• 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.]

  • airpods,  apfs,  apple,  beta,  ios 10,  ipad,  iphone

    iOS 10.3 Public Beta 1 Released

    apple_ios_10_3_pub_beta1_20170126

    Yesterday, Apple released the iOS 10.3 Public Beta right on the heels of the iOS 10.3 Developer Beta.  The developer beta, was released on Tuesday.

    I was a little surprised by this move, as iOS 10.3 includes a feature only a nerd’s nerd would like – the Apple File System (APFS).

    APFS was announced last summer at the 2016 Apple developer’s conference, WWDC, as an experimental feature in MacOS Sierra.  APFS could only be used with SSD drives, and could not be on the boot drive.  APFS was also restricted from converting disk drives that used HFS+.  The HFS+ file system, released some 18 years ago, is the file system used on all Macs, iPhones, Watches, and Apple TV.  I was presuming that APFS wouldn’t show up for iOS until the iOS 11 beta program this summer.  It looks like Apple is moving a head, getting ready to bring APFS to iOS devices much sooner than MacOS.  Releasing an update that automatically upgrades HPF+ formatted iOS devices to the new APFS is a good sign that development has gone well and that Apple is looking for feedback ahead of a full production rollout in the future.

    ios_10_3_pub_beta1_find_my_airpods

    In addition to APFS, the other feature that I am looking forward to playing with is the new Find My AirPods functionality that has been added to the Find My iPhone.app.  This feature will be great to help you track down that missing AirPod that is in your pants pocket, your bag, in between your couch cushions, or behind your bed.  Basically, if your AirPods have a charge and are in range of one of your Apple devices signed into your iCloud account, you will be able to get an approximate location.  (Remember, these things do not have built in GPS radios.)

    apple_ios_10_3_pub_beta_icloud_settings

    There is also a nifty Apple ID option at the top of the Settings list.  The purpose of this new setting is to give you quick access to all of your iCloud account settings and options all in one spot. Can’t remember your Apple ID email address? Need to tweak Family Sharing? Want to update your credit card information.  It’s all right here.

    Wanna try out the public beta?  You really need to be ready to deal with some bugs.  That’s the whole point of using pre-release software.  I also suggest that you run beta software on an iPhone or iPad that is not your everyday or work provided device.  The last thing you need is to get stuck in a jam and not be able to make a phone call or do work.  Still interested? Head over to beta.apple.com to learn more.

  • apfs,  ios 10,  iphone

    Apple iOS 10.3 Developer Beta 1 Started Today

    apple_ios10_beta_banner
    Generic iOS 10 Beta update screen. via Apple.com

    As expected, hot on the heels of the official release of iOS 10.2.1, Apple opened up the iOS 10.3 beta to registered paid developers today.

    According to people who have already installed the new beta release, iOS 10.3 includes the new “Find My Air Pods” feature, hourly weather forecasts via 3D Touch on the Weather app icon (would be really useful today), and navigational improvements to the Mail application.

    But what I found really interesting was that Apple is including the new Apple File System, APFS, early.  I wasn’t expecting APFS to make an appearance on iOS until iOS 11, presumably due out later this year.  APFS make it’s first appearance at WWDC 2016 in a preview mode so developers could get experience with it.  The current iOS, and MacOS, file system is known as HFS+, which Wikipedia tells us debuted in 1998.  Yes, your 2016 iPhone 7 is running a file system that was released 18 years ago.  And designed for a Macintosh running a Motorola 68000-series processor.  Ah, memories.

    Regardless, I was expecting APFS to make its first, non-beta, appearance on the Mac since it is a smaller pool of users compared to the juggernaut that is the iPhone.  Looks like Apple is forging ahead with APFS on iOS devices first.

    No word yet as to when public beta testers will be able to get in on the 10.3 beta.

    [Via MacRumors…]

  • apple,  apple tv,  apple watch,  ios 10,  ipad,  iphone,  mac,  mac os x,  macbook pro

    Apple Software Update Monday [Updated]

    Update: iTunes 12.5.5 was also released today.

    Apple gave us four updates for our iDevices and Macs today.

    apple_macosx_sierra_10_12_3_20170123

    Earlier this afternoon, MacOS Sierra 10.12.3 arrived offering graphics improvements for the October 2016 edition MacBook Pros.  The Sierra 10.12.3 update closed up a hole in Preview that was mucking with searching scanned PDF files.

    apple_itunes_1255_20170123

    iTunes 12.5.5 was also released for MacOS (and Windows PC) adding “minor app and performance improvements”.

    apple_ios_10-2-1_20170123

    Also arriving today was 10.2.1, a minor security and bug fix update for iPhone and iPad.  watchOS 3.1.3 tagged along to give Apple Watch owners a small tune up also.

    apple_watchos_3_1_3_20170123.png

    And, last, but not least, Apple TV got a minor bump up to tvOS 10.1.1 from 10.1.

    apple_tvos_10_1_1_20170123

    All of today’s updates are minor security and bug fixes, with no major features or new functionality added.

    Look for the iOS 10.3 beta releases to start arriving any day now.