Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas from your friends at Smartphone Fanatics.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Beware of Oracle Trying to Junk Up Your Mac

I recall reading a few months ago that Oracle was going to begin "treating" Mac OS X users to adware during Java 8 installs and upgrades.  I sort of dismissed it out of hand because I have been dodging scummy adware junk during software installs on Windows PCs for years.

I dismissed it, that is, until I saw Oracle adware staring me in the face.  Last night, as you can see from the image above, my Mac wanted to run an update to Java 8 Update 66.  I almost never allow my software to auto update, so there was no way that I wasn't going to not see the Yahoo ad.

I saw the screen, paused, uttered an "Oh, hell no!", unchecked the box and clicked the Next button.  I was only able to do that because I've training by years of Windows use to watch was is getting installed on my PC.  Now this junk has washed up on my Mac's shore.

Don't get me wrong, I like hate Java nearly as much as I do Adobe's Flash Player.  And, I do like the Yahoo! Weather app that I have on my iPhone and iPad.  I do admire Marissa Mayer and what she is trying to do at Yahoo! - just not that much to use Yahoo's software on my Mac.

So the day that Ed Bott foretold about Java adware back in March of this year for ZDNet has finally come to pass:

"With the latest release of Java for the Mac, Oracle has begun bundling the Ask adware with default installations as well, changing homepages in the process. 
The unwelcome Ask extension shows up as part of the installer if a Mac user downloads Java 8 Update 40 for the Mac. In my tests on a Mac running that latest release of OS X, the installer added an app to the current browser, Chrome version 41. (In a separate test, I installed Java using the latest version of Safari, where it behaved in a similar fashion.)"

Well, at least I made it 26 updates before I got hit with adware.

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