I Pre-Ordered the iPhone 11 Pro

iPhone 11 Pro

Here’s something that I haven’t done in a good long time, actually pre-order an iPhone, or any apple device for that matter. I think the last time that I actually stayed up late to do a pre-order was for my iPhone 6. Since then I’ve only upgraded to the iPhone 7 and even then, that was originally my work phone and not my personal one so no staying up till the wee hours of the night for that one. So what made me do it this time? Well here we go with the rest of the post……

To my utter delight, I didn’t have to be up at 3am to do a pre-order for the phone. In years past when I would want to pre-order an Apple device right after the reveal, it normally went on sale at 12am PDT, thats 3am to me since I’m on the east coast. This time they pushed it back so the first orders could be done at 8am EDT. That means not being bleary eyed for the rest of the day due to lack of sleep and cursing at websites that won’t load because there are too many other people trying to order the same device that I am.

My iPhone 7 is frankly getting full, I have a lot of stuff on it from apps, movies, photos, and music and even though it has 128GB of space, I was always only 25GB away from running out of space. I have another iPhone 7 for work thats only 32GB so its basically stripped down to nothing with only the essentials for checking email and stuff. This time I bought the 256GB version so thats twice the amount of space. I figure I’ll need that space for all the extra videos that I can take at 4K with the new camera’s. I could have gone all in with a 512GB like my iPad Pro but I won’t be using the iPhone to import my GoPro videos to view and edit them on the go.

T-Mobile was offering a crazy trade in deal for my iPhone 7, they were going to give me $300 in statement credits if I financed the phone over a 24 month period. This is another first, I’m actually going to finance the phone, normally I pay for it outright but due to this great deal I decided financing was the best way to go. Apple was only offering me $150 for my trade in and they weren’t discounting the phone on their EPP website either. Even with the EPP discount and the trade in, the T-Mobile deal was way better. I have no intention of leaving T-Mobile in the next 2 years and I’m sure I’ll either be ready to get another phone after that or I’ll just keep it for an extra year like I did my iPhone 7. Besides, even with every vlogger on YouTube saying “wait till 2020 for the 5G iPhone”, I looked at the coverage map for 5G and its definitely going to be lacking for quite a while. There’s technically nothing wrong with LTE, the coverage is pretty good and the speeds are fine to stream video which generally hits all the use cases I have. The biggest thing for me is coverage since I travel for work, until thats there, I’m going to hold off till 2021 or 2022 for a 5G phone.

Oh I never said what I picked as a color! I decided on the Midnight Green this time. I’ve had black since the 3GS for my personal phone. I’ve used white for my work phones to differentiate it, and my daughter has a rose gold phone. I was originally just going to get black like always but my wife convinced me to try the new color. I’m excited to see what it looks like when I get it. That will likely be one of the last times I see it since I know the wallet case I’m going to use to cover it so I don’t have to actually carry a wallet. The ship time is Sept 21-24, thats beyond the actual release date of Sept 20, but I’ve waited this long so I can wait a little bit more. Only slightly more than a week to go!

Multi-Profiles in iOS please Apple?

WWDC is upon us tomorrow and I’ve watched all the leak videos on YouTube from most major Apple followers showing off the neat new things like dark mode, new emoji’s, and other blah blah blah that really doesn’t have a lot of impact on my use of iOS. I’ll admit that if some of the leaks are true for iPad, it will make it a ton more useful for me when I’m just surfing around and doing stuff like writing or taking notes for work. I know that they always say during the keynote, they’re not going to merge iOS and MacOS and thats fine, I don’t care about that stuff either. What I want is multi-user support.

This is not a hard concept, user profiles have existed since the 90’s when Windows 95 and even before was out. Granted you could just hit ESC on your keyboard without putting in a password and get into the computer but if you did it would load up your settings. Computers are more advanced now and they segregate data and all that jazz when you use a new user profile. I think this is something that could definitely be done on an iOS. The base of the OS is Unix which already supports multi-user profiles (hello MacOS!). There is security built in to protect the data of each user unless you’re the admin and therefore have God power on the machine and the OS.

Having multi-user profiles would be awesome to have in iOS. Even if it was just an iPad feature that would be the step in the right direction. A lot of schools share devices and admin’s are always looking to lock things down so having an admin account and a user account would make sense in education and in business. Personally I use my iPad sometimes for work and I really don’t like mixing my personal life with business but the ipad is really convenient sometimes when you’re running a presentation on your computer but still have to take notes during the meeting. There’s also the question of MDM profiles that corporations load onto the device which limits your options which totally sucks! If you had a work profile, the MDM could be loaded on it and keep the work apps and info segregated from the personal. Then the personal aspect would give the user full control over everything like it should. This would reduce the number of devices that need to be carried around and you could reduce the number of devices needed since there could be work and personal segregation.

Thats my wishful thinking though, I don’t think its ever going to come to iOS but I can always imagine the possibilities. For a phone it would be so awesome! Especially now that the iPhone’s support dual sim. One profile for your personal number and apps, the other profile for your work number and MDM restrictions. No more bringing along 2 phones (well I do this since I don’t want to be bothered by work during weekends). This would be true innovation on Apple’s part and differentiate it form Android phones. But I’m sure this idea has been kicked around already and its been decided that having multiple users for an iOS device doesn’t make sense. Although when you think about families, having a profile for the kids and another for the adults would be so awesome. You wouldn’t have to worry about the kids looking at your bank account and asking why you can’t afford that Nintendo switch they wanted for their birthday or something weird like that.

WWDC is tomorrow at 1PM. I’ve blocked time off on my calendar for work so that I can watch it. I’ve shifted my lunch break to that time too just to be on the safe side. Let’s see how many of the tech bloggers on YouTube are right.

Long Live Touch ID

I must be one of the last hold outs that still like having Touch ID. Granted I have never owned a Face ID enabled device but most of my devices use it. I have iPads and iPhones that all use the tech and its nice to be able to share an iPad or iPhone with my daughter. While I can go ahead and use a passcode, Touch ID is still more secure but not as restricting as using Face ID where its only your face or using the passcode.

The use case that I use for Touch ID is managing my daughters phone. She has 2 fingers enabled, and my wife and I have a finger each which leaves one finger left. This is good for us since the passcode is pretty long and I don’t always want to type it in. It gives us instant access to the phone and its content (there isn’t a lot on it but its helpful when I need to muck around with the settings and stuff.

Most of the newer Apple devices are going to Face ID. All the new iPhones and even the new iPads use Face ID. MacBook Pro’s still use Touch ID but I think the implementation of it could be better. When I first start up the computer it requires a password, but after that I can use Touch ID when waking up the computer from the screen saver or after I’ve opened the lid back up. It also lets me pay for stuff with credit cards that I’ve saved in Safari. I can see Face ID coming to a future MacBook Pro so it works similar to Windows Hello which I’ve heard is awesome but most corporate computers don’t allow it.

I still think that Touch ID has its uses in phones and computers. Better use of Touch ID would be great on the Mac. So many people cover up the cameras on their computers it would almost render Face ID useless. I’m surprised that Windows Hello is widely used based on this phenomenon. I’ve seen some of the Android Phones on YouTube lately that are incorporating the finger print reader right into the screen. That would be cool to give the user a choice to unlock with their face or their finger. I’m waiting for the 2020 iPhones personally to upgrade. Thats when apparently Apple will support 5G and it will also be an “S” year, so they would have had a full year to refine their phone design and maybe they’ll bring back a little bit of the Touch ID magic back.

Broke down and got the Apple Watch 3

After much delay I finally decided to get an Apple Watch 3.  It was mainly driven by the reduced price that I could get through work (who can say no to $150 off?) and the fact that my original Apple Watch starts running out of power at 6PM.  I’m pretty sure I’ve ranted about this before and that I wouldn’t get a new watch till number 4 came out.  I got the exact same watch as my wife which is the Apple Watch Nike Edition, the difference being is that mine is a 42MM and hers is 38MM.  It’s very nice that I can go ahead and re-use my link band from the original Apple Watch, it doesn’t look as snazzy as when I had it with the chrome finished Apple Watch edition but it still looks good enough to me.

I got the LTE version and I might be activating the LTE on it just to give it a try.  my wife has the LTE edition too but she doesn’t want to go running outside, too many snakes and other vermin in my neighborhood that she doesn’t want to deal with but I want to use mine for going out and walking the dog or going to the nice walking area outside of my hotel without my phone but still be able to get my text messages.  I’ve watched reviews saying that the LTE is hit or miss but that was a while ago when the watch first came out and there have been a few updates since then.  I’m sure its better now but I just don’t feel like dealing with the $10 a month that I’mg going to have to pay.  We’ll see how useful it is, I think I have a month to try it out and see how it is.

So far, the watch is noticeably faster than my original one, thats to be expected since its 3 years behind in terms of technology and speed.  The battery part was never its strong suit but the increased battery life of this Apple Watch is just awesome.  My wife doesn’t make fun of me anymore when my watch turns off, even after putting it on power save mode.  Siri is also way more useful too, it actually responds in a decent time frame rather than just sitting there spinning and then timing out since it can’t figure out what I wanted.  Most of the stock apps are also very good too now, I’ve made good use of the work out app during this weekend and I’ve been closing my rings without having to worry about the watch running out of power as it counts steps or how many times I’ve done the water rower.

I have to say that I’m happy with my purchase of the Watch 3.  I shouldn’t have waited so long but I was skeptical of upgrading.  I’ve been trying to reduce my upgrade cycle, not really because I can’t afford the new toy, but its more evaluating if I need the latest and greatest toy (case in point my iPhone 7 and iPad Air 2).  Both still work great, although I want something that can use an Apple Pencil.  The iPhone I won’t be replacing until maybe 2019, unless something truly WOW comes out in September with the newer phones.  Now I just have to wait for the box so I can recycle my old Apple Watch, this way I’ll at least recoup another $75.  Money is money after all!

 

NAVIGON is no more!

Curious thing when I was checking my NAVIGON app last week, there was a message that I sort of just clicked through but it bothered me so I checked the website, to my surprise Garmin decided to kill all their iOS navigation apps. I have had NAVIGON on my phone since the days of the 3GS and it used to be my go to app for navigation in my car. Apparently I’m allowed to use it for another 2 years until there will be no more map updates. That’s kind of sad but it’s expected since in the age of unlimited data, you only need Apple Maps, Google Maps, or Waze.

I remember the software being a crazy price. I think I paid $79.00 for all of North America. Truthfully it was one of my better purchases due to all the travel I do for work. At the time maps kinda sucked on the iPhone and NAVIGON was more accurate. Over the years I got frustrated with the software due to its interface and lack of search capability. In recent years I’ve relied on 3 apps for navigation and with the final death of NAVIGON I’ll be able to reclaim about 100mb of space on my phone and a tile space.

I’ll admit that having an offline map is useful but Google has this and I have another app called Ulmon that does offline maps. It doesn’t really do turn by turn but I won’t get lost either which is the main point. For it’s time, NAVIGON was freaking awesome and prevented me from getting lost most of the time. Before I had unlimited data it was useful to have he map preloaded on the phone so I wouldn’t use up my data plan. I just might keep the software on my phone for the next two years mainly because I paid for it so I might as well use it if the need arises. By then I should be ready to upgrade my iPhone 7 to something else.

You suck iTunes!

Now that that is out of the way, I’ll tell you why.  iTunes is used for a ton of shit  by Apple, by far the only thing I really want to use it for is to backup and restore iDevices that I own.  The process itself is too time consuming, it literally takes hours for me to do a backup of my iPhone and it shouldn’t be that way.  Tonight I’m trying to do a restore and it just keeps on telling me that my back is corrupt or not compatible.  I mean seriously, wtf!  Thats all the info I get?  No other error code like a Windows Blue Screen of Death or something?

I’m going from an iPhone 7 to an iPhone 8 and from 128GB to 256GB.  There is more than enough space on this sucker to hold all the previous data I had and most of the time thats the problem.  I’ve tried all the tried and true solutions as well, I’ve restarted the computer, restarted the phone, restored the phone as a new iPhone, I’m even chatting with Apple Support as I write this blog post to see if there is something they can help me with to get my data back.  Truth be told, all my data is somewhere in the cloud but its setting all that shit up again that pisses me off the most.

I literally have almost 200 apps on the phone and they’re all configured a certain way.  There is also all the health data thats been collected from my iPhone 6 and 7 that I need to recover, and all the settings (although most of that can come through differently but its still a pain in my ass.  The restore process itself could be way better too.  There is still too much intervention needed by the user in order to get the phone up and running again.  I know there are things like Touch ID, Apple Wallet, Location and Privacy BS that need to be asked but that can be asked AFTER the phone is up and running in my opinion.  Just get the thing going and then have something else for a more detailed setup wizard after a restore.  The restore should skip these steps and remember what was already on the phone rather than asking these questions again and again.

I hope that the backup that I chose to restore from is complete, if it isn’t and I deleted the wrong backup I’m going to be really pissed tonight.  I was able to finally get the restore going on the phone, I had to update to the public beta and then presto it finally started going.  Thats so weird that the operating systems kinda have to match to do a restore.  I think Apple really needs to re-think iTunes and how to make this entire process better.  It still reeks of the original iTunes that I used back in the 90’s with my iPod.  The graphics has changed to go with the whole design language that Apple uses but the overall nuts and bolts haven’t really changed all that much and the interface still sucks.

There should be something dedicated just for iOS backup and restore and like I’ve stated in past blog posts, iCloud backups should be free if you have a device and the amount of data the device holds should be what you get for free for every device and not just the account.  The largest account that you can pay for presently is 2TB for $9.99 a month.  Truthfully thats too rich for my blood but Apple won’t let you backup anywhere else except for your MacBook through iTunes or through  iCloud.  Oh and that iCloud backup doesn’t have all your apps and shit, just your data.  How freaking horrible is that?

OK rant over, this thing is going to have to run overnight and then I’ll have to get up early and do another 2 hours worth of configuration most likely before I go to church.

OG Apple Watch – Battery Draining :(

IMG_8042.jpg

I was one of the few, the proud, the crazy that purchased the original Apple Watch when it came out on launch day.  The picture above shows what it looks like now (I actually use the photo album watch face and not the one pictured) and I’ve upgraded the sport band to the link band (my wife is so awesome for getting it for me) and I use it every day at home and at work.  I’ve gone through all the different OS upgrades for the watch and its currently running on WatchOS 4.0.  The watch is starting to show its age since its kind of slow compared to just using my iPhone 7 but its still the best for notifications and maybe the quick text to someone.

Where I’m really starting to see some wear and tear is in battery life.  I’ve been using it for 2 years straight?  I can’t remember when I bought it but these days there seems to be a lot of battery drain and I have started to see “Power Save” mode pop up as soon as 7PM.    That means the watch is barely getting through a 12 hour day on its current charge.  Thats not really acceptable.  I keep a charger with me while on the road to charge it up but I don’t keep it with me in my bag, I leave it at the hotel so I can charge up then.  I’m not really lost without the watch, I always have my iPhone handy with me but its just a minor annoyance.  Doing work outs with the watch drains the battery further and frankly I only work out when I’m actually at home but still, it reduces battery life considerably when in use.

I don’t know what my solution will be if the battery starts to really stink.  My wife and I paid a decent chunk of change for the watch and I like the notifications and everything but I might be going back to a regular watch if it dies.  While I love having the ability to get those notifications or send a quick text, its not enough to buy another one at the price I paid.  I can technically use the same watch bands as any other Apple Watch as long as its a 42mm so there is some savings but I don’t think anyone will buy the watch from me.  I have scratched it up a lot over the years but it still works pretty well for a 1st gen device.  I haven’t explored replacing the battery but at that point I want to get a newer watch because the new ones are water proof, faster, and ummm…. I think thats it really.

Anyway, I’m going to continue to use it till it dies.  I’m hoping that they keep the watch humming along with software updates and start to get rid of more of the bloatware that seems to be creeping into Apple OS’s of late.  It’s only noon and I’m down to 70%, hopefully it will last the rest of the day and my work out tonight.