iOS 11

The Victor crew just updated their new iPad to iOS 11. Here are some first findings and reactions.

After the initial update, if you had fingerprint access enabled, you will still have to use your signin to get in. You will then need to enter your iCloud password.

You can have the dock hidden but pop it up from the bottom at any time.

You swipe the dock up from the bottom and continue the swipe to show the App Switcher. The App Switcher has a new design as well and shows all open apps in a grid pattern rather than having to scroll through to find open apps. You can still swipe an app in this grid pattern to hard close or reset an app.

The dock has a folder that shows recently opened documents. It also allows you to browse documents. You can add your iCloud, and if you have the apps – Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, and any other file managers you may have downloaded within this folder area. Once you enable these drives, you may need to log into them again to access them there. You can also tag files with colors.

The dock has a separator bar. To the right of the bar it shows the recently opened apps and to the left of it, your permanently set apps. If you move an app from the right to the left, it seems to permanently disappear from the home screen.

The App Store has a new design.

Another change is the keyboard. Usually you click on the 123 to access numbers and some symbols. Now you can just pull down on the key that shows the numbers or symbols to access without changing the keyboard.

If you go to settings, you will see you can choose some apps to show up in the control center all the time.

How do you listen to your tunes?

There are a lot of ways these days to listen to music these days. There are many streaming services these days. Most people stream or use their mp3 players. There are also home devices like Amazon Echo, Google Home, or coming soon, the Apple HomePod.

The Victor crew even knows someone who still orders CDs to play in their car? But what will happen when he buys a newer car? Many newer cars are starting to abandon them. It has been predicted that up to 46% of new cars will not have CD players by 2021.

You can use a lot of data if you stream from your car (if you don’t have a Wi-Fi service) so you’ll have to rely on your mp3 player, satellite radio, or built-in radio. If you insist on a CD player, you can purchase a portable one that could plug in with your auxilliary cable. Perhaps you can purchase a new car kit with a CD player.

We sure have come a long way from just AM radio. Next came FM. Remember the 8-track players of the 70s? Then they went away to make way for the cassette. Then the piles of cassettes were replaced by piles of plastic discs. Life is getting simpler where you don’t have to store all the discs, cassettes, or 8-tracks anymore.

New iPad – Flat-out Fun.

For those of us waiting for a new iPad, last week Apple announced the new iPad. It wasn’t really given a name and it isn’t an iPad Air. It has a 9.7-inch Retina display with an A9 processor. It comes in just 2 sizes: 32GB and 128GB. (We really wanted a 64GB but had to get the 128GB.) It has iOS 10.3 and Touch ID. It comes in silver, gold, or space gray and costs $29 for the 32GB Wi-Fi model and $459 for the 32GB Wi-Fi + Cellular model. For the 128GB model it’s $100 more each respectively.

Ordering began March 24 and shipping begins on March 31. Read more here. Don’t forget to back up your old device through the cloud or iTunes so you will get back all your apps!

So you want a new iPad, iPhone, or iPod

You’ve had your device for a while and it has all your favorite apps, your information, etc. What do you do? Well, if you haven’t already, you back it up to either iCloud or through iTunes.

To back up to iCloud, go into Settings then click on Backup and turn on iCloud Backup. Tap Back Up Now. You can see the information (how big your back up space is) if you look at Storage. You are only allowed 5GB of free space so if you need more, you will have to purchase it from Apple for about $0.99/month for 50GB.

The other alternative is to back up through iTunes. You will need to have a Mac or PC with iTunes running on it. Connect your device to your computer. You can still back it up this way to your iCloud or to your computer. Most likely you are doing it this way because of lack of iCloud space. Find out more here.

To restore a device from a backup, you must have all content erased from a device. Follow the onscreen setup until you reach Apps & Data screen and tap Restore from iCloud Backup or Restore from iTunes Backup. Sign in with your Apple ID if you are restoring from iCloud. Find out more here.

The Victor Crew

Ever think about cutting the cord?

Cord-cutting refers to abandoning cable TV for streaming services. There are so many different avenues to go with this, the Victor crew thought we’d do some exploring into what was available.

One thing you can get is a Roku that you can stream many different channels from. It handles Netflix, Amazon, Hulu Plus for example. Netflix and Amazon have some crossovers, but Hulu Plus will bring you many current TV shows. Another streaming channel to consider is Sling TV for television shows. You might consider Apple TV instead of Roku. Another streaming device is Amazon Fire TV. There’s also Google’s Chromecast. You may want to find reviews on these devices and make your decision.

Another thing to consider is your Internet connection. How strong is it during peak hours? You can test it at speedtest.net or testmy.net. Do several throughout the day and evening to see how much you can handle. You may need to get an HD antenna to get the major networks in full HD.

You can find more information here.

Start Coding Early

Google has a way to teach kids how to code. Not with a computer but with blocks. Called Project Bloks, it allows kids to learn some skills they need for programming.

They us a brain board based on Raspberry Pi to provide connection to the program and each individual “puck” can be the instructions that go to the brain board to move it. Toys can take any form. Check out the video:

Apple has a way to teach coding in Swift using an app on their iPad. Solve puzzles to learn the basics of Swift. Find out more here: https://www.apple.com/swift/playgrounds/

Not to be outdone, Microsoft also has a way to teach concepts using Minecraft Education Edition. You can find out about it here: http://education.minecraft.net/

We’re sure if you’re an adult you won’t get demerits for trying this out.

The Victor crew

WayBack Machine

Ever wonder what websites used to look like? There has been an Internet archive around for years called the WayBack Machine Internet archive. They have saved 472 billion pages over time. You can even save a page now so you will have what it looks like before making a change. The only thing is the site has to allow web crawlers to access the site. That may be why you are not seeing a site you want to see the archive of. Also it won’t be able to crawl past the protected content on passworded sites.

In their blog, they tell us about a grant they received last October to rebuild the site. It won’t be completed until 2017. They have pages going back 19 years!

Here are pictures of Apple.com and Google.com from 1998:

Apple.com May 8, 1998


Google.com December 2, 1998

Apple iPad Pro

Apple announced the coming of the iPad Pro on September 9. It’s due to come out in November. What makes this one so different? Let’s explore …

Here are some things the Victor crew found out about it:

First of all, it’s bigger!
The display size is 12.9 inches
Higher resolution (2732×2048)
It has almost double the CPU performance of the iPad Air 2
It has 78% more screen area
Refresh rates are double
It has 4 speakers
It weighs 1.57 pounds and is 6.9 mm thin
Smart keyboard is available
H=12″ W=8.68″ D=0.27″
Comes with iOS 9
Also available will be the Apple Pencil

Starts at $799 (32GB Wi-Fi). The 128GB Wi-Fi model is $949. The 128GB Wi-Fi + Cellular will run you $1079.

Learn more here.

Are Smartphones taking too much from us?

Recently in the news, the Victor Crew have seen a few articles that should cause concern over the way we let smartphones take over our lives.

The first is that a university in Utah have gone so far as to make a separate lane on the stairs and halls just for those texting while walking. Utah Valley University actually has three lanes, one for walking, one for running, and one for texting. While they say the students don’t actually follow the lines, it has stirred up a lot of buzz across the internet. http://blogs.uvu.edu/newsroom/2015/06/17/uvu-photograph-goes-viral/

Another articles tells about a security flaw in Apple’s iOS and OS X systems, found by six university researchers, that allows malicious apps to gain access to anything saved in the Keychain. The apps containing the malware were uploaded to Apple’s App Store without triggering alarms. When installed, it can raid the Keychain and steal passwords as well as those saved in Google Chrome browser, as well as password vaults. The Google Chromium team has responded by removing Keychain integration for Chrome. http://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/06/17/apple_hosed_boffins_drop_0day_mac_ios_research_blitzkrieg/

The third and most startling article is about a teenager in Canada that had his life taken over a stolen smartphone. Jeremy Cook lost his phone in a taxi and tracked to a strip mall through his tracking app. He went to approach the car where he believed his phone to be and confronted the the people in the car. As they started to drive away, he held onto the handles of the car and was shot to death in the parking lot. They later found the phone in the car, crashed and abandoned.

If something happens, sure you can use your tracking app to try to find it, but call the police before attempting to retrieve it. Use your app to lock it and wipe the data as well.

iOS 9 Preview

With iOS 9 due out later this year, Apple has already been creating a buzz about it. They promise enhancements to some of the built-in apps that come with it.

A new News app will be added to your homescreen to collect all the stories you want to read, based on topics of your interests.

The Notes app will have more features where you can a photo, map, or URL to a note. You can even sketch with your finger. Lists can become checklists.

Maps enhancements will make it easier to plan your trip with restaurant stops along the way. It will have a Transit view to make it easier to plan your route with public transportation. You’ll be able to see what stores are nearby.

Wallet will allow you to use Apple Pay or your store cards. You can add your reward cards as well to your Wallet app.

CarPlay app will allow you to play audio messages as long as your car supports wireless connection to iPhone.

For iPad users there are other enhancements.

You can do a slide over (slide one app over another to do a quick browse), split view (have 2 apps open and active side by side), and picture in picture (Watch a video or use FaceTime while working on another app) for multitasking.

The shortcut bar will allow you to cut, copy, paste easier. It adds keyboard shortcuts and easy text selection as well.

Siri has had some additions as well making it easier to search for items on your device. You can even do math conversion in search.

Based on previous use, you may get recommendations of what apps to use based on the time of day.

Other enhancements: longer battery life, smaller more convenient updates, faster and more responsive, enhanced security with six-digit passcodes or two-factor authentication.

One last item: They have made it easier than ever to migrate from Android to iOS 9. With the introduction of a new app called “Move to iOS”, you can move your contacts, message history, camera phots and videos, web bookmarks, mail accounts, calendars, wallpaper, and DRM-free songs and books. It can also help you rebuild your app library by suggesting free apps. Your paid apps are added to your wishlist in the App Store.

Apple Watches are too easy to steal and other news

What makes the Apple Watch so easy to steal? It doesn’t come with enough security. If a pick-pocket were to grab it, he can easily reset it and you’re dumb out of luck. There is no activation lock to keep someone from a major reset and taking it over.

Other News:

There were also reports of people easily drawing funds from bank accounts through refillable Starbucks accounts. Starbucks claims they weren’t hacked but rather hackers figured out users credentials and got into their accounts that way. Just another reason not to use public wi-fi.

If you are a Chrome user, there is a new plugin you can add to help you gain some more of your memory. In your browser that is. It is called The Great Suspender. I twill automatically suspend unused tabs. How many times do you have a bunch of tabs open? You can only look at one at a time. You can configure when it will suspend a tab or do it manually. All you have to do is click to reload a suspended tab. It’s worth checking out.

What do you do when you think you lost your phone?

There is nothing more discouraging than to think you’ve lost your smart phone. All your personal information could be out there! So what to do?

Safeguarding yourself:

Android:
Make sure you have installed the Device Manager app from the Play Store. It’s not enough to just download it. You need to make sure it is connected to your Google account and that your phone is verified through it. If you stil have trouble, you may need to check your location settings. They must be turned on. You must also go into your Google settings app and turn on the settings there to find your device. When I tested mine it found it and said “Right here in your hand,” so we know this will work.
Make sure you have some sort of security in place for the lock screen. Yes it’s a hassle but it’s worth it. You may have capabilities for fingerprint reading as well.
Don’t keep files with lists of passwords in your cloud drives.

iPhone:
Download and install the Find iPhone app from the App store. Make sure you do everything to set it up. Also you will need your location services on. You should be able to find your devices from your other Apple devices or from icloud.com.
Use whatever lock methods are available to lock your iPhone.
Don’t keep lists of sensitive data available.

In the case of loss or theft:

See if your carrier allows you to suspend service (with or without billing) temporarily so you can try to locate your phone.
Log into Google or iCloud.com and you should be able to either ring your device or erase the data.
Remember, even if you suspend the data plan, it can still be used through wi-fi to wipe it to factory condition and a new number installed.

Hopefully this won’t happen to you.

Jody Victor

Apple has a new kind of game

There’s a new section under “Featured” in the Apple Store for you iOS device. It is called PLAY ONCE & PLAY. For the fee the game is offered at, you download the game and never see an in-app purchase. In-app purchases serve to unlock levels, add enhancements, remove advertising, or expand the app’s features. Some games may add lives for example. Some of the games cost a little more than they normally would but you’ll never have to pay to get any further in a game. Imagine if Candy Crush Saga were to offer their game in this model.

This doesn’t mean everyone will follow. An interesting point is if you go to “Top Charts” and then look at “Top Grossing” you will see the top grossing apps – the top 15 top grossing apps are actually free to download. So they are earning quite a bit from in-app purchases.

They break down the PAY ONCE & PLAY area into three sections: Recent Releases, Blockbuster Games, App Store Originals. It will be interesting to see where this model goes and if it catches on.

All Things Apple

Last week was a big week for all things Apple. They rolled out the iOS 8 upgrade, the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. They also are giving the new U2 album to iTunes users for free. There was also talk about the Apple Watch. Over ten million iPhones have been purchased already since they went on sale Friday!

The iPhone 6 starts at $199 for 16GB and goes to $399 for 128GB. The iPhone 6 Plus starts at $299 and goes to $499 for 128GB. All quoted prices are with a carrier. You can get one contract-free with T-Mobile starting at $649. The Apple Watch won’t be available until 2015.

It was hard for people to get iOS 8 right away when it came out because of so many people trying to download it at one time. You also need to make sure you have around 5GB available on your device to download and install it. It adds a Health App to your homescreen where you can record your vital statistics (height, weight, blood pressure, body measurements, nutrition, etc.)

Jody Victor

Apple has just announced the release of iOS 8 for this fall

So let’s look at what’s new with iOS 8:

Every photo you take can be seen, edited and organized on every device (through your iCloud library).
You can add your voice to a text message.
There will be shortcuts to the people you talk to most.
Mail time-saving features.
Contextual words will pop up to help complete your sentences.
Up to six people in your family can share iTunes, iBooks, and App Store purchases (parents can approve or deny children’s purchases.)
You will be able to find other family member’s devices.
Find all your files on all devices through iCloud.
Health and fitness apps can communicate with each other, your trainer, your doctor.
Developers will have deeper access and more tools.
There will be new keyboard options.
New uses for iCloud and Touch ID.

Jody Victor

Need a new phone?

Can’t decide what you want? Well, Jody‘s crew found that there’s a phone coming out that will run both Windows and Android. Karbonn Mobile is looking to develop a dual boot Android-Windows phone! It is set to release in June.

Apple is working on a new integrated iPhone voice-control system. It will allow drivers to control their iPhones via touch and voice. It will allow a driver to access their contacts, phone calls, listen to voicemails all with both hands on the wheel. CarPlay will debut in Farrari, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo vehicles at the Geneva Motor Show this week. CarPlay will also be available in cars from BMW, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, PSA Peugeot Citroën, Subaru, Suzuki, and Toyota Motor Corp. Maybe a reason to choose iPhone?

~ Jody Victor

Some tech ideas for Christmas 2013

I thought you might like to consider some of these tablets for Christmas this year:

From Amazon: The Kindle Fire HDX 7″
This is the 3rd generation Kindle Fire. This is the one you see on the TV commercial where the guy pushes the Mayday button and a customer service rep pops up in the corner. The rep can walk you through problems or even take over your tablet. You can download the Amazon Kindle Freetime app that allows parents to control the time limits and apps if you let your children use it. The drawbacks are, you don’t get full access to the Google Play store, you have to download apps from Amazon’s appstore. You won’t find some of the popular apps like Gmail, Google Maps, Google Drive. There is only a front-facing camera. $230.

From Google: Google Nexus 7
This runs the newest version of Android, 4.4 Kit Kat. It has a rear and front camera and is preloaded with standard Google apps. $229.

From Samsung: Galaxy Tab 3 7″ Kids
This tablet was designed specifically for kids. It comes in fun colors with a rubber case to protect it. I thas big buttons, limited access to settings, and kid-type apps preloaded. It has front and back cameras. $190.

From Apple: iPad Air
This is the latest iPad (5th generation). It is thinner and lighter, faster with better video. There are a few versions – based on size (16GB, 32GB, 64GB and 128GB) and connectivity (Wi-fi or Wi-fi and LTE). Prices start at $499.

From Apple: iPad Mini with Retina Display
Very similar to the iPad Air in a smaller package. Starts at $399.

~ Jody Victor

Devices making their debut

Jody‘s crew was out and about looking for what’s coming out new before the end of the year. Here is what we found:

From Nokia:
Lumia 2520 tablet. This runs Windows RT operating system. It has a 10-inch HD screen with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 800 processor, a 6.7 megapixel camera, a keyboard. It has LTE and wi-fi. Cost is about $499.
Lumia 1320 and 1520 smartphones. Both run Windows Phone 8 and have 6-inch screens. The 1520 has a full HD screen, LTE and quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor, 32GB storage, expandable to another 64GB with a MicroSD card, 20 megapixel camera. Cost is $749. The 1320 comes with dual-core processor, 720p screen resolutio, 5 megapixel camera, LTE. Considered a lower end, will cost $339. Because of their larger screen size they are considered “phablets”.
Asha 500, 502, 503 phones. These are lower end phones that Nokia hopes to better compete with Android. The 503 has 3G for $99. It comes with a 3-inch screen and 5 megapixel camera. The 502 has a 3-inch screen as well but no 3G. It will be $89. The 500 will cost $69 for a 2.8-inch screen and 2 megapixel camera. All 3 have wi-fi and hold 2 SIM cards.

From Apple:
iPad Air. This iPad is thinner and lighter than previous models. Prices range from $499 to $929 depending on capacity and connectivity options. It comes with a 9.7-inch LED backlit Multi-touch display, A7 chip, FaceTime HD camera with 720p HD video, 5 mega-pixel photos, 1080p HD video recording. You can get this in wi-fi or wi-fi + cellular.
iPad Mini. Has all the great features of the iPad Air in a smaller size. The price varies from $399 to $829 – just $100 cheaper than its iPad Air counterparts for same size and connectivity.

Sidenote – This is for sale but Microsoft has a 383-inch screen Surface 2 Tablet in Trafalgar Square, London. Read about it here.

News about Apple products

Tomorrow, September 10, Apple will reveal its new iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C. Along the heels of this reveal is iOS 7. It promises to make everything look different. Here is an early preview look.

There has been much speculation as to what the new iPhone will feature. The 5S model is the more expensive one that is rumored to have a fingerprint sensor, dual-LED flashlight and upgraded hardware. It also is rumored to come in a variety of colors including gold.

The 5C model will be a low-cost model possibly made of plastic and in a variety of bright colors.

iOS 7 may also be released tomorrow.

You may be able to find iTunes Radio app in the Apple store tomorrow as well. It has integrated some features from iTunes Genius. There will be a free version with ads as well as a paid version.

SIM cards, Apple, Nokia news

Can you SIM card be hacked? A German cryptographer claims to have found some flaws and will reveal them at the Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas on July 31.

Other news…

~ Jody Victor

Hey Jody, What were the top tech stories for 2012?

Jody Victor® found out what CNN Tech picked for the top tech stories of 2012:

  1. Microsoft Windows 8 – a complete overhaul of how Windows works.
  2. SOPA backlash – (Stop Online Privacy Act) bills that would have restricted access to sites with pirated content and anyone associated with them including search engines, ads etc.
  3. Live-tweeting war – Israeli military tweeted updates in a conflict with Palestinian forces in Gaza.
  4. iPhone 5 and the Apple Maps debaucle – Apple developed their own map app while dropping the Google Maps app.
  5. Apple vs. Samsung – Apple accused Samsung of infringing on their patents which ended in a trial. The jury decided in Apple’s favor.
  6. Facebook’s IPO – The most anticipated IPO fell flat when it’s initial price was $38 (too high). The stock hit a low of $17.55 September 4.
  7. Instagram – Started out as an app, but when usage skyrocketed, Facebook bought it for $1 billion in cash and shares (later dropping to $735 million as Facebook shares dropped.
  8. Megaupload and Kim Dotcom – Kim Dotcom founder of Megaupload, a file-sharing company, had his various sites shut down by the F.B.I. for piracy.
  9. Mid-sized tables become popular – Apple’s iPad Mini, and similar-sized devices from Google and Amazon.
  10. Nintendo offers Wii U – Wii U has a touchscreen tablet controller called a GamePad that communicates with the main console.
  11. Yahoo hires Marissa Mayer – The day she was hired, she announced her pregnancy. Stock has risen $4 a share since her hiring was announced.
  12. Tech and the presidential election – President Obama used Google Plus and Reddit to respond with voters.

Thanks for finding this, Jody.

Jody Victor® finds out what to do with old devices.

Jody wondered what to do with old devices or gadgets that are no longer in use when you get the latest next best thing?
Jody found there are a few sites that offer trade-ins and or recycling of old devices

Gazelle.com will buy Apple® products (Mac, iPhone, iPad, iPod). How it works: Find your device or gadget, answer some simple questions. You will be sent a box with a shipping label if your item is worth at least $30. You choose how you want to be paid: Check, PayPal or Amazon.com gift card. After they receive it, they will check it out and pay you or revise the payment if it’s not in the condition you said it was.

Nextworth.com will buy iPhones, iPads, iPods, cell phones, cameras (point & shoot or DSLR), tablets, e-readers, GPS, laptops, calculators, tv series in Blu-Ray or DVD, video games, game consoles. How it works: Find your item. Print the pre-paid shipping label, pack the item, apply the label and give it to UPS. Once they receive the item, they make sure it is in the condition described and ask to allow up to 10 business days for inspection and payment initiation. Payment options are money transfer to your PayPal account, check or Target gift card.

BestBuy.com Trade-in center. Best Buy will take video consoles, mobile phones, computers, monitors, laptops, tablets, e-readers, mp3 players, cameras, camcorders, receivers, GPS, multimedia projectors, DVD or Blu-Ray players, movies, music, video games, and musical instruments. You can trade you item in online or take it to your local Best Buy store. You will receive a Best Buy gift card as payment. If your has no value, they will recycle it for free.

Jody hopes you found this helpful and will dispose of old electronic equipment properly.