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How to fix your iPhone or iPad after your iOS 11 update September 21, 2017

Posted by ronannarbor in Apple, Gizmos.
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If you have downloaded iOS 11, you have no doubt noticed all the exciting new horrible “features” that change the way you interact with your phone. Here’s how to fix at least some of them:

HOW TO GET RID OF THE DO NOT DISTURB WHILE DRIVING “FEATURE”:

Settings>Do Not Disturb>Do Not Disturb While Driving> set this to Manually.

This will keep the Apple Police at bay and your iPhone will function as usual in the car.

HOW TO KEEP YOUR PHOTOS AND MOVIES COMPATIBLE WITH EVERYTHING ELSE YOU OWN:

Apple switched the way it captures movies and video in iOS 11 — change this IMMEDIATELY — Unless you want to live in photo and video hell when you go to share or save things, Apple changed the format in which it stores photos and movies (no longer JPG or MP4)….go into

settings>camera>format and choose MOST COMPATIBLE

This will force the format back to JPG and MP4 and your photos and videos will once again share properly with your other apps, message programs, etc.

HOW TO FIX THE DOCK ON YOUR IPAD:

Unless you want to go insane with the new dock “feature” — go to

Settings>General>Multitasking and Dock> and TURN OFF the Show Suggested and Recent Apps.

While you are at it, you will want to drag the FILES app they put on your dock off of it and into your Apple Crap folder.

ASSORTED FIXES:

Under Settings>Emergency SOS> turn OFF Auto Call

 

I’ll add other tips as I come across them

 

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Why I’m not recommending an Apple Watch for TBI clients (Updated post watchos2) June 28, 2015

Posted by ronannarbor in Apple.
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To start — let me just say that this article talks about why I am NOT recommending an Apple Watch for brain injured clients at my clinic.

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For the past week, I had the opportunity to try out an Apple Watch Sports model — not because I want one or will ever use one (I don’t wear watches — didn’t Smartphones do away with wearing watches?).

But that’s not what this is about — I specifically tried out the watch to see if there would be any value-added for my brain injury clients who already use iPhones, iPads, and Androids as their day-to-day notebooks/tools/memory devices.

This, in short is my experience.

Look and Feel:

The watch looks and feels great! I had a 42mm sport model which has a soft polyurethane band (which actually caused a rash on my wrist, so apparently its not for me anyway). Its neither too large nor too small. Mine was space grey with a black band — and it was clear and easy to see the watch face, except in full sunlight – which made it near impossible to read, and if wearing polarized sunglasses completely impossible.

From a hardware/software point of view — the small icons used to open programs are too small. Similarly, whenever prompted to enter your password (which is every time you take it off and put it back on) the keys are too small to accurately hit the numbers easily and often took several tries.

The phone has haptic feedback – that is, a small vibration taps your wrist when you get a notification or an alarm goes off. I set this to the strongest setting and could still barely feel it. I think someone who might be even slightly sense-impaired will feel nothing at all.

Volume for alarms and alerts is very low, even when set to the highest setting. The only sound cues I found that were loud enough were when my phone rang and the watch notified me of the ringing.

The one thing I did very much like was the various watch faces — from simple clock to more complicated information screens and even a Mickey Mouse tapping his foot. For the record, while Mickey looks amazing, you can not tell what time it is between 4 pm and 8 pm because the dancing feet interfere with seeing the clock’s hands.

Setting up the Watch:

Setting up the watch is difficult and it has a long learning curve. It doesn’t work like an iPhone, and requires learning a new set of responses and routines. Most of my clients would not be able to set this up on their own without a therapist helping them. In fact, most of my clients will be so frustrated by the systems required to make it all work that they will stop using the watch within hours and go back to their iPhones and iPads.

Notifications and Alerts:

Some watch faces provide better information than others — the one I found most useful was one called “Modular” in which you could set the time, see your next upcoming appointment, the temperature, and other settings you might choose. The other watch faces were too small for any type of realistic cognitive strategy use.

Dependency on iPhone 5 or 6:

Your new Apple Watch will do NOTHING if you do not have your iPhone 5 or higher in your pocket or within two feet of your watch (i.e in a purse or messenger bag). You really think of the Apple watch as an external display for your iPhone. No iPhone, the only thing that works is your watch — and it does not display any calendar events or anything else without your phone nearby.

Apple states that notifications (i.e. you have a test message, or facebook message, or reminder) should show up on your Apple Watch a second or so before your phone. I found this was not the case and my iPhone always sounded or vibrated in my pocket first, and then I got the haptic tap and alert on my watch.

Responding to them requires tapping on short pre-programmed responses (“yes”, “no”, “I’ll call you later”, “I’m running late” etc) and not practical for brain injury purposes. You can dictate a response with Siri. I found accuracy to be very poor and get much better dictation results from my iPhone.

Software;

Apple’s proprietary software works beautifully out of the box. I did not find a single third-party application (and there are now thousands of them for the Apple Watch) that was not laggy or unreliable.

In general, you load the applications on your iPhone, and a sync process copies the Apple Watch version over to the watch wirelessly. It works well though I found several programs (such as Shazam) that “failed to install” and ended up requiring deleting.

As mentioned above, it is difficult to manage the small icons on the home screen, which I frequently ended up touching the wrong program and opening stuff I didn’t need.

A special selection of “Glances” can be arranged on your phone for quick looks. These are tied to the full version for any type of updates. Example, weather comes into your main app, and a quick “glance” of it can be seen on a special screen with a couple clicks. Again, Apple’s own programs work fine here. Third party software is buggy and unreliable. For example, neither my MLB scores updated, nor radar, nor map updated appropriately, and location services are poor. I was getting Romulus Michigan updates hours after returning to Ann Arbor. By the time the spinning dial finally starts to show your results, I had long pulled out my iPhone and checked my updates there instantly.

Day to Day Use:

I struggled the first few days with the watch — as I said, I hate wearing watches and I had to make a conscious effort to put it on. It took at least a couple days to start feeling comfortable with the different touches, the crown, the buttons. So how did the day to day trial go?

Well, I mostly found myself using the Apple Watch as a Watch — what time is it? That was always instantaneous.  — PASS

I loaded my Delta boarding pass on my phone and it copied to my Apple Watch, It worked well in Detroit — though it was awkward to turn my wrist upside down to get it to read in the scanner. It didn’t work at all at the other end — the scanner at the opposite airport required you to put your boarding pass UNDER it and there was insufficient room to put your wrist let alone wrist with watch under it. I ended up pulling out my iPhone and using the boarding pass on that. — FAIL

Sunny day — FAIL

Sunny day while wearing polarized sunglasses — COMPLETE FAIL

Movie Theater — SUPER FAIL…..every time you move your wrist in the movie theater the lighted watch face brightens — annoying to me so much I ended up taking the watch off and putting it in my pocket because if it was annoying me, I know it was annoying my neighbors.

The only way to turn off the volume when at a movie or anywhere else is to put it in Airplane Mode. It is supposed to mimic what you have set on your iPhone but I found that was not reliable when a phone call rang through on the watch while everything else had been silenced on the phone. Too many settings that need to be adjusted for a typical user.

Glances — Partial Fail, partial pass. Flicking my wrist to see the updated Tigers Scores should have been a no-brainer (25 years ago there were already digital watches that updated MLB scores in real time). Instead, it was so laggy that if I wanted to see it instantly I needed to check my iPhone — FAIL….but checking upcoming appointments on the glances worked just fine – PASS.

Note — no notes on the Apple Watch. You can’t just pick it up and use Siri to dictate yourself a note because notes don’t exist on the Apple Watch — FAIL

Coolness factor — PASS….people seemed genuinely interested in seeing the watch, checking it out, and trying it on. Here’s the rub — once they tried mine on, I had to open it with my password.

Apple Pay — PASS — and maybe one day this might be the watch’s redeeming factor — Apple Pay worked like a charm at the very few places that accept Apple Pay. Because it is so hard to organize and use your passes though, I would recommend you add no more than one single default credit card to your Apple Pay queue on the watch.

Conclusion:

The Apple Watch is not ready for prime time, and quite frankly, I am not sure why I would personally ever use the watch. But I can very clearly state that for cognitive rehabilitation purposes, the watch will not be usable by the average client because of its difficulty in set-up, steep learning curve for learning usage routines that are DIFFERENT than those used on the iPhone and iPad, and its unreliability is application usage. It is also too quiet when notifications and alarms go off, and haptic feedback is not strong enough. In short, it doesn’t work to “nag you” with memory cues the way an iPhone or iPad does.

It is, however, a gorgeous watch by itself. And for that, you don’t need an electronic gizmo that needs charging every single night.

UPDATE September 21, 2015:

The watchOS 2 arrived today. After a (long and error-filled) installation process, I find that the new OS adds nothing to the day to day functionality of the watch for Brain Injury cognitive strategy purposes. I continue to not recommend the watch as a cognitive strategy.

Why the Apple Watch matters — or doesn’t March 8, 2015

Posted by ronannarbor in Apple, Gizmos.
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So, its the eve of Apple Watch sales being formally announced by Apple tomorrow (it goes on sale in April) and as usual with anything Apple, I have to weigh in.

Screen Shot 2015-03-08 at 3.19.09 PM

First — kudos to Apple for the lovely design, and the different versions available right out of the gate: Sporty, more formal, or more fashion-oriented there will be a version for anyone who wants one.

Second — like some other things, Apple is a bit late with this wearable — and what is worrisome is that others, including Pebble and Samsung have had little success with their wearables – be that watches or “glass”. (For the record, Google Glass appears to be DOA – no further sales are planned).

So, the watch promises to give you notifications, calendar events, texts, time, maps, and a few other goodies on your wrist. It sounds great in theory. But outside an initial multi-million users, will it catch on beyond that? It depends, and not on Apple, but on the public demanding more.

As we’ve learned so far with Apple Pay, people like it — but shops are not expanding fast enough to accommodate it. I can name only a handful stores in all of Ann Arbor, for example, that accept it — Walgreens, Office Max, Whole Foods, Meijer, McDonalds, Panera, and Lucky’s Market (where I have yet to get it to work). It did fare better in a recent trip to SF, where it was accepted in other shops as well. Come on, Ann Arbor is a progressive tech-savvy place — and it isn’t catching on. And there doesn’t seem to be any type of public clambering to get it into more stores.

Now comes the Apple Watch — and it sees a bit archaic if you ask me:

1) It does not work if it is not directly paired with your iPhone. Which means for the watch to work (beyond simple timekeeping), you need your iPhone in your pocket or your purse – not more than a few feet away, or it simply won’t do anything.  What then does having something on your wrist add to that experience of using your iPhone? Isn’t it just easier (and have a much larger screen?) to just take your iPhone out of your pocket when it rings? Or vibrates? Or plays your favorite tone?

2) People have stopped wearing watches — its going to be hard for Apple to convince people that wearing a watch is desirable — the entire smartphone experience over the years has conditioned people to stop wearing watches and get their time and alarms from their phone. And you know what? Its nice not to wear anything on your wrist. Its nice not to have watchbands scratching up your laptop. Its nice not to have stuff ripping threads from your pockets every time you put your hand in your pocket to get your keys, wallet, or iPhone. I can’t imagine ever wearing a watch again.

3) There’s a big emphasis on fitness — really? I don’t know a single person that uses any of the fitness apps built into the new iPhone 6/6+…I suppose maybe people healthier than us that live on the west coast might use this stuff? Nobody here that I know of in middle America…maybe Apple will find a way to convince people to use this stuff? Though I doubt it. It seems to me the types of folks who love having that fancy tech in their pockets aren’t the ones who are out there running laps and taking their blood pressure very often.

4) How does Apple expect to succeed where others have failed in the wearable market — well, outside of the initial rush of folks getting on the bandwagon, I can’t imagine it will sustain much excitement — the wow factor is there — like people will look at other people’s watches and say “wow, that’s cool” — but what use will it have for themselves? I can’t imagine thinking “wow, I want one” after seeing one. I just can’t imagine what it would buy me as far as usefulness.

5) Size matters — in a world where even Apple conceded that Android’s larger sized phones are a plus and what people wanted, now they are asking us to look at something so small you can’t see it without your reading glasses on? I don’t think so.

I am certain Apple will have a big splash of an announcement tomorrow — I am sure that it will advertise it had “record sales beyond anything they expected” the night they go on sale — and I am relatively certain that without any “killer apps” that Apple’s wearable, just like others before it, is not going to go much beyond that.

Bottom line: This is going to be a great-looking sleek new launch from Apple — but its usefulness seems limited at best, and will the public clamber for something they already have in their (nicer) phones.

The iPhone 6 — what we know so far…(Updated 7/22/14) July 21, 2014

Posted by ronannarbor in Apple.
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Not long ago, I converted the entire office to Macs, iPhones, and iPads…our therapists use them, and so do all of our clients. Personally, I also use a Galaxy S5 (upgraded from an S4) as well as my iPhone 5S. I’ve used every version of the iPhone since the original.

Apple is looking at a new iPhone release this September (it will be released on or about Friday Sept 19th and officially announced at the beginning of September) but trying to keep things secret at Apple just isn’t possible anymore, and there has been more information about the iPhone 6 than any previous release that is being consistently reported with photos included.

What do we know so far?

First, if you like the current size of the iPhone 5S, then hold onto it, because its changing form factor with larger screens. There will be a 4.7 inch version, and a 5.5 inch version. There is some concern that the supply for the 5.5 version might be very limited and won’t be released until later in the year, or even early 2015.

The form factor, while generally similar to the current iPhone, will be larger, and the phone will be thinner. Here’s a comparison of the sizes, with the iPhone 5S in front, the 4.7 in the middle, and the 5.5 at the back…

9620-1447-140617-iPhone6-Compare-l

Size comparison wise — the 4.7 is larger than the current iPhone 5s (4″) but not by much — its actually surprisingly NOT that much larger. Its nearest competitor (the Samsung Galaxy 5S) has a larger 5.1 inch screen. The 5.5 inch screen is larger than the current Galaxy Note 3 – a very large phone. This size is referred to as a “phablet” as it is larger than a phone really should be. The Apple 5.5 phone will be taller than the Note 3 – mostly because of its large bezel (the area that is not the screen but contains the touch ID button, the front facing camera, etc) at the top and bottom of the phone.

The back of the phone will look something like this (note that this is not a finished product, but a leaked image from today at uswitch.com) —

iphone_6_rear_panel_leak_2_634x306x24_expand_h5a424d9a

The Apple logo is cut out plastic, like on the back of the current iPads and on the lids of Apple laptops — the exact reason is unclear but speculation has it that it might finally allow radio signals for NFC for Apple’s tap-as-you-go payment system. Nothing about this is certain. Others believe it is merely ornamental. The phone will also have more rounded edges.

We also know the phone will be faster than the 5s.  It will have an all-new iOS 8. It will have widgets (finally!!) but they will be locked onto the notification panel. They will also finally allow you to swap out different software keyboards — I assure you, once you download Swype, you’ll be embarrassed that Apple didn’t allow this before now. But for all intents and purposes, it will remain locked down by Apple except for the few things they are willing to allow developers access to (none of Apples internal workings).  It will continue to allow only single apps on the home screens with folders. Those weather apps and note apps you envy on your friend’s Androids will remain there.

What are my general thoughts and recommendations?

First and foremost — if you are currently in the market for a new smartphone WAIT…you’ll want to check out the new iPhone 6’s before you make a decision now you might regret.  If you want to get some idea of the sizes, for the 4.7 inch model, think about an additional quarter inch of width and about half inch of height addition to your current iPhone 4, 5 or 5S. If you want some idea of the size of the 5.5 inch version, go to your local phone store and check out the Samsung Note 3, and see its size. You might like that big size, or you might find it ridiculous.

Second — lets assume you are looking at the iPhone 6 4.7 inch version:

It will feel larger, and for those of us over 40 the screen size will be significantly more comfortable to read. It will NOT be as clear or as large as the current Galaxy S5. If the largest, clearest screen size is your primary concern you will not get it in the 4.7″ model — though you might with the 5.5 if you are into very large phablet phones.

It will feel significantly thinner and rounder — but is your current iPhone that large? Its a matter of degree, and newer is always better with Apple, but don’t expect big styling changes.

It will feel a bit faster for those who play graphically technical games — the rest of us will feel absolutely no difference in processor speed for our texting and facebook tasks. Screen resolution wise, those of us over 40 and/or those of us who wear eyeglasses will see zero difference is screen resolution. Reports from those 25 and under is that there is noticeable improvement. I do not see a difference between any screen I have looked at in the past 10 years.

It might or might not have NFC, so we’ll have to wait until early September to learn if you can use your phone to check out at store terminals, or change the channels on your tv and dvr box.

The 4.7 inch screen will be manageable with one hand — the 5.5 will not be manageable with one hand. Steve Jobs would likely throw a fit if he saw it.

Which phone will most people buy?

Get in line now for the iPhone 6 4.7″ model — its expected to have seismic sales — not only is it a larger screen which people want these days, but it coincides with the end of a massive two-year contract commitment for many users — and ATT, for one, has announced that it will allow early upgrades for anyone with more than 6 months no matter their contract commitment. I suspect the other major carriers will follow suit.

How big is this launch going to be? — well, the WSJ reported today that Apple has placed an order for 80 MILLION units of the iPhone 6. That’s the biggest launch of any version of the iPhone up to now.

From personal experience, your best bet if you want it the first day is to get up at one a.m. (or whatever time they announce) and ORDER IT ONLINE at apple.com — it will arrive the same day it is released, or even a day earlier, and you won’t be standing in those ridiculous lines. Apple now allows you to have it delivered to the Apple Store of your choice – so you can order online, go back to bed, and pick it up on release day at the Apple Store with a few-minute wait rather than that two hour line…Just like other releases, DO NOT go to a phone carrier store– they will get a dozen or so phones at their shops and THAT IS ALL, and there will be a hundred or more people getting in line for those 12 phones. Order directly from Apple or line up at the Apple store starting no later than 5 am on release day.

I’ll update as more is learned.

 

 

 

iPhone 5S vs Samsung galaxy S4 September 28, 2013

Posted by ronannarbor in Apple, Gizmos.
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Upfront: I’ve used an iPhone since 2007 when they first came up, upgrading to each subsequent version. About three months ago, I plain old got bored of the iPhone and tried the Samsung Galaxy S4 for a month. This past week, I went back to the iPhone with the new iPhone 5S. This is based on my experience comparing the two.

Screen — Without a doubt the better screen is on the Galaxy S4 — it’s an inch bigger, which for my aging eyes makes all the difference in the world between being able to read a Kindle book on the phone vs squinting at the screen on the iPhone. The colors are super saturated, which I personally like, and everything looks fantastic. GS4 no doubt the winner here.

Battery — this is a tossup. Because the GS4 allows you to swap out batteries (which you can get on eBay for a couple bucks a piece) this would seem to be the no-brainer here — but its not. In real life, the iPhone 5S gets a good 2 hours more out of a charge per day with moderate use and similar brightness settings. That DOES make a difference and means you can make it through a normal day with one charge, which you can not with the GS4 without swapping out a battery in the afternoon, or recharging. In reality, the iPHone 5S wins here.

Memory — both come in 16, 32, and 64 GB models of built in memory. If you are a real music or video freak, you can add upto another 64GB of microSD memory to the GS4. I’ve never used more than 16-18 GB of data on my phones, ever, so if this is a necessity for you look at the biggest memory you can get. For others, the 32GB version of either phone will do you fine. Tie in real life, win for GS4 for the uber-memory hogs.

Software — another tossup as far as apps available — my experience (I am not a gamer so I can not talk there) was that every single App I had on the iPhone has an equal (or similar if not better) App on Android. They download faster on Android. And they are easy to manage within the Play store. BUT — in the years of having an iPhone I have never had a single App crash while using it. Not so on the GS4 — I had apps crash left and right every single day. I can’t remember that since the old days of Blackberry and Pocket PC.  Apps available is a tie. App Quality and stability, iPhone5S wins.

Ease of Use — iPhone5S, not even worth discussing here. Everything works right out of the box. Nothing crashes, and you can do everything one-handed.

Customizability — again, not worth discussing. Galaxy S4 all the way if this is your thing. I loved having widgets on the phone that instantly update MLB scores, or have a sticky note app, or the Google notecards. Apple can take a lesson from Android here, at least as far as widgets are concerned. Also you have complete freedom over volume, sounds, where buttons are placed on the control screens, etc. GS4 wins by a landslide here.

Music and Movies — iPhone5S wins. If you have a mac, an iPad, and iPhone don’t even think about switching to a Galaxy S4 — it won’t play any of your purchased iTunes movies, and it won’t play anything older in your iTunes library that has any DRM attached to it (most albums purchased the last few years are DRM free on iTunes — but almost my entire Broadway record collection dates from the early 2000’s when I replaced all my CD’s with digital versions by either ripping the CD’s or buying new on iTunes. Those won’t play. If you are not tied to the iTunes world, you’ll find Google Play more than an adequate solution with multiple music and video players you can choose from. Transfering music and movies and photos on the GS4 is ludicrous — this is a total win for the iPhone5S and its iTunes integration.

Build Quality — iPhone5S wins again. Its solid, feels good to hold, and you know its not going to break. The GS4 is plastic, and while its a good size and heft, I several times found the back cover coming off and needing snapping back on. It feels cheap. When you hold it and type you can feel the back cover “give” as you squeeze. The hardware is decent on both machines, but lets face it. the iPhone5 is the Rolls Royce of smartphones. I might have a different story to talk about if I owned a HTC One, which are superbly built. But the GS4 is not an HTC One, and its not an iPhone. Apple wins this one.

Speed — The iPhone5S wins by a landslide. The new iPhone5S is 2 times faster than the GS4 in day-to-day use, and it has a screen that is 3.4 x more responsive than the GS4. That means faster and lighter finger taps will get the job down. That isn’t Apple advertising, by the way — that is research data provided by Android just this week.

Keyboard — both the iPhone5S and the Android have touchscreen keyboards that, as far as I am concerned, SUCK. I hate them. I would trade for a real keyboard anyday for speed and accuracy. That being said, the iPhone’s keyboard sucks less than the Android but for different reasons. The iPhone tends to predict the correct words less often than the Android, but it spells them correctly. Android, on the other hand, can use swipe-to-type which rarely gets the correct words you want in a sentence, and otherwise is just a disaster when typing. If my Blackberry typing speed is 65 wpm (which it is), and my iPhone speed is 25 wpm (which it is – it sucks), then my Android speed was about 15 wpm and of those half were typed incorrectly, spelled wrong, or just gibberish. You can swap out the touch keyboard with many others available through App download — none of them were much better. I did find that Swift keyboard allowed me to at least type faster by their use of almost eerily correct text prediction — but that wasn’t typing — it was touching words as the keyboard would predict them, kinda like the old T9 thing only better. Not satisfying and not for me. iPhone5S wins for speed and accuracy, but not really for speed nor accuracy. Just better than the Android.

Accessories — the iPhone5S wins again. Cases, chargers, screen protectors, speakers, car stereo players are available just about everywhere. Cases look better and are cheaper for the iPhone5S and readily available without special order. Vacation sites sell iPhone 5 cases (i.e. Walt Disney World, etc) and none of them have GS4 cases. I was never able to get my Roadster2 to pair with the GS4 in the car. iPhone connected instantly. iPhone5S wins.

Camera — the iPhone5S has sharper photos hands down. Easy to compare and many websites have. I found it a battle to get a sharp photo with the GS4 even in sunny situations. Close focusing was very difficult with the GS4. While it comes with better bells and whistles software wise built in by Android and Samsung, you can get similar (and generally better) software post processing apps on the iPhone. But for sheer image quality, which is really all I care about, the iPhone5S wins.

Extras — iPhone 5S’s fingerprint ID offsets the many better hardware-based specialties of the GS4, so I’ll call it a tie.

No matter which phone you choose, you will be using either Apple or Samsung’s top of the line model. You’ll be generally happy with either — but I couldn’t help but think during my month of GS4 that I felt a bit like someone using the phone because I couldn’t afford the iPhone (not true). It has little glamor and certainly no “wow” factor other than the better and larger screen.

For your thought before purchasing or upgrading:

Do you own a Mac, iPad, previous iPhone and you use iTunes — stick with Apple, you will be very very very disappointed with the Android system and its sync and backups.

Do you prefer to customize things so they look and work the way you want, even if it takes hours sometimes to get it to do that? I.e. are you a gizmo-whiz and a tinkerer? Then the Galaxy S4 will be more to your liking.

Do you like setting a lot of different ringtones and notification sounds? Do you like customizing them with rings that you want or make yourself? iPhone is the way to go.

Do you want the sharpest photos possible? iPhone.

Do you prefer to use a PC and PC-based software (word, excel) etc? Then the Android will be more to your liking when it comes to smartphone features.

Are you using iCloud to sync your Mac, iPhone, and iPad for contacts, calendars, tasks, and notes? Then iPhone is the way to go. You can get third party software to sync to your iCloud — my experience was that it was spotty and slow, often VERY slow (things showed up in iCloud hours later). There are no guarantees that Apple will not block access to its iCloud ports with subsequent iOS updates. Don’t switch to Android if you are dependent on the Apple systems.

 

 

 

Updating to iOS 7 September 21, 2013

Posted by ronannarbor in Apple.
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apple_logo_black

Make sure that you have your iPad or iPhone backed up — either through iCloud or preferably on your computer. This includes text messages and emails. Do not make any changes on your iPHone or iPad after backing up. This can not be overstressed. Make sure you have a backup. I usually do my backups through iTunes NOT through iCloud.

This is a good time to make sure you have all important notes and documents copied and pasted into Evernote before you update. Overall, its better than the built-in notes program, but it will also serve as a second backup just in case. YOU WILL LOSE any notes or documents that are not backed up before your update. Evernote is a great way to guarantee you have them no matter what.

Make sure that you have selected a wallpaper of your own and NOT one of the iPhone supplied wallpapers and have it on your iPhone or iPad before backing up — if you have not, ADD ONE NOW. Do not update with the standard Apple wallpaper.

Allow plenty of time to do the backup — it can range from 10 to 30 minutes and upto another hour to put photos, music, and videos back on.

Sit by your iPhone/iPad and watch the update — do not walk around the house, wander away or touch anything until it tells you that it is completely backed up. DO NOT do other things on your computer, or send or read email while the update is taking place. Keep a watchful eye out. You will see the iPad/iPhone verify the device…download the software…install the software…verify the device again…install additional firmware. The small bar on the pc/mac will move at a different speed than the one on your iPhone/iPad — watch the iPad. DO NOT DISCONNECT OR ALL IS LOST!!!!….eventually you will see a message that says “do not disconnect until you see the device reappear in your iTunes list at left” — it will totally reboot.

Don’t unplug anything or touch your iphone/iPad until it tells you that it has been updated and that the update has reinstalled your old files and has resynced everything.  You might need to press SYNC on the bottom of your information page one more time to get everything to sync back.

All icons should be exactly where you left them, but they will look drastically different.  If you like the new look, you are good to go. If not, you have to tweek from settings.  The upgrade will put a dedicated FaceTime icon somewhere on one of your screens. Move that wherever you want after the upgrade. That should be the only icon change/addition.

Dig down into the iPad to change the settings you want. Start with these two websites and follow through step by step.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/apple/iphone/10320848/iOS-7-how-to-disable-the-most-annoying-new-features.html

http://www.maclife.com/article/gallery/90_ios_7_tips_and_tricks

If you’ve upgraded to ios7 and are getting the typing lag problem switch off documents and data in the cloud…known glitch at present (the update turns it on by default even if you did not enable it)    Settings -> iCloud -> Documents and Data (switch it OFF)

Some things to keep in mind: After your upgrade, your icons will look very different — you’ll quickly adapt to these.

After your upgrade, if you did not heed my warning and place your own wallpaper on your iPhone/iPad, you will be upgraded to the horrible looking 3-d “parallax” view wallpaper and effects. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED. Even if you have never put your own wallpaper on before, you should do so before upgrading unless you want to be faced with visual hell once you update.

If you did not back it up, it won’t be there after the upgrade. Seriously. If you didn’t back up notes, the new notes program will be empty. If you didn’t back up text messages, that will be empty after your update. BACKUP.

 

Here’s another great article on how to transfer data to your iPhone/iPad from different types of phones, using both iTunes and iCloud…

http://www.macworld.com/article/2049089/get-started-with-the-iphone-5c-and-5s.html

 

Blackberry Q10 vs iPhone 5 — Software does-in BB’s otherwise excellent Qwerty smartphone June 24, 2013

Posted by ronannarbor in Apple, Entertainment, Gizmos, Photography.
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UPDATED 7/17/13 —

The following review remains as is. On July 3, ATT rolled-out version 10.1.0.2030 — this was specifically updated to unblock calDav problems and to allow syncing to occur between Blackberry and iOS iCloud and to patch some security woes. It does not work automatically and you will have to add it manually (Google “How to sync your BBQ10 and iCloud” for step by step instructions). Note that once this was manually synced, updates were very slow — calendars would take 5 – 20 minutes to refresh and a good minute or so to repopulate each time you opened the calendar ap on the Q10 — unforgivable on a business smartphone. Similar sync delays occurred in contacts– I returned by BBQ10 to ATT on the 14th day of no-remorse returns. I must say up front that ATT was excellent in working with me, and took care of all upgrades/returns/etc with professionalism and care. I was very very sad to do so, almost tearful in fact, because I love the hardware of the BBQ10 so much, that keyboard is to die for. BBRY posted a tremendous loss in stock last week, and just the other day announced they are cutting their production of the Z10 and Q10 by 50 percent. Bad news for Blackberry and its fans, and for any hope of developers creating apps for them. I can not imagine that anyone but Blackberry die-hards will be happy with the Q10 at this point.

ORIGINAL REVIEW 6/24/13

Since the very first day of the original iPhone, I have been among its staunchest defenders, EXCEPT for the horrendous touch-type keyboard. For three years I carried around my Blackberry Bold along with the iPhone, which I used for everything except phone calls, texts, SMS messages, or e-mails. It was a pain in the ass. Ultimately, the iPhone won out completely as I gave up on carrying around two phones, let alone paying for two data plans.

BlackBerry-Q10-review-sides_original

So it was with VERY excited expectations that I became the proud owner of the newest Blackberry offering, the Q10 — the best of all possible worlds — a blazing fast processor, lots of storage, a removable battery, great photos, a super sharp 720 x 720 screen (even sharper than the iPhone 5’s retina display), and having both a touch screen as well as a full-Qwerty keyboard that is a dream to use.

So after real life use, what can I say?  The BB Q10 is virtually unusable for the day-to-day user because software has not caught up to the tech — so far, the offerings are dismal. All of the built-in BB apps are superb — but for the Mac user: Blackberry 10 has built-in conduits for syncing to your iPhone iCloud account — unfortunately it DOES NOT WORK. Currently there is no way to sync your calendars, contacts (they sync once then never again), notes, or reminders. Don’t even bother — there are hundreds of pages of threads on this all over the web right now, and Blackberry really did in their Mac users.

The typing experience is superb — back to an easy error-free 65 WPM speed in less than 5 minutes of practice. A few new key combinations, and some screen swipes to learn, and off you go — everything else is familiar, and it looks gorgeous. The new message hub is great. And just start typing a few letters of what you are looking for and it instantly pops up that application open and ready to go (Apple could learn something here)….for example, type tex(t) and before you are three letters in, the texting app is open and ready to go. LOVE IT.

What do I not love? Well — the entire experience will be one of failure if applications don’t catch up as soon as possible. BB has been neglected for years by most developers, expecting a quick RIM death once touch phones took over. Well now that BBRY has big hits on its hands with the Z10 and the Q10, the developers have catching up to do — and here, there is a lot to do…any iPhone user has gotten used to the many apps that make life simpler, happier, more fun, or just plain old more organized. No such luck here. Because of the 720×720 square screen, older BB apps don’t work. Even “side-loading” Android apps (not an easy process) doesn’t work for all of them, only those that can run on a smaller square screen.

So what does that mean in the real world? Well, hang onto your hat, here are programs that DO NOT WORK or ARE NOT AVAILABLE for the BB Q10 as of this writing:

Mac Calendar, Notes, Reminders, Contacts, email settings, internet favorites do not sync at present

Evernote with all features (there is an integrated version that works with the new BB Reminders, but does not sync properly nor can any folders we shared, nor shared folders imported)

Facebook with all features (there is a simple flat app that presents timeline only, without any photo posting)

Facebook Messenger

Facebook Camera (there is no way to get photos into your Facebook uploads at present)

Any version of Slingbox Mobile or web-based access to it

Instagram

Pandora

Kindle

Zinio

Shazam

Square Reader (for accepting credit card payments)

Google Maps

Bento or other Database File progran

Passbook, or any format of it (If you have Starbucks cards on your iPhone, they won’t transfer to the BBQ10 — one workaround people have posted is to take a photo of your iPhone’s barcode, and use that photo when checking out at Starbucks)

My Disney Experience (now necessary to book fastpasses online)

Starbucks, Chase, TCF Bank, Paypal, eBay or other credit card program — I contacted Starbucks and was told in no uncertain terms that they “absolutely will NOT be developing a Blackberry app” — hmm.

Delta (There is a downloadable app, which does not open nor run)

Netflix, Hulu, or any other streaming-media software

ABC, NBC, CBS, HBO-Go or any other television streaming application

Siri (although a limited Voice Command program does allow you some siri-like command and search functions)

Most games that have you been playing on your iPhone — in my case ALL games that I had been playing on my iPhone

SO – be warned — this is a sleek, superb phone, and it is far more productive than my iPhone (any version including my current 5) has ever been. But the applications SUCK and without them, I can not recommend any iPhone or Android user switch back to the Q10 despite the superior keyboard. Its a deal breaker. No apps, no use.

For current blackberry users, this is not a no-brainer. Before you upgrade,  be sure to check appworld.blackberry.com to see if the applications you currently use will be available on the Q10 — there are a LOT that do not run on the Q10 that you have happily been using on your other older blackberries — surprisingly so. Also many have complained because of the lack of a trackball on the new version – if that is important to you, do not upgrade.

If applications and syncing are of no interest to you, then the Blackberry Q10 is currently THE best offering with a full built-in QWERTY keyboard for all intents and purposes. Go get it now. That keyboard is AMAZING. For me, I am back to my iPhone 5. Other users might similarly want to hold off. For awhile, I was certain that new apps would be appearing relatively quickly — but it appears that is not happening. Existing apps have been getting some upgrades, but my personal contacts with Starbucks, Slingbox, Netflix have all yielded answers from them that they are NOT working on BB10 versions. That’s a shame.

Final Score Card Blackberry Q10 vs iPhone 5:

Keyboard – BBQ10 hands down

Size – tie

Feel in hand when using/talking/texting – BBQ10 hands down

User Experience – iPhone 5

Camera – iPhone 5

Video capability – iPhone 5

Media viewing – iPhone 5

Listening to Music/ease of use – iPhone 5

Software – iPhone 5 hands down (I have 140 apps on my iPhone 5, only 30 of them (or some version of something like them) are available on the BBQ10

Syncing/iCloud integration/Google integration – iPhone 5

Screen size – iPhone 5

Screen clearness – tie

Swipe/navigate experience – iPhone 5

Mapping – iPhone 5, not better overall, but because of Google Maps availability as well

Bluetooth/Wireless connections – tie, easier to manage on iPhone 5

Signal Strength on ATT network – BBQ10 by far

Telephone sound quality – BBQ10

Battery life – BBQ10 by days

Power management – BBQ10 (removable battery, compatible with all microUSB chargers and accessories)

Cases/accessories – iPhone 5

Durability – tie

Speed – tie

Memory – BBQ10 – more built in and expandable cheaply with microSD cards up to 64 gb

Price – BBQ10

Technical Support: ATT – iPhone far better….APPLE – far better overall…Blackberry – friendly but limited, most common answer from tech support “The Blackberry system doesn’t work like that” and “we are still working on that feature”.

WINNER: iPhone 5

Should I upgrade by iPad 3 to the iPad 4? October 28, 2012

Posted by ronannarbor in Apple.
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No. If you already have an iPad 3, do not upgrade to the iPad 4 unless you just have money burning in your pocket.

For all practical purposes, there is nothing different between the two except for a slightly faster processor (no practical application, you won’t notice the difference)…a better camera for FaceTime (do you even use that? Does anybody use that?)…and a new dock connector (you have to buy and purchase adapters for all of your  old iAppliances)…

The iPad 4 is what Apple considers a “refresh” product — a boost in internal functioning, not change in form or features. In fact if you have an iPad 3, I don’t expect you will need to look at a serious upgrade until October 2013, since Apple seems to be shifting to a fall release date for the iPad to increase holiday sales. In essence, you will get more value and more time out of your iPad 3 than any other version to date at the same high powerful specs.

 

Do I need an iPhone 5 if I have an iPhone 4S? September 12, 2012

Posted by ronannarbor in Apple, Gizmos.
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The answer is – no. Will you want one when you get your hands on one, yes. Is the LTE really that much faster? Well, depending on where you live.

Let’s start with the LTE question: If you have LTE in your neighborhood, its faster. I used LTE on my iPad in Orlando and it was faster than any of the local wireless systems via WiFi. Here in Michigan there IS NO LTE for ATT, and there won’t be for some time — and while there is LTE “sometime coming soon” according to ATT, it will be in Detroit and Grand Rapids only.  So, depending on your wireless service provider and where you live, it may or may not be helpful to you — at least for another year or so.

The form factor is virtually identical to the iPhone 4S — a bit taller, so it has a true 4″ screen for wide-movie viewing (similar to the dimensions on your HD tv, only way way way smaller). If watching movies on your 4″ screen sounds like a must have, then go for it.

The phone does have a new charging cord. I don’t know about you, but I have a cord at home, one in my bag, one at work, and one in my car for charging. That means, with the one new cord included, I would need to buy 3 adapters (29.00 each!) to continue to use my system the way that I have been for years. So that means an additional 90.00. Third party accessories (stereos with built-in 30-pin connectors) will instantly become incompatible. Think about that if you use things like alarm clocks with built in docks.

Also — ATT, for the first time ever, is NOT allowing a lower-priced iPhone for those with current contracts. That means if you have an iPhone 4S with ATT, you will be shelling out the full price for the phone AND extending your contract by two years.

Here’s something that Apple has been VERY quiet about — on September 19th, they are releasing the latest OS software for the iPhone — that will be available to everyone with an iPhone 4 and higher…that means you will get the exact same features as the iPhone 5 for FREE.

How about the speed?…Well, changing from a dual A5 to an A6 chip will no doubt increase your speed a tiny bit. I have not handled the iPhone 5, but all accounts so far of those who have indicate that the increase in speed is not noticeable — until you have been using the unit for about a half hour, at which point you start to see that things open a bit more quickly. But ask yourself: is your current iPhone 4S too slow?…Have you ever thought to yourself, wow, this is slow?  I have never noticed an increase in speed of processing from the iPhone 1 to 2 to 3 to 4 to 4S…I’m pretty sure that the normal schmoe will not notice any speed increase to the 5…

Finally — there is the form factor: yes, it looks great. Yes, Apple wants to always have the biggest and most beautiful. Yes, it looks gorgeous. But the reality is that only you and you alone would be aware that you have the newer version of the phone…it looks that similar.

So — as usual, my advice? If you want the latest and greatest, by all means update. If you already have the iPhone 4S, don’t waste the money on this current update — download the new iOS software on 9/19 for free and you will be good to go. If you have an iPhone 4 or older, absolutely update — you missed the major update from the 4 to the 4S, so now is the time to upgrade for sure….but if you have the 4S, not so much.

The view from Macworld iWorld 2012 January 29, 2012

Posted by ronannarbor in Apple, Gizmos.
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It’s the ultimate Apple/Mac geek fest — the annual Macworld conference in San Francisco’s Moscone Center….this year re-named “Macworld iWorld” to emphasize the role that the internet now has. There was fear a few years back that Apple (who chose to stop attending the conference) would sound the death knell for Macworld — far from. There were more exhibits this year than ever. The emphasis on music, art, and writing increases yearly, and the even has become a “must attend” for Mac geeks like myself.

So, what did things look like this year? Well, there was a much larger emphasis on apps than in the past, for all versions of iOS (iPhone, iPad, and Lion). There was also a significant decrease in hardware presence, and much more on software. Xerox and HP, for example, while maintaining booths really had trouble attracting visitors — most flocked to the nearby scanner displays instead (Scansnap was doing swift business). Let’s face it — when was the last time you actually printed a photo instead of sharing it with friends by email, iPhone, or Facebook?  There was also a heavy emphasis on social events — evening parties, concerts, jam sessions heavily geared toward tech support folks who know what phrases like “the grapefruit is pink” means…

There was also a de-emphasis on the servers/work stations hardware, and much more emphasis on iPad/iPhone accessories (the ubiquitous iPhone and iPad cases, bumpers, and hard shells were omnipresent, ranging from the superb to the deranged).

What stood out? Well, folio keyboards for the iPad were big — and had huge draws. Zagg had a strong presence, and they were selling their iPad 2 zagg folios at discount….myself, I went directly for the new clamcase for iPad 2 and am waiting for its delivery in a few days — see clamcase.com

Input devices were also big — there were two separate pen/paintbrush-type styli for the iPad and iPhone and both even won best in show 2012 – check out the Jot Touch pen, for example — these were selling like hotcakes right off the floor…  http://adonit.net/product/jot-touch/    But it wasn’t just limited to physical input — microphones for the iPhone and iPad were also hot this year, and several won best in show honors.

Want to see possibly the most jaw-dropping new application ever?….and its free on iTunes — check out TourWrist for iPad….it’s seriously the most amazing photo software you could imagine, creating 360 degree panoramas that look drop dead gorgeous on the iPad.

Also a big breakthrough — Smile software has adapted it’s PDFpen software for Mac to the iPad — PDFpen will allow Mac users to finally say goodbye to Adobe forever — something that didn’t go unnoticed at Macworld/iWorld — there was no Adobe presence at the conference at all.

Finally — and this is always a big part of Macworld — there was the camaraderie — thousands and thousands of Apple Mac fans found a place to share all that tech geek knowledge; nobody thought twice about meeting new friends with a simple “what’s your favorite app?”; and Moscone Center came to life with the world of iPhones and iPads and Lions…and nobody blinked when a Mac geek from Ann Arbor got up on stage on the second floor concourse and helped jam to some Coldplay songs on a iPad-keyboard while others from Iowa, Berkeley, and San Jose jammed on their iPad “guitars”…although ultimately it did remind me of that classic “HIMYM” scene in which Barney eggs on Ted who is dancing a rain dance with a “still funny….still funny….and now it’s just sad.”