Move to iOS app, visit for more details

Expanded language support
    •    New PingFang Chinese system font
    •    Improved predictions, learning and autocorrection for Chinese in QuickType
    •    Redesigned punctuation input on 10-key Chinese keyboard
    •    Redesigned User Interface for right-to-left languages
    •    Added Siri support for Austria, Belgium (French and Dutch), and Norway
    •    Added Spotlight search support for Mexico
    •    New keyboards for French (Belgium), German (Austria), Gujarati, Hindi (Transliteration), Hinglish, Punjabi, Spanish (Mexico), and Telugu
    •    Predictive input for French (Belgium), German (Austria), Korean, Russian, Spanish (Mexico), and Turkish
    •    Dictation support for Dutch (Belgium), English (Ireland, Philippines, South Africa), French (Belgium), German (Austria), and Spanish (Chile, Colombia)
    •    Spell check for Finnish and Korean
    •    Definition dictionary for Hindi, Norwegian and Swedish
    •    Bilingual dictionary for French-English and German-English
    •    New Japanese autocorrection and improved predictions and learning in QuickType
    •    Option to switch between number systems for Arabic and Hindi

Enterprise & Education
    •    Assign apps directly to iOS devices without needing to have an iTunes Store account configured
    •    Improved calendar reliability for customers using Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync v16
    •    Expanded Per App VPN support for the built-in IPSec and IKEv2 VPN clients
    •    New networking controls for managed apps to help limit international data roaming costs
    •    New restrictions to prevent changes to passcodes, device names and wallpapers, or to disable AirDrop on managed devices
    •    Third party app extension support for VPN, advanced content filtering, and captive Wi-Fi networks

    •    Touch Accommodations provides additional touch control for those with physical motor limitations
    •    Switch Control Recipes to customize features or create your own
    •    Support for Siri Voices for VoiceOver users
    •    Additional customization of AssistiveTouch
    •    Hardware keyboard support for Key Repeat, Slow Keys and Sticky Keys
    •    Improved MFi hearing aid audio routing to choose where audio is played

Some features may not be available for all countries or all areas, for more information visit: and

For information on the security content of this update, please visit this website: