• apple,  apple card,  apple cash,  ios 15,  iphone

    Using Apple Cash to Pay Apple Card Balances

    Source: Apple, Inc.

    When you make qualifying purchases with your Apple Card, either the digital card in Apple Wallet or the physical card from your physical wallet, you earn Apple Cash back on our purchases.

    I only use my Apple Card for Apple purchases and earn 3% cash back on all the Apple goods and services that I buy. The cash back goes to my Apple Cash card. I use it when I want to buy a new accessory, like my recent purchase of AirPods Pro.

    But, you can also use your Apple Cash to pay your Apple Card balance just like you would use your bank’s ATM card.

    To use Apple Cash to pay your Apple Card balance:

    Step 1: Open Apple Wallet on your iPhone and tap on your Apple Card.

    Step 2: Tap the Pay or Pay More button.

    Step 3: Choose an amount to pay and tap the Pay Now button.

    Step 4: On the Face ID authorization screen tap the > icon to the right of your default payment option.

    Step 5: Toggle on Apple Cash card.

    Toggle ‘On’ Apple Cash card payments Source: Apple, Inc.

    Step 6: Confirm your Apple Card card is now the selected payment option.

    Step 7: Use Face ID to complete your payment.

    For more detailed instructions, and to see the other payment options that are available to Apple Card holders, see Apple’s How to make Apple Card payments Kbase article.

  • apple,  ios 15,  iphone 13

    Unlucky 13

    I don’t consider myself superstitious. But for iPhone 13, I was certainly bit by unlucky 13 during this year’s iPhone upgrade. The last 18 days have been a rougher road than usual to get everything working on my new iPhone.

    Waiting a long time for Quick Start to finish migrating data, defective hardware, iOS 15 bugs, and corrupt iCloud data rained on my annual iPhone upgrade parade.

    This post will list out the issues that I ran across and what I did to get around them.

    iPhone Backups and Restores

    In most cases, using and iCloud backup is the quickest and easiest way to migrate from your current iPhone to your new iPhone. There are a few options for backing up data. The oldest backup method is to back up to the Finder on macOS or wtih iTunes on Windows. Over the last couple of years, Apple has really upped its data migration game with the Quick Start feature. Performing a restore from iCloud is the quickest way to get started on a new iPhone. This is especially true if you are upgrading on iPhone Launch Day and want to start playing as quickly as possible. In years past, I have used macOS and iCloud backup methods.

    This year, I didn’t want to wait for my apps and data to download from Apple’s servers. Nope. This year, I wanted everything moving from my iPhone 12 Pro Max to my new iPhone 13 Pro Max over a wire. No delays from congested Wi-Fi networks for me.

    Scott was helping my Dad and I with our new iPhones on launch day. Seeing that I brought my own cable with me, Scott asked if I was going to use an iCloud restore because it was going to be faster. Throwing caution to the wind, I gleefully started my Lightening data transfer. Scott wasn’t wrong. The iCloud restore was faster. My Dad was up and running with his iPhone 13 in about 30 minutes. I wasn’t able to start using my iPhone for at least another 90 minutes. What was left unsaid was what was being transferred. For the iCloud restore, only the data that needed to be restored from the back up was transferred. Everything else could be redownloaded from Apple’s servers. My cable transfer was moving everything from iPhone 12 to 13 and I’d have to wait for the copy to complete. In the end, both types of data transfers took the same amount of time, except my Dad was able to use his iPhone sooner. Your mileage will vary based on how much data needs to transfer or download.

    iOS 15 Bug Fix Updates

    As of this posting, there have been three iOS 15 updates for iPhones running this year’s version of iOS. For this post, I am focusing on iPhone 13 models. The updates are:

    • iOS 15.0 (19A341) initial iPhone 13 release
    • iOS 15.0 (19A346) silently released iPhone 13 weekend
    • iOS 15.0.1 (19A347) fixes Unlock with Apple Watch
    • iOS 15.0.2 (19A404) multiple annoyance fixes

    The most recent update, 15.0.2, released yesterday, has a number of fixes in it that are likely to address the lingering issues around the iPhone 13 launch, including a fix for failing Finder and iTunes data restores, lost photos saved from Messages, Find My and AirTag fixes, and a fix for dropped connections with CarPlay.

    All-in-all, iPhone 13 and iOS 15 have been a stable launch, however, there have been a few annoying bugs that left upgraders feeling like they got less features on a new iPhone than they had on their previous iPhone. I certainly felt that way this year. If you have one of the new iPhone 13 models, I suggest upgrading to iOS 15.0.2 when you can. And if iOS 15.0.2 doesn’t fix your bug, iOS 15.1 is currently on the third release of the Public Beta build, suggesting that it should be arriving sooner rather than later.

    Starting Over from Scratch

    The most annoying problem I faced this year with upgrading to my new iPhone was coming to the realization that there was something corrupted either in my iPhone 12 Pro Max, my iCloud backup, or something else in my iCloud account relating to backing up and restoring to a new iPhone.

    To their credit, Apple did try everything possible to help get my iCloud backup to successfully restore on my iPhone 13 Pro Max and ensure that all of the iPhone 13 features were working as advertised.

    My issue was that after running Quick Start and restoring my iPhone 12 Pro Max data to my iPhone 13, I was unable to use Face ID to make purchases in the iTunes Store and App Store apps on iPhone. Everything else relating to Face ID, as far as I could tell everything was working normally, excluding the Unlock with Apple Watch feature which had a fix on the way.

    Apple Support on Twitter, Apple Telephone Support, and even the team at my local Apple Store were stumped as to what was causing my issue. An in store hardware diagnostics test hinted that a defective Face ID sensor was to blame, despite Face ID working to unlock my iPhone and apps that I enabled Face ID for.

    By the time I was sitting at the Genius Bar working working with someone on my issue, I knew that I was looking at some sort of data corruption. I had already hard reset my iPhone 13 and set it up as new and confirmed that Face ID could be used for iTunes Store and App Store purchases. I just wasn’t ready to admit it to myself that I needed to start over. I had been carrying my data across to each new iPhone I purchased starting with my upgrade from iPhone 4S to iPhone 5S. A pretty good run if I do say so myself.

    The hardest part for me was reconfiguring iOS the way I had it, reinstalling my apps, and getting everything setup just so. When you start over from scratch, you have nothing on the iPhone.

    When you sign in to your iCloud account, you get your personal information manager data back. For me, that was my contacts and notes. As you start to log in to your other accounts, cloud services start to fill in the missing data. For example, signing back into my personal and family Google accounts, I was able to get my email and calendar data back. Because I am an Apple One and iTunes Match customer, I was able to get my text messages, photo library back, and personal music tracks back.

    The saving grace for me was that my data lives in multiple places with my iMac and cloud services being co-equal owners of my data. There is a popular saying in corporate records and information circles that “one is none.” If you only have one copy of a vital document – or your data – you have no avenue for recovery. Always have at least two, if not more, copies of your data.

    The last few days have been filled with reinstalling apps and then walking down the Settings options double-checking my settings on iPhone 12 and then configuring the same options on iPhone 13.

    There are still a few snags I hit with some apps. Minor things like having to login to newspaper and take-out apps. These aren’t big deal, but when I find something that isn’t working like it did on my iPhone 12, I am reminded of Unlucky 13.

    There are two areas that I haven’t been able to recover. The first is my Apple Watch Series 5 and 6 device backups. With Apple Watch still closely tied to iPhone, I haven’t been able to find a way to restore Watch backups saved to my iPhone 12. So my watch faces and complication settings were ‘lost’. I will reinstall and setup complications when inspiration hits, otherwise, it is just a boring Infograph Modular watch face for me on both Watches.

    The other area where I ‘lost’ data was my wallpapers in Springboard, the iPhone Home Screen launcher, and for the rooms in the Home app. I don’t recall where I got the pictures from. I was able to do a quick Internet search to find my Springboard wallpaper. To make sure that I have backups for next year, I created a new Photos album called iPhone Wallpapers and saved copies of my wallpapers into it.

    My path to iPhone 13 Pro Max has been more ‘challenging’ this year than in years past. The usual excitement and enthusiasm around getting a new iPhone was tempered by hardware and software problems. Still, as I get farther way from iPhone 13 launch day, I get to appreciate the new features of my iPhone more and more.

    Hopefully, next year’s iPhone party will be back to normal.

  • apple watch,  ios 15,  iphone 13

    Apple Releases iOS 15.0.1, Fixing Unlock With Apple Watch on iPhone 13

    Today Apple released iOS 15.0.1 the fix for iPhone 13 owners who lost the ability to use the Unlock with Apple Watch when upgrading from iPhone 12.

    This update includes bug fixes for your iPhone.
    * Unlock iPhone with Apple Watch may not work on iPhone 13 models
    * Settings app may incorrectly display an alert that storage is full
    * Audio meditations could unexpectedly start a workout on Apple Watch for some Fitness+ subscribers

    I was happy to see that Apple was able to get this update out within the first week of iPhone 13 availability. As an iPhone 13 Pro Max customer, I was frustrated that my brand new iPhone had one less important feature than the iPhone 12 Pro Max that it was replacing.

    Once I got home and I was able to install the update, I was happy to see that my iPhone once again was able to unlock while wearing a mask after checking in with my Apple Watch Series 5 and Series 6.

    To install iOS 15.0.1 on eligible iPhones, tap Settings > General > Software Update.

  • apple,  apple watch,  ios 15,  iphone 13

    Apple Confirms iPhone 13 Unlock with Apple Watch is Broken Out of the Box

    Apple has confirmed that the iPhone 13 models launched this past weekend have a bug that prevents them from using the Unlock with Apple Watch feature.

    After upgrading to iPhone 13 with iOS 15.0 (builds 19A341 or 19A346) customers are no longer able to use the feature to unlock their brand new iPhones while wearing a face mask and Apple Watch.

    I was trying to get Unlock with Apple Watch working on my new iPhone 13 Pro Max all weekend long. The feature had been working without issue on my iPhone 12 Pro Max with iOS 14.8, Apple Watch Series 5 and 6, and watchOS 7.6.2. Thinking it was something that I did wrong, I posted a short video of the problem on Twitter.

    My tweet to Apple Support. I meant iOS 14.8 in my original tweet that I corrected with a re-tweet. Some day Twitter might let us fix tweets.

    Earlier this morning, I realized that I was not alone with my masked face plight. ZDNet’s Adrian Kingsley-Hughes complained of the exact same issue.

    AppleInsider’s Mike Wuerthele noticed a new Apple support article confirming the Unlock with Apple Watch issue yesterday and that they will be releasing a fix ‘soon’.

    Apple has identified an issue where Unlock with Apple Watch may not work with iPhone 13 devices. You might see “Unable to Communicate with Apple Watch” if you try to unlock your iPhone while wearing a face mask, or you might not be able to set up Unlock with Apple Watch. This issue will be fixed in an upcoming software update.

    Working in the IT field, I get it, software written by humans will have bugs. The problem with Apple lately, is that they seem so focused on pushing out new products and major software releases on an annual schedule, testing can sometimes fall by the wayside. In the worst case, which is also becoming more frequent in my opinion, a bug is never fixed.

    For me, and possibly many of the people who were also upgrading to a new iPhone 13 last weekend, I found this a bit of a letdown and a lousy experience that my brand new out of the box iPhone was less capable than the iPhone it just replaced. During a weekend that I was excited for my new iPhone and family and friends wanted to see it, the impression that they were left with was that a $1,200 iPhone 13 Pro Max didn’t work as well as its successor. And that’s not a great customer experience during the iPhone 13 product launch.

  • ios 15,  iphone 13,  t-mobile

    Line No Longer Available After Switch to eSIM

    As part of the upgrade process to my new iPhone 13 Pro Max, I decided to switch from using a physical SIM card from my wireless carrier to a new fangled digital SIM, known as an eSIM.

    However, after switching from the nano-SIM in my iPhone 12 to an eSIM with my iPhone 13, I started receiving a Last Line No Longer Available warning, as the following screen capture shows.

    It turns out that this is a problem that has been around since iOS 12.1 when the eSIM feature was first introduced with the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR.

    To ‘fix’ the issue, all I needed to do was to go into the Phone app and clear the list of recent calls.

    1: Tap the green Phone.app icon.
    2: Tap the All tab at the top of the screen.
    3: Tap the blue Edit button in the upper right of the screen.
    4: Tap the blue Clear button in the upper left of the screen.
    5: Tap the red Clear All Recents button at the bottom of the screen.

    Now, test calling a number that previously gave the warning message and it should be gone.

  • apple,  ios 15,  iphone 13,  security

    Apple Releases iOS 15.0 Build 19A346

    On Friday, I received my iPhone 13 Pro Max which I am really enjoying. Yesterday, while out and about, I happened to check Software Update, and noticed that Apple released an iOS 15.0 update with build number 19A346.

    In the above screen captures, you can see iOS 15.0 as shipped on iPhone 13 Pro Max (left) and iOS 15.0 on the same iPhone 13 after updating (right). The release notes did not say much other than it was a security update.

    “This update provides important security updates and fixes an issue where widgets may revert to their default settings after restoring from a backup.”

    The link provided in the release notes to the Apple Security Updates page as of the time of this post, had not yet been updated with the details of iOS 15.0 19A346.

    However, a piece by Jim Salter writing for Ars Technica may shed some light as to what’s going on.

    “[A] security researcher who goes by illusionofchaos dropped public notice of three zero-day vulnerabilities in Apple’s iOS mobile operating system. The vulnerability disclosures are mixed in with the researcher’s frustration with Apple’s Security Bounty program, which illusionofchaos says chose to cover up an earlier-reported bug without giving them credit.”

    Apple has received criticism in the past for being slow to acknowledge bugs reported by security researchers. And, when vulnerabilities are confirmed, Apple can be equally slow to credit researchers and provide pay outs as part of the company’s Security Bounty program.

    According to Salter, the security researcher, who goes by the name of illusionofchaos has posted example code of how the exploits work, meaning that an nefarious programmer can use the code to whip up a new malware attack against iOS devices.

    My suggestion is that anyone who is running iOS 15.0 check Settings > Software Update for iOS 15.0 (19A346) and install it as soon as reasonably possible.

    Interestingly, the same update was not available for my 10.5-inch iPad Pro nor my iPhone XR running the iOS 15.1 Public Beta.

  • apple,  iphone 13

    iPhone 13 Launch Day: What Did I Get and Unboxing Photos

    It’s iPhone 13 launch day! Congratulations to very who is getting a new iPhone this weekend. I sincerely hope you enjoy it for years to come!

    So, what did I get this year? Since I really liked the look and feel of last year’s iPhone 12 Pro Max, it should come as no surprise that I decided to get another Pro Max this year. For my 2021 iPhone, I picked the iPhone 13 Pro Max in Sierra Blue with 256 GB of storage.

    I have to say for the first 24 hours after last week’s iPhone 13 keynote address, I was waffling a little bit between White and Sierra Blue. My iPhone 12 is Pacific Blue. I think the thing that pushed me to Sierra Blue was the selection of Apple leather cases. To go along with my new iPhone 13, I picked the Golden Brown leather case. I think that the feel of the leather case and the inset metallic buttons just feel so good in the hand.

    I was pretty good this year. I only purchased the iPhone 13 Pro Max and a single leather case. I resisted the urge to get more than one case, a MagSafe Wallet, or AirPods Pro. If Apple drops an 11-inch iPad Pro with Mini LED, that will absolutely be an insta-buy pre-order as soon as something like that goes up for pre-orders. Until then, I’m trying to hold pat with what I’ve got.

    Since I opened and setup my iPhone 13 Pro Max at the Apple Store, here are some faux unboxing photos for your enjoyment.

    iPhone 13 Pro Max and Golden Brown MagSafe Case
    Hello, iPhone 13 Pro Max!
  • apple,  apple store,  iphone 13,  newton,  trumbull

    Apple iPhone 13 Launch Day!

    Dad and I in line for our new iPhones

    Today, Apple began delivering iPhone 13 models to customers who pre-ordered last Friday for either in-store pickup or home delivery. So, naturally, my Dad and I got up at zero-dark-thirty, pulled out our Apple Store t-shirts, and set out for the Trumbull store.

    One of the significant changes of picking up a new iPhone on launch day at an Apple Store is the use of pickup windows. When you place a pre-order for in-store pickup, one of the things that you must do now is to select a 15-minute window to pickup your iPhone. I simply can’t wait for a new iPhone to be delivered, so I get up early to make sure that I get an 8:00am – 8:15am window. Now that everyone has a pickup window, there are practically no lines at the store. This is a vastly difference experience from just a few years ago when the iPhone X launched with a new industrial design and Face ID. The pre-order and standby lines snaked down the hall.

    Empty parking lot
    Empty hallways
    No long lines outside the store

    When we arrived at the mall, there was an empty parking lot. Likewise, the hallways were empty and there was no long lines outside the store. My Dad and I were easily the first in line. While waiting for the store to open we chatted up some of the employees. Is this iPhone launch day? Sure is! But thanks to scheduled in-store pickups, there’s no need to get to the store early.

    To be honest, this was one of the most subdued iPhone launches in a while. I think that this is mostly due to the use of the pickup windows. For the 8:00am store open, there were only a few people in the standby line. Even without the huge crowds from years past, I was excited to be privileged enough to be there and able to buy a new iPhone. Cell phones are quickly becoming a necessity in our society, however, my year-old iPhone is still in perfect condition and there are only a few reasons why someone would need to upgrade from an iPhone 12, 11, and possibly an iPhone XS. As a long time Apple fan, new iPhone day is my ‘thing’ and so I order a new one very year. I like getting a new iPhone each year because I want all of the new features, specifically the new camera system. And if there are only two headliner features for iPhone 13, it’s the 3x optical zoom on the Pro models and the improved battery life.

    Coordinating details for the pickup queue
    Taking care of last minute details
    All hands team meeting just before the 8:00am launch

    My Dad and I worked with Scott to get our iPhones unboxed and setup. Dad used the iCloud backup process. I used the transfer cable option. The transfer cable isn’t a single cable. It is actually a Lightening to USB-A cable connected to a Lightening to Camera adapter. I brought both cables with me. While Scott was right, the iCloud backup/restore process would be ‘quicker’, and my Dad was able to start using his iPhone sooner than me, in the end, it still took about an hour for the data to transfer over my cable and for Dad’s iCloud over-the-air Wi-Fi restore to complete. So, I’m calling it a draw. The lesson that I learned is that for next year, I will likely use the iCloud backup/restore process so I can complete the setup faster and move on to transferring my cellular service over from my ‘old’ iPhone to my shiny new iPhone. To upgrade family members or co-workers, I still think that the cable is the better way to go.

    Newton MessagePad (1993)
    iPhone (2007)
    Apple Family Photo

    Making a debut appearance at the Apple Store this year was my recently restored Newton MessagePad (OMP). My OG iPhone that has made this trip many times in the past. It was going to be a busy day for the Apple Tea, however, we did manage to get a few minutes for an Apple family photo.

    As usual, the staff at the Trumbull Store were fantastic. Scott, Tyler, Mariam, and the rest of the crew working this morning make user we had a great launch day. One the way out, I made sure to stop and talk with the store and district managers to make sure that they knew how happy I was with the service I always get at the store.

    Naturally, I’m already looking forward to the next product launch. Hopefully, I will be able to line up for an 11-inch iPad Pro with a Mini LED display.

    Happy iPhone 13 Day!

  • apple,  iphone 13

    Happy iPhone 13 Pre-Order Day!

    Apple’s Online Store Fronts This Morning

    The stage is set, and in just under an hour, the curtain is about to go up for the annual iPhone pre-order window. iPhone enthusiasts are getting ready to place their orders for the new iPhone 13 line up starting today at 8:00am EDT (the one true time zone), or for my West Coast friends, 5:00am PDT.

    If you are new to this game, welcome! In years past, getting your pre-order in early to guarantee that you get a new iPhone on launch day used to be more difficult. Now a days, the process is pretty easy.

    If you haven’t already done so, install the Apple App Store iOS app on your current iPhone. Then, at 8:00am EDT, launch the app, wait for the store to reload (this can take a few minutes after 8:00am), and then walk thru the wizard to select your options and then check out. Easy.

    My Pre-Pre-Order (?) is in!

    So, what am I getting this year?

    I waffled back and forth pretty much all day this past Wednesday after watching the California Streaming iPhone, iPad, and Watch introduction keynote that was posted on Tuesday.

    I knew I wanted the iPhone 13 Pro Max, but I was trying to decide between the new Sierra Blue color and Silver (white). In the end, I chose Sierra Blue. Why not have a blue phone two years in a row. This year, I’m in for an iPhone 13 Pro Max in Sierra Blue, 256GB of storage, and the Golden Brown leather case.

    If you are pre-ordering this morning also, I hope that you are able to get the devices that you are looking for.

    Happy Pre-Ordering!

  • apple,  ios,  ipad,  iphone,  mac

    Silly Season 2021 Has Started

    Earlier today, Apple Senior Vice President, Worldwide Marketing, Greg “Joz” Joswiak tweeted out a teaser for this year’s iPhone event later this month.

    Now that we have an official date from Apple, it’s time to pull out the darts and board to try to determine what is getting announced, when those items, will start showing up in customer’s hands, and when will iOS 15, iPadOS 15, macOS Monterey, watchOS, and tvOS hit our devices.

    And, this doesn’t even get to any new secret hardware and software features that may drop with the new devices that are likely coming on new iPhones, iPads, and Macs.

    For me, someone who is unable to attend WWDC or WWDC adjacent conferences every year in California, this is the most exciting time on the tech calendar and I am looking forward to some new goodies to play with this fall.