• ios 16,  iphone,  lifestyle

    iOS 16.0 Tip: Turn on Keyboard Haptics

    New in iOS 16.0, which many of us are just experiencing for the first time, is the Keyboard Haptics feature.

    The Keyboard Haptics feature gives the user and extra form of feedback while typing on a glass screen by buzzing the Haptic motor. In my opinion, turning on key clicks along with the Keyboard Haptics tricks my mind into thinking that I am typing on a traditional keyboard. Nothing replaces the feed of typing on a good keyboard, but the additional feedback just feels good, in my opinion.

    To turn on Keyboard Haptics on a current model iPhone running iOS 16.0:

    1. Tap on Settings
    2. Tap on Sounds & Haptics
    3. Tap on Keyboard Feedback
    4. Tap on Haptic

    Yes, I am one of those people who leaves the software keyboard click sounds enabled and the Haptic software feedback, I feel, asks a nice touch (no pun intended) to typing on an iPhone.

    iOS 16.0 was released back on Monday, September 12, for iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone SE (2nd generation), and later. The full list of iOS 16.0 features can be found on the Apple website.

  • iphone,  lifestyle,  security

    Another Reason to Secure Your iPhone While Traveling

    Stephanie Condon, writing for ZDNet has an interesting piece about smartphone data dumping by the US Customs and Border Protection service. According to Condon, the downloading, storing, and potential searches of American’s smartphones came to light by way of a letter sent to the agency by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) about the practice.

    According to Wyden, CBP agents get American travelers to unlock their devices and then proceed to download the data into a government-controlled database. He calls such searches “warrantless” and I completely agree. On his official Senate.gov website, Wyden is quoted as saying:

    “Innocent Americans should not be tricked into unlocking their phones and laptops,” Wyden wrote. “CBP should not dump data obtained through thousands of warrantless phone searches into a central database, retain the data for fifteen years, and allow thousands of DHS employees to search through Americans’ personal data whenever they want.”

    Senator Wyden’s full letter to Chris Magnus, Commission of the US Customs and Border Protection service is available online.

    While I agree, all US citizens should comply with legally obtained and executed search warrants, I do not agree with the in discriminant downloading of American’s smartphones just because they are crossing the US border.

    One way to protect yourself if to ensure that you have a strong passcode on your iPhone. A couple of words long passcode is a strong defense to unauthorized access to the contents of your iPhone. A 6-digit or longer PIN code in place of a passcode is a good option too.

    Strong security and data privacy is a constant trade off with usability. Who want to keep entering a 18-characher passcode/PIN just to unlock their iPhone? Not me. Biometric security, such as Face ID or Touch ID are good tradeoffs for most people. They offer good security and ease of use.

    When learning about reports such as the one Wyden is claiming of the CBP, I have to think twice about my personal information data privacy. As we learned with John Eastman, courts are willing to uphold requests to unlock smartphones using biometric systems. What courts aren’t willing to uphold, is the forced compliance with requests for passcodes and PINs.

    A good strategy that iPhone owners can use is to hard lock their device by pressing and holding the Side Button (Power button) and either one of the Volume buttons for 3-seconds. This can easily be done while an iPhone is still in your pocket, purse, or bag. Once activated, Face ID, Touch ID, and Unlock with Apple Watch will no longer unlock your iPhone until the owner enters their passcode/PIN code.

    Starting with iOS 16, the new Lockdown Mode security feature will help protect customer’s and their data from common security vulnerabilities by trading convenience for security. Most people will never need this feature, but for those who do, it will help protect their privacy. Sometimes, security is hard, but necessary.

  • apple,  imac,  ipad pro,  iphone

    2022 Apple Shopping List

    Source: Apple, Inc.

    Now that the holiday season has wrapped up, it is time to look ahead to the new Apple gear that I will be looking to purchase in 2022. By the looks of it, 2022 is going to be an expensive year.

    iPhone 14 Pro Max – $1,300

    Like clockwork, Apple is expected to release the next iteration of the iPhone, which we all expect to be called iPhone 14. This year, I am planning on getting another Pro Max edition. I would really love to have a Pro Max iPhone that is closer in color to the Blue iPhone 13. To my eyes, under my home and office lighting, the Sierra Blue of the iPhone 13 Pro Max looks more like battleship grey than blue under all but the sunniest of direct sunlight. In typical Apple fashion, I am expecting to have to buy at least one new Apple Leather Case, as the latest rumors suggest that iPhone 14 will have a different camera bump.

    27-inch iMac – $3,200

    My 2015 27-inch 5K iMac has served me well while I was using it for classes to complete my Bachelor of Science in Information Technology degree. As time marches on, and software becomes more demanding, the Intel i5 Quad Core 3.3GHz CPU is starting to show its age and the display has developed a magenta boarder all the way around the screen that becomes visible with a while background.

    It is unclear at this time whether Apple is going to release a 27-inch iMac running an M1 processor or if it is going to release a 27-inch iMac Pro running either an M1 Pro, M1 Max, or M2 processor. Since the 27-inch iMac wasn’t refreshed at the same time as the 2021 24-inch iMac, I’m erring on the side of Colleen Novielli bringing us a new iMac Pro in 2022. That machine is going to be expensive. The only previous iMac Pro, an Intel Xeon machine, started at $4,999. I’m hoping that a spec’ed up machine for my needs, which, admittedly are not exactly in “Pro” territory, will be in the $3,200 range and come with a base model M1 Pro CPU, 32GB of RAM, and a 2TB SSD.

    Mac Upgrade “Plan B”

    If a 2022 27-inch iMac or iMac Pro is released and the price is over my expected $3,200 budget, then things will get a little messy. Do I stick with my 2020 13-inch MacBook Pro? Do I trade that unit and my iMac in and get a 14-inch MacBook Pro with an 8-core M1 Pro CPU, 32GB of RAM and a 2TB SSD? What about a monitor? Will Apple finally release a first party 27 to 32-inch display that is reasonably priced? If not, there is a good chance that a Dell UltraSharp 4K 32-inch display is in my future. Or do I skip the laptop all together and just go with a Mac mini or, possibly a Mac mini Pro? Either way, whatever I end up doing on the Mac front, it’s going to be expensive.

    iPad Pro – $1,000

    Last year, I tried to get Apple to replace the battery in my 2017 10.2-inch iPad Pro. I use that device all the time and the battery is showing its age. Since the start of the pandemic, the use of my iPad Pro has only increased. However, the Apple Genius I was working with said that they couldn’t replace the battery for the out of warranty price of $99 that is listed on the Apple website because the battery test came back stating that my battery was only degraded to 82% and not below 80%. The cost to replace the battery when it wasn’t below 80% was $599. I still love using my iPad Pro, but I call Tim Cook a not nice name each time I have to plug it in to recharge.

    If the 11-inch iPad Pro gets the same or improved Liquid Retina XDR display with 10,000 mini-LEDs with deep inky blacks, I will insta-buy the 256GB model with a Smart Cover.

    All the Rest

    For now, I am still very happy with my biggie HomePods and one HomePod mini. The mini makes a good kitchen HomePod, but the sound that comes out of it just can’t compare to the rich sound that comes out from my stereo pair biggie HomePods. I am also more than happy with my Apple TV HD and my Series 5 Stainless and Series 6 Aluminum Apple Watches.

    I would like to see a $2,500 Apple first-party display for ‘normal’ people, but we all know that any display that Apple releases that is not the Pro Display XDR won’t sell for under $3,000, which is a shame in my opinion. The LG Ultra Fine display has lousy reviews.

    I have long been waiting for Apple AR glasses, ever since the first attempt by Google with their Google Glass pilot which didn’t go too far. We might get our first glimpse of Apple’s long rumored AR/VR headset, but the rumored cost for that thing is in the $3,000 ballpark. Way too high for this year’s spending spree, so I’ll continue to wait for either the prices to come down on a headset or Apple’s AR glasses to ship. Oh, and the glasses should come with support for prescription lenses on day one. I’m not getting any younger waiting for all this marvelous gear to be released.

  • 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,  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.

  • ios,  iphone,  troubleshooting

    Force Reboot an iPhone

    My Dad has this knack for getting himself into trouble with his computer equipment. iPhones. Macs. iPads. You name it. He can find some crazy edge case that will send you searching for answers.

    To be fair, this past Friday’s problem wasn’t really something that he did wrong. He sent me a text and followed up with a call to tell me that he could’t use his iPhone 12 Pro Max. It wasn’t registering any touch input.

    Here’s the problem, he knew to reboot his iPhone by holding down the hardware Volume Up and Power buttons, but had no way to use the Slide to Power Off option.

    On ‘old style’ iPhones, like the iPhone 6/7/8-series, you can force a reboot by pressing and holding the Home button and the Power button together for a few seconds.

    That doesn’t work on an iPhone with Face ID.

    After several attempts at searching the Internet, I finally found the Apple manual page for performing a forced restart on an iPhone. The procedure varies by model depending on whether or not a Home button is present. To force restart an iPhone that has Face ID, you need to the the following:

    Press and quickly release the volume up button, press and quickly release the volume down button, then press and hold the side button. When the Apple logo appears, release the button.

    Source: Apple, Inc.

    I had to try this a few times to get the timing right, but, as ‘They’ say, the third time was the charm. Just make sure you aren’t on a phone call when you try it.

    Source: iPhone User Guide – Force Restart iPhone

  • apple,  iphone

    On the 2020 iPhones Arriving Fashionably Late

    Source: Apple, Inc.

    During Apple’s financial results conference call for Q3 2020, which took place on July 30, Luca Maestri, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, pre-announced that new iPhones will be shipping a little bit later than usual this year as a result of global COVID-19 pandemic. At about the 24:27 mark into the call, Maestri states:

    “In addition, as you know, last year we started selling new iPhones in late September. This year, we project supply to be available a few weeks later.”

    In my mind, “a few weeks” means just that – about 3-6 weeks. Had there not been a global health crisis, we would have expected that Apple would have expected Apple to hold their fall iPhone event on or around Tuesday, September 8. Following that would be the launching of pre-orders on Friday, September 18 and new iPhones going on sale by Friday, September 25.

    With this new guidance on when to expect new iPhones, Apple is telling investors, and Apple watchers like us, that there will be new iPhones this year and that they will be arriving in October (my guess) rather than November or December.

    In my opinion, the iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max hardware is so good, I wouldn’t mind hanging on to my 11 Pro until the spring. But I get distracted by shiny things and will order a new and completely unnecessary iPhone this fall.

  • ios 13,  iphone

    Optimizing Battery Charging

    This morning when I picked up my iPhone from it’s Qi charger, I was greeted by a new message – Optimized Battery Charging Enabled.

    I was fortunate enough to be get my iPhone 11 Pro on launch day, and in the six months of ownership, today was the first time I saw the message. I had to go look this feature up. At first, I got is confused with the Peak Performance Capability – the feature that throttles iPhone performance when a battery becomes chemically degrades. But, this was something different. While all batteries degrade over time, the Optimize Battery Charging feature is intended to prolong the useful life of the battery. In the iOS 13.0 release notes, Apple states that “optimized battery charging to slow the rate of battery aging by reducing the time your iPhone spends fully charged.”

    Optimized Battery Charging is a pretty niffy feature. To prolong the useful life of your iPhone’s battery, iOS will only charge the battery to 80%. The AI features of the A13 Bionic chip works out how you charge your iPhone and then only charges the last 20% so that it will complete charging just before you need it. For example, my iPhone will learn when I put it on the charger before going to bed and will charge it up to 80%. It will also work out when I get up in the morning and take it off the charger. Optimized Battery Charging will charge that final 20% just before I wake up.

    When the iPhone is put on the charger, and the feature is enabled, a notification will appear on the lock screen letting you know that optimized battery charging is on. In a hurry and want to charge up to 100% right now? Tap and hold the notification and then tap the Charge Now option.

    You can enable and disable the Optimized Battery Charging feature, and check the health of your battery by going to Settings > Battery > Battery Health.

    For more information, you can read the About Optimized Battery Charging on your iPhone support article.

  • apple,  battery,  iphone

    Apple Posts a Message to Customers about iPhone Batteries and CPU Slowdowns

     

    Today, Apple published a letter to customers to clear the air about older iPhones and battery performance. Starting with iOS 10.2.1, released about a year go, Apple quietly began “optimizing” iPhone performance on iPhone 6-series, 6S-series, and the iPhone SE to keep these iPhones running longer and avoid unexpected device shutdowns without warning. The problem is that Apple didn’t really tell anyone that this was going on, leading some people to point to this behavior as proof positive that Apple was underhandedly trying to encourage iPhone upgrades.

    First and foremost, we have never – and would never – do anything to intentionally shorten the life of any Apple product, or degrade the user experience to drive customer upgrades. Our goal has always been to create products that our customers love, and making iPhones last as long as possible is an important part of that.

    I completely believe Apple when they talk about creating products that customers will love.  Slowing down the iPhone CPU to prolong the service life of an iPhone was not meant to be a malicious or user-hostile action against their customers.  I firmly believe that the exact opposite is true.  Apple made this change so customers could keep using their iPhones for multiple years without having to upgrade them.

    While Apple still hasn’t specifically stated when this CPU slowdown to prolong daily usage starts, older iPhones that have chemically degraded batteries and are running under peak loads will be slowed down when iOS 10.2.1 or later is installed. Recently, with the release of iOS 11.2, Apple added iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus to the list of devices that can be slowed down when a degraded battery is detected.

    The letter to customers, posted on Apple.com is an apology to customers for the sloppy handling of how this feature, which is meant to prolong iPhone service life — not shortening it, was communicated to customers. Which is to say, for the average customer, not at all. As a long time fan and Apple enthusiast, I’m saddened to see Apple having to publish a letter like this. I strongly denied the rumors and conspiracy theories that Apple was intentionally slowing down iPhones as a means to drive revenue generation. Since Apple’s admission that they are in fact slowing down iPhones is like a punch to the gut.

    So, where do we, as iPhone users, go from here? In my opinion, Apple is trying to make things right for all of their customers. Frist, Apple is apologizing for the lack of communication on this subject. Second, Apple will release an iOS 11 update early in 2018, my guess is in iOS 11.2.5 currently in the beta stage, that will give users some level of visibility into their battery’s health so they can determine whether or not they will experience a CPU slowdown due to a chemically degraded battery. And, thirdly, Apple is reducing the cost of out of warrantee battery replacements to $29 from $79.

    It is important to keep in mind that this is not an “Apple problem”. All Lithium-ion rechargeable batteries have this problem. To help Apple customers better understand the implications of the changes implemented in iOS 10.2.1 and 11.2, Apple has published a new knowlege base support article iPhone Battery and Performance.

    I really wish Apple had been upfront about this particular feature with the release of iOS 10.2.1. It would have saved them from getting the proverbial black eye that they are dealing with now. Apple, unlike most Android smartphone vendors, truely care about the prolonging the useful life of an iPhone. They do this by providing frequent feature updates, security patches, and, yes, even trying to optimize performance on older hardware.

    Overall, I am glad Apple is taking these steps to repair and improve their standing with there customers in light of these recent revelations.

  • apple,  apple store,  ipad pro,  iphone,  macbook pro,  macintosh,  retail

    Apple Danbury Reopens with New Design Language


    Apple is getting ready to launch their newly redesigned Danbury Fair Mall location with the new design language that has already debuted in other retail locations, such as the Union Square store in San Francisco.

    As I arrived this morning, the prep teams were still putting the finishing touches on the store: setting up chairs at the newly designed tables, arranging the milk crate seats in front of the video wall in The Forum, and obsessively, and I do mean obsessively, wiping away every smudge and fingerprint on the massive sliding glass panels that make up the enterance to the store.

    The new retail store format is the work of Angela Ahrendts, Apple’s SVP of Retail and Online Store, and Jonathan Ivy, Apple Chief Design Officer.

    The store looks absolutely great! It is instantly recognizable as an iconic Apple store, and still offers a clean modern look that makes you want to just come in and hang out.  The Forum video wall looks really nice! Coming to the store for the new Apple Today sessions is going to be really great fun.

    All of the Apple managers and staff that I have talked to this morning, like me, are really excited for the new store and the format. This store, just like the products that are sold here, is just incredible!


    With less than an hour to go before the Danbury store relaunched, the employees are marking the last checks on everything.

    As the 10:00am launch our draws near, the crew gets in a group photo.

    After the doors opened, the group of enthusiastic customers that had gathered in the mall flooded in!

    [Updated with new photos.]