• accessories,  apple,  find my,  iphone 13

    Thoughts About the iPhone Leather Wallet

    iPhone 13 Pro Max with Leather Wallet,
    Source: Apple, Inc.

    Last year, with the launch of iPhone 12, Apple released a new MagSafe accessory, the Apple iPhone Leather Wallet. For the iPhone 13 in 2021, Apple revised their wallet accessory. I finally broke down and bough one. Here are my thoughts about it.

    The iPhone Leather Wallet is a minimalist accessory for iPhone 12 and 13. Owners of earlier iPhones will need to find an alternative solution for their wallet needs. And that is because the Apple Leather Wallet is a new MagSafe accessory that uses magnets in the iPhone and the wallet to magnetically attach. You might be thinking, as I was, that magnets and magnetic strips on the cards we carry don’t mix. And you would be right if not for the shielding that has been built into the wallet.

    My original idea for using the Leather Wallet was to hold my work ID badge and a few business cards. The shielding works so well that I was unable to scan my card at card reader while it was the topmost card in the wallet. Credit and bank debit cards with the new EVM chips are not magnetic so the chip will continue to work regardless.

    The magnets in the iPhone Leather Wallet are strong and yet the case is easy to remove. You will want to be careful about how you handle iPhone with a wallet attached. My main concern with the Wallet is that it may come detached from my iPhone without me knowing it. I feel this concern that is born out of the fear of not always being able to feel my bulky traditional billfold wallet in my back pocket.

    To that end, in my opinion, you will want to use the iPhone Leather Wallet with an Apple iPhone Leather Case. This is because I feel that the leather case and the leather wallet offer the most grip. When I attached the Leather Wallet to my iPhone 13 Pro Max without a case (leather to glass) or an iPhone 13 in the Apple Clear Case with MagSafe, I felt that it was easier to slide the wallet off the iPhone by pushing it horizontally or vertically.

    A nice feature to help put my mind at ease is the new Find My integration with the 2021 iPhone Leather Wallet. When the Wallet is detached from the iPhone, the iPhone updates the location where the Wallet detached on the Find My map and sends an alert to iPhone or Apple Watch if you move away from where the Wallet detached. A future enhancement that I would like to see is the inclusion of a “safe place” designation that is available with AirTags so that when I detach the Wallet from my iPhone at home or at the office, no lost notification is sent.

    At $59.00, the 2021 Apple Leather Wallet is not exactly cheap. You also need to consider how many items you plan to carry with you. The Leather Wallet is intended to be used with only three cards. I was able to wedge four cards in but getting them out quickly at the checkout counter was not an easy task. Clearly, Apple is working toward a future where the iPhone takes the place of your wallet and will hold digital versions of your state issued ID, credit cards, bank cards, and more.

    Bellroy Card Sleeve, Source: Bellroy

    For comparison, the Bellroy Card Sleeve wallet has a similar price, color, and size but can hold more cards and folded bills without the magnets. While I do like the minimalist feel of the Bellroy Card Sleeve, I am worried that it will slide out of my back pocket. Having a wallet that attached to the back of my iPhone and can notify me that it has been detached is a nerve calming feature that gives you a chance to find your wallet quickly.

    The Apple Leather Wallet comes in the same variety of case colors as the Apple iPhone Leather Cases. That is good or bad news depending on your view of the 2021 iPhone case colors. I am not a big fan of this year’s colors, so I got the Golden Brown one. It matches the Golden Brown case that I have on my personal iPhone. I also think that the Golden Brown case goes well with the Blue iPhone 13 but not so much with the bare Sierra Blue iPhone 13.

    When it comes to wallets, I have learned that there are more personal taste and security considerations at play. The Find My integration gives Leather Wallet users piece of mind that you have a fighting chance to find a lost wallet. However, if you want to carry lots of cards and cash, the three-card limit may be a deal breaker for you. Not being able to use my iPhone Leather Wallet for my work ID, I plan on alternating between the Apple iPhone Leather Wallet and my Bellroy Card Sleeve depending on what cards I plan on taking with me.

  • apple,  ios 15,  iphone 13,  review

    iPhone 13 Pro Max Real-World Usage Impressions

    iPhone 13 Pro Max, Source: Apple, Inc.

    It has been a month since I got my iPhone 13 issues resolved and about a month and a half ago since the iPhone 13 family launched. As you might recall, I had a rough go of it for the first couple of weeks. A corrupted iCloud backup and a bad Face ID senor array can do that. Now that I have everything reconfigured and back to normal and I have had a chance to really live with my iPhone 13 Pro Max, I wanted to give you my opinions on this year’s largest flagship smartphone.

    The Hardware

    Year-over-year, iPhone 13 Pro Max looks and feels just like last year’s iPhone 12 Pro Max. That’s not a knock on the Apple industrial design. I love the iPhone 4/iPhone 5 style flat sides. In my opinion, I feel that I can get a better grip on iPhone 13 Pro Max than I could on my iPhone X-series and iPhone 11 Pro. I used to send those iPhones flying off the table trying to grab them. That has not been true with iPhone 13 Pro Max. I can get a firm grasp on it with the flat edges. Looking ahead, I’m relieved to hear that early iPhone rumors for the 2022 iPhone will keep the flat sides.

    This year’s iPhone 13 Pro Max includes a new 120Hz ProMotion adaptive refresh screen. This feature debuted with the 2017 10.5-inch iPad Pro and has taken until now to come to iPhone. When I got my iPad Pro, the ProMotion screen was really noticeable. Everything on that iPad Pro seemed buttery smooth. On iPhone 13 Pro Max, for me, the change is less noticeable. Maybe that’s because both my work and personal iPad Pro tablets, that I use all the time, already have ProMotion and my eyes are used to it.

    One area where the variable refresh rate of the display and the new A15 Bionic CPU shine is in its battery efficiency. The battery savings and my personal device runtime is incredible. As a light user of iPhone, I can get days out of a single charge. Your milage will obviously vary. For me, I have an iPad nearby when I’m home, that is my go-to device. If I want to do work, I turn to my iMac. But, when I’m on the go, my iPhone is front and center. While traveling, I listen to a lot of podcasts or music. Both of which are downloaded locally to my iPhone. I’m only streaming music from my iCloud Match or Apple Music subscriptions about 25% of the time. And activity that is done with the screen off. If I’m driving, my iPhone is connected to a Lightning adapter for CarPlay and will charge on my short commute to and from work. As a result of my limited use of iPhone with the screen on, I can easily get two days of use out of a single charge.

    Call me crazy, but when I got my first smartphone, a Palm Treo 600, Verizon charged a lot of money for a small amount of cellular data. Battery life wasn’t great back then, either. I learned to avoid suffering cellular data overage fees and have enough battery to make it through a day, needed to hoard battery and limit cellular data usage. It’s 2021. I need to learn to live a little. iPhone 13 Pro Max has tons of battery and ‘unlimited’ cellular plans are flat rate.

    All of this to say that I am really pleased with the new ProMotion display and all of the battery saving features of the A15. Rest assured that when it’s needed, the A15 CPU and ProMotion will deliver the goods.

    I should also mention that current 5G cellular modem and antennas on the Pro Max are good. I notice that I am getting more 5G service in more places that I go with better download speeds. I’m sure that this improvement is also to T-Mobile rolling out improvements to their network. (Yes, I get it. 5G got real and that Sprint is now a part of T-Mobile. Verizon and T-Mobile, you guys are the plumbing. Just serve up data quickly and reliably and I’ll be happy.)

    Source: Apple, Inc.

    According to the Apple iPhone specifications comparison page, the differences between this year’s Pro Max and last year’s Pro Max are almost identical in size and weight. The iPhone 13 Pro Max is 0.1 inch and 43 ounces thicker and heavier. In a Pepsi Challenge taste test of sorts, where my wife handed me both iPhones Pro Max with my eyes closed, I could not distinguish between the two iPhones. Until I felt for the camera bump, which is even more of a camera plateau than last year.

    Now that I’m living with iPhone 13 Pro Max as my everyday iPhone, I’m really not happy with the color options on the ‘Pro’ iPhones. My favorite color is blue, more specifically, a deep navy blue (aka Grassia Standard Blue). Last year’s Sierra Blue on the iPhone 12 Pro Max was close to that. Sierra Blue, is a much lighter blue than Sierra Blue. In my opinion, to my eyes in most of the lighting conditions that I find myself in at home or in the office, Sierra Blue looks more like battleship grey. I’m disappointed about that. Holding my iPhone 13 Pro Max up to the screen on my iMac with the Compare iPhone Models page, I feel that the on-screen Sierra Blue is more ‘blue’ than the phone I’m holding in my hand. If I wanted a grey iPhone, I would have opted for this year’s ‘black’ color, which is called Graphite. Graphite, in my opinion, is a better color in the hand than Sierra Blue is. Looking ahead, unless I am really blown away by the color choices for the 2022 iPhone line up, I think I will go with a Silver / Starlight / White color. I have a love/hate relationship with the 2021 Apple Leather Case selection this year too, but more on that later.

    The Camera System

    Access Photographic Styles by tapping the three-frame box just above the Shutter button in the iOS 15 Camera app.

    iPhone 13 Pro Max has larger camera lens that require a larger over all surface area on the back of the phone. Referring back to the comparison page, you can see that the aperture values have changed between last year’s iPhones. I’m not a camera buff, so I really didn’t know if a higher or lower number is better or not. I found Christopher Crawford’s aperture tutorial to be helpful here. Basically, a camera’s aperture helps control focus on the subject. Depth of field relates the distance away from the camera lens that the subject is and at what point the back ground and foreground are in focus relative to the subject. The more you know, the better pictures you can take. For me, I have moved to the iPhone as my primary camera for taking pictures. To my untrained eye, iPhone 13 Pro Max photos taken in good lighting look fantastic. In worse lighting, or low lighting, your experiences will vary depending on how skilled of a photographer you are.

    I prefer the extra color saturation in the Rich Contrast Photographic Style. At least until I change my mind.

    Using what I learned on Crowford’s site, the iPhone 13 Pro Max’s wide and ultra wide cameras have gotten slight improvements in aperture, decreasing to f/1.5 and f/1.8 from f/1.6 and f/2.4, respectively. The telephoto lens on iPhone 13 Pro Max, technically, has a higher aperture rating of f/2.8 over the f/2.2 rating on the iPhone 12 Pro Max. However, iPhone 13 Pro Max has a telephoto optical zoom rating of 3x where as iPhone 12 Pro Max has an optical zoom rating of 2.5. In some test photos taken on a sunny day at the local sea wall or pumpkin picking on an overcast day, I felt the photos looked good to my untrained eye.

    Source: Apple, Inc.

    One noticeable improvement in this year’s iPhone Pro Max is the inclusion of Photographic Styles. I have been an iPhone photo “purist” in that I don’t generally tweak photos aside from cropping and the use of the automatic enhancement tool. Photos taken of the kids at the farm while picking pumpkins, I felt, looked better in the Rich Contrast setting. In this mode, photos taking with iPhone have a Tone value of -50 and a Warmth value of 0. These values cannot be changed once the photo is taken. They are in effect “burned” into the photo, relative to the Standard Apple photographic style. In my opinion, the extra color saturation looks better and leans toward the higher saturation styles that are default on Android smartphones.

    iOS 15

    In my daily use of iOS 15, I don’t feel like there are many major improvements in how I use my iPhone. There are lots of quality-of-life improvements over iOS 14 that I do appreciate. I prefer iOS over Android for its fit and finish, but I say for the security features. While still in beta, I have found that the new iCloud Private Relay feature works well. As the name implies, information sent from Safari is relayed to two different secure servers. The first relay is data sent from Safari on your iPhone through your network provider and on to the secure servers run by Apple. In this first ‘hop’, Apple and your service provider and Apple know your IP address, which is a unique identifier, however, DNS traffic is encrypted so that neither Apple nor your service provider know which website was requested. The second ‘hop’, takes the encrypted DNS information, decrypts it, generates a random IP address, and then forwards the request on to the web server of the site you are trying to visit. This feature isn’t exactly like a VPN service, but it does help mask who is requesting what website information. If you squint, it sure feels to me, like iCloud Private Relay is setting the foundation for an eventual iCloud or Apple One VPN service. Which brings me to the thing that I don’t like about Private Relay. You have to pay to get this feature, even though it’s baked into iOS 15. Blame Tim Cook’s relentless push into services and the drive to extra even more ‘value’ (read: revenue) from Apple’s customers. On the positive side, any subscription to an iCloud plan, even the $0.99/mo plan grants you access to Private Relay in addition to extra iCloud storage space. $12/yr is well worth it in my opinion, but I’m not happy about it.

    I’m also glad to see that Apple walked back many if the UI changes that were first shown off at the 2021 WWDC conference and shipped an update to Safari that mostly looks and works like previous versions. I don’t use the new Tab Groups feature, but if that’s your thing, I’m good with it. It took me a while, longer than I want to admit, to figure out how Apple scrambled the Safari open tab synchronization feature. Rather than seeing a list of open tabs on other devices that have open Safari tabs, you now get a section on the Safari Start Page and a drop down pick list of open tabs. Previously, in iOS 14, this information was presented by a list sub-divided by a device section heading. I felt silly for not realizing how this page changed right away. Making their users feel bad about not knowing how to use their software is not a good look for a company like Apple.

    Some people like to dunk on the Mail application because it has not received any major new UI and functionality features in a long time. I’m fine with that. I use the stock Apple Mail application on my iPhone. I don’t need any email-as-a-task-manager, snooze for later, or Inbox Zero features. Other folks like that stuff and more power to them. I’ve clearly crossed into cantankerous old man territory. For me, email is a solved problem. One feature in iOS 15’s Mail app that I really do like is the new remote image load blocking. In attempt to extract as much information about you as possible for marketing and tracking purposes, the insidious concept of the tracking pixel was created.

    Mail in iOS 15 helps fight pixel tracking by asking if remote images in HTML-based email should be loaded. Tap Load Content to download the images.

    A tracking pixel is a special 1×1 pixel graphic that is loaded when a user opens an email or web page. They are designed to be imperceptible to users. Mail in iOS 15 now blocks the loading of remote images in email, essentially blocking the tracking pixel from loading. Users now get a small notice that all remote images in HTML-based email have been blocked and gives you the opportunity to load them if you choose. Nice.

    The Accessories

    I’m still happy that MagSafe is a thing, but aside from the Apple MagSafe Charger puck that I purchased last year, I don’t have any other MagSafe accessories aside from the Apple Leather Case. Since the MagSafe Charger will cause a ring to be imprinted on the leather, I take the case of before charging my iPhone.

    Speaking of MagSafe, I am considering trying a MagSafe Wallet now that it has that new Find My integration. In my opinion, the MagSafe Wallet ($59) is a bit on the expensive side, and I’m still not convinced that this is the product for me.

    And that brings me to the Apple Leather Case with MagSafe selection for iPhone 13 Pro Max. They are the same $59 dollars as the Apple Wallet. I prefer the Apple Leather Case for my iPhones over the Apple Silicone cases. The Silicone cases, in my opinion, collect too much line and have too much friction when being slipped into and out of dress pants pockets. So much so, that in my experience with the silicone cases over the years, I am more prone to dropping my iPhone while putting it away or taking it out of my pants pockets at work. But, Apple, what is going on with the color selection this year? I really don’t like any of the Apple Leather case colors at all. Taken with my dissatisfaction with the iPhone 13 Pro Max Sierra Blue color, I’m not liking the color situation this year. I have both the Apple Leather Case in Golden Brown and Midnight. I like the way that they feel with the metal buttons inset in the case. Given all that is going on in the world with 2020 and 2020: The Sequel, for my own mental health, I want more bright fun colors on an iPhone that has all the features. Seriously, Apple, I want all the features in fun colors. 24-inch iMac colors. Go!

    Wrap Up

    Overall, annoying color choices aside, I am happy with my iPhone 13 Pro Max purchase. Did I need to upgrade my iPhone 12 Pro Max? Absolutely not. My previous iPhone 12 Pro Max and iPhone 11 Pro are still perfectly fine iPhones in 2021 and will be for years to come.

    If you have an iPhone XS, iPhone XS Plus, iPhone XR, iPhone 8, or earlier iPhone, and you have an itch to upgrade, now is a great time to do it. iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Pro, and iPhone 13 Pro Max are great phones. Buy the best iPhone you can to meet your needs and then enjoy using it for years to come.

  • 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!