Apple Releases iOS 8.0.2. The Version That Works?

After releasing iOS 8.0.1 yesterday and having to immediately pull it, Apple has now released iOS 8.0.2 as an over the air update, which is supposed to fix the new problems introduced with yesterday’s release along with the bug fixes included in 8.0.1. I recommend waiting to update until this release has been out long enough for any additional issues to surface. Once you decide to update, remember backing up your iPhone or iPad is still recommended before applying any update.

If safe, the newest release fixes issues with third party keyboards not appearing after device is locked, enables the use of the Health app, fixes issues some apps were having with accessing your photo library, and improves reachability functions of iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 plus. See 9 to 5 Mac for more information.

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Apple’s iMessage Can Cause Problems when Issuing Employees iPhones

 

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The Technology and Marketing Law Blog recently had a post describing an employer lawsuit that included privacy infringement based claims against an employer for intercepting iMessages using his company supplied iPhone. Although the California Court ultimately rejected the claim, it had an interesting fact pattern that raises concerns for attorneys and employers.

The employee in the claim had been issued an iPhone from his employer. Upon being issued the iPhone, he associated the phone with his personal Apple iCloud account and enabled Apple’s iMessage. iMessage, unlike standard SMS text messages, allows sending and receiving text messages without an active cellular number. This means that if you register your cellular number with iMessage, your Apple account will allow you to send and receive iMessages on other devices with a broadband connection, even if you have no cellular connection. When you switch to a different cell phone (even if it is another iPhone), you must disable iMessages, or else your old iPhone will continue to receive iMessages if it is on a WiFi network, or another cellular account is registered with it.

The problem is that after the employee’s employment ended, he returned his company issued iPhone, and did not wipe the device or disable iMessages. The employee claims that his former employer continued to receive and review his text messages since his Apple iMessage account was not disabled. The California Court ultimately decided that the employee had no privacy claim against his former employer.

The reason that I found this case interesting, is because I am sure that there are plenty of attorneys in Delaware that are issued iPhones and/or iPads by their employers. This immediately causes concerns for me about employees taking steps to make sure that their data cannot be accessed once they leave their current employment. If you have linked a personal Apple iCloud account to your iPhone or iPad, some of your data created after starting a new job, may be accessed by a former employer. Both messages sent and received by iMessage, as well as any data stored in iCloud, may continued to be accessed on the old device until the Apple iCloud account is removed or your password is changed.

If you are currently using iMessages and iCloud on your employer-issued iPhone or iPad, you will want to make sure that you sever any connection before your employment ends. If you do not, there is a chance that text messages you receive in new employment may be intercepted by a former employer. If you are an employer issuing iPhones or iPads, you will want to have a clear policy on the type of personal information and accounts permitted on a company issued iDevice. Even for an employer, concerns arise that after an employee is terminated, information that was saved to iCloud (like documents created in Pages or Keynote) may continue to be available to former employees. For a managing partner at a law firm you need to know how confidential materials are being stored.

I would recommend not using iCloud and iMessage on any employer supplied iPad or iPhone. Although this eliminates some of the benefits of these services, it protects both an employee and employer from the concern of confidential information being accessed after the employment relationship has ended. Beyond the concern of private personal data being accessed, if an attorney has an old iPhone/iPad that is still receiving data from iCloud that can potentially be accessed by a former employer, there is a very real chance of violating your obligations under Rules 1.1 and 1.6 of the Delaware Rules of Professional Conduct. If you do use iMessage or iCloud, and you are not able to disable these services when employment is terminated, it is important that you immediately change your iCloud password to protect your data. Changing your password should protect you against a former employer accessing documents and data that apps store in iCloud. You should also contact Apple Support to have your old phone number deregistered from iMessage.

See Sunbelt Rentals, Inc v. Victor for the California District Court Decision.

 

Apple Releases 8.0.1, But Forced to Pull Update Within Hours

Earlier today, Apple released an update to iOS 8 that promised to fix many of the issues that were in the operating system after its general release on September 17th. Unfortunately iOS 8.0.1 was not properly bug tested and caused owners of the brand new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 plus to be unable to use TouchID or connect to a cellular network. Fortunately, the issues were discovered before must people were aware of the update and Apple has since removed the update.

If you were unlucky enough to install the update and you have one of the new iPhones, iMore.com has instructions for restoring your phone to iOS 8. If you have not installed iOS 8.0.1, do not install it until any issues have been resolved by Apple.

 

iPhone 6 Unboxing and Comparison

Last week I did an unboxing of the iPhone 6 Plus for those that were interested. I have now added the unboxing of an iPhone 6. For most normal users I think that this phone will hit the sweet spot of size, battery life, and usability. My initial thoughts are that the iPhone 6 fits much nicer in the hand than the iPhone 6 Plus, and will be the phone that most attorneys will want to carry.

Included in the video is a size comparison of the iPhone 6 to the iPhone 3g, iPhone 4/4s, iPhone 5, iPhone 6 Plus, iPad Mini, and iPad 3rd Generation. It provides a nice look at the slow transition that Apple has provided to larger devices, while also introducing the iPad Mini to fill any gap that existed in the product line.

iOS 8 Not Ready for Prime Time?

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On September 17, 2014, Apple released iOS 8 for existing iPhones and iPads. This software was in beta from June 2014 until its’ release. Although from a user interface perspective, this was a small update, from an architecture perspective, iOS 8 added many new features under the hood. Unfortunately, after using the the release version of the software for nearly a week, it looks like Apple may have released the software before it was actually ready. Overall I am happy with some of the new features, but I cannot help but think that iOS 8 needed at least 2-4 weeks of additional refinement before being released.

The biggest problem that I see was that developers were not able to release versions of their software that took advantage of new iOS 8 features, until iOS 8 was released to the general public. This meant that although a beta of iOS 8 had been available to other developers since June, features like Health Kit integration, notification center widgets, iCloud Drive, and extensions could not be enabled for apps released to the App store until iOS was released on September 17, 2014. Although developers had a method to enlist beta users to test their apps, limited beta test cannot reveal problems as much as a public beta can. The result was that even major developers like DropBox did not have a functioning app available initially, and they had to release multiple fixes within several days of the release of iOS 8.

From my perspective, it appears that Apple knew that it wanted to release new iPhones on a certain day (September 19, 2014), and although the software was not quite ready, it was decided that the launch of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus was too important, so unfinished software was released to the general public.

Within hours of iOS 8 being released, Apple disabled all Health Kit functionality. App developers that had prepared new versions of their software taking advantage of Health Kit were forced to remove their apps, and return to prior functionality. Apple Pay cannot yet be used to make purchases with the new phones, and there has been no mention of Home kit by Apple or any of the partners that were supposed to be able to offer better home automation integration using iOS 8 devices.

I love having Swiftkey and Swype keyboards installed on my iPhone and iPad, but I have found that both keyboards frequently stop functioning. Although there is no mention of a need for a cellular connection or WiFi to use the third-party keyboards, there seems to be an issue when there is not a reliable connection. Even when there is a reliable connection, I frequently find that both Swiftkey and Swype keyboards disappear and I am switched back to the native iOS keyboard without the ability to even manually switch back to Swiftkey or Swype. I also have had multiple occasions when I should have a keyboard available, like when doing a spotlight search or drafting a text message, where I have no keyboard available at all (I simply have a blank screen staring back at me).

With extensions, again my experience has been hit or miss. For example, PDF Converter adds a handy extension to convert photos, webpages, or certain documents to a PDF, but it works some times and other times does absolutely nothing. There also is no way to know exactly which App is an extension and which one is simply an “Open In” option when you are looking at the “Open In” dialog box. Since extensions do something on top of your current app without necessarily making you leave the app you are in, and Open In sends your current document to another app and leaves the app you are using, this is an important area that needs improvement.

Apple’s introduction of iCloud Drive also made no sense. Although users are prompted to update to iCloud Drive when installing iOS 8, it breaks compatibility with iOS 7 devices and applications, and is not compatible with Mac OS X currently. If you don’t update to iCloud Drive, you are unable to use some of Apple’s apps (like Pages and Keynote), and if you do update, some of your third party applications may or may not function properly. Once you update, there is no going back, so if you find an application that currently doesn’t work, you are just out of luck. Although this was promised as a centralized file system all your apps have access to, developers must enable the support, and even after they do, my experience has been that not all apps are seeing all documents saved to iCloud drive.

For some reason, Apple also decided that the Camera roll no longer should be used, and completely changed the Photos App. In the Photos App, you used to have an option in albums called “Camera Roll”. In iOS 8, you no longer have Camera Roll, but instead have something called “Recently Added”. However there is nothing to let you know what “Recently Added” means. From what I can tell, it only includes photos that have been taken within the last 30 days. To see older photos, you have switch over the “Photos” button within the Photos app. The problem with the “Photos” section is that it only allows you to view your photos in “Moments” view. This means that you do not have the option just to see the grid of all your photos any longer. If you are going to change this, why not include “All Photos” in the “Album” section?

Additionally, I have found many quirks that simply make no sense. The Camera app on my iPhone 6 Plus has simply froze on several occasions without allowing me to take a picture. To fix this problem, I have had to force close my Camera app. Actionable notifications are not well thought out. If you have your notifications setup as pop-ups (as I always have done in the past for text messages, phone calls, and voice mail messages so that I don’t miss the notification), if you are in the middle of replying to a text message (using the actionable notification feature), and another notification comes in, your text message reply is lost and you must manually enter the Messages app and restart your reply.

Even as I was preparing this article, I had Dropbox crash on my iPad twice, and my keyboard stop working once. Now my guess is that some of these problems are related to the third party apps as opposed to Apple, other things like Health Kit, Home Kit, iCloud Drive, Photos and the text message reply issue are definitely problems with Apple’s software.

For me, I am a software user that likes to live on the edge, so these problems have not caused me to stop using iOS 8, but I am also the same person that has been using iOS 8 since beta 1. For the every day lawyer using this software in practice, these could be major issues.

To be generous to Apple, the initial release of iOS 8 can only be described as a mess. At best this software in its current form should only be considered a late beta, and not even a release candidate. This is a major blunder for Apple, and I am surprised that it has not resulted in more user complaints. This shows me that Apple has to restructure its beta releases better, and should have actually allowed developers to begin to release apps with iOS 8 functionality before it came out of beta. This would have allowed both the developers and Apple to have fixed problems before the software was made available to all users. Apple should have also released the current version of iOS 8 as a public beta, and allowed anyone willing to freely test the software before releasing the finished version.

My recommendation right now is that the legal community stay away from iOS 8 for the time being. It appears that several of iOS 8’s current issues will be resolved once Apple releases the next version of Mac OS X, which is expected next month. Problems with iCloud Drive and third party apps should also improve with App updates in the intervening period. If you are a new purchaser of an iPhone, you have no choice but to use iOS 8. In that situation, please report your problems to both Apple and developers so that fixes can be issued. I see a lot of potential in iOS 8, and I cannot wait until a stable version is finally available.

iPhone 6 Plus Unboxing

Just a short video with the unboxing of my new Apple iPhone 6 Plus. Although I am used to using smartphones this size, initially the iPhone 6 Plus does appear larger than it actually is. With the thinness of the device, it creates an illusion that the phone is actually longer than what it is. After now having it setup, I am very pleased with the design. I will have some more in depth thoughts after using it for the weekend.

Updating to iOS 8 or Getting a New iPhone 6? Backup with iTunes First!

With iOS 8 and the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus launching this week, it is important that attorneys remember to backup their devices before updating to a new phone or the new operating system. Although it is possible to use iCloud for backups, I have discussed the security concerns of doing so in the past. Your best bet is to use iTunes to create a local copy of your iPhone or iPad before applying any update.

The video above walks you through the process of connecting your iPhone or iPad to your computer and doing an iTunes backup. This should be done on a fairly regular basis to make sure that you can always easily restore your phone or iPad if they are lost, stolen, or malfunction. The process is quite simple, and after the initial backup, runs quickly for subsequent backups.

In addition to using iTunes because it is more secure. it is also nice to use iTunes because it speeds up the process of restoring your device if you have to. If you use iCloud it could take over a day to restore your device if you need to and you have to have a working internet connection during the entire restore process. With an iTunes backup, you simply plug your device into your computer, hit the restore button and at most it takes an hour or two to restore.

I hope that the video is helpful for those that have not used iTunes to backup in the past.

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