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.

 

iOS 8 Not Ready for Prime Time?

2014-09-22 14.46.13

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.

iOS 8, Using Third-Party Keyboards, Swiftkey and Swype

iOS 8 was recently released for the iPad and the iPhone. Among the exciting new features of this operating system update is the ability to use a third-party keyboard in place of Apple’s stock keyboard. This allows users of the iPhone and iPad to now install a keyboard that can use new methods of inputting text to increase productivity. Busy legal professionals can now use keyboards from Swiftkey and Swype to quickly add or edit text by sliding their fingers across the screen.

I created a video that explains how to download, install, and activate both Swiftkey and Swype on your device. There are currently a number of free and paid keyboard apps available in the app store, but Swiftkey and Swype have been around for years on Android, and have had a head start in the field of creating alternative keyboards. Once you figure out how to install the keyboards, they are simple to use, and you always have the option of quickly switching back to Apple’s native keyboard.

My only complaint with the third-party keyboards thus far, is that you lose the ability to dictate when a third-party keyboard is selected. The little microphone that is usually present on the bottom of the screen goes away, and the only way you can get it back is to switch back to the native keyboard.

If you have updated your device to iOS 8, don’t delay, download a new keyboard and see how you like it!

Steven Butler EsquireThis post was written by Steven Butler. Steven is a full-time Delaware attorney that limits his practice to Social Security Disability. Along with being a contributor for iPlugDelaware, he is a partner at Linarducci & Butler, PA.

What is Still Missing from iOS 8 and the iPhone 6

iOS 8On September 17, 2014, Apple will roll out iOS 8 to the iPhone 4s and above, and the iPad 2 and above. Although iOS 8 promises great improvements in your experience using an iPad and iPhone, it is still not perfect. If you are looking for some detailed thoughts on things that Apple could add to iOS 8 to improve it, check out my article on Mobile4Law.com. I still love iOS, and think that an iPhone and iPad are the best options for most attorneys (especially with the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus), but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t things that could be improved.

See ‘What’s Still Missing from iPhone/iPad after iOS 8’ for more thoughts: http://mobile4law.com/whats-still-missing-from-iphoneipad-after-ios-8/

Apple Introduces Apple Pay for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus

Apple PassbookApple today announced a new payment system that is called Apple Pay. Apple Pay is available as a payment option using the new iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus. According to Apple CEO Tim Cook, every day in the United States $12 billion is spent in over 200 million credit card transactions. He discussed the difficulty of using credit cards today and the fear that consumers have in losing their cards (or card data). Apple Pay is built using a combination of TouchID, NFC and a Secure Element on the device to allow you to use your iPhone to make secure purchases.

When you open passbook on an iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus, you have the option of using a credit card that is already stored in iTunes or adding a new credit card. Your credit card number is not actually stored on the device, instead when you register a new card, a token is stored on your device that dynamically changes. If you lose your device, you can use Find My iPhone and it disables payments using your iPhone.

It will start in the US using American Express, Mastercard and Visa. It will work with the top 6 banks in the US to begin with and will work with 83% of cards (your bank must be a partner in order to use Apple Pay). Retail partners include Walgreen’s, CVS, Subway, Toys R’ Us, Macy’s, Panera, McDonalds, Disney and Apple Retail stores to begin, with more to come. It will be as easy as touching your device to the payment terminal to make payments.

Loyalty programs are also being added to Apple Pay. You will be able to use third party apps from Target, Groupon and OpenTable to make payments through Apple Pay. The goal is to make it as easy as possible to make purchases without having to touch your actual wallet.

Apple Pay is a new service that Apple hopes will revolutionize the way that you make payments. More to come….

Introduction to Control Center for the iPad

Control Center for Attorneys

Control Center is a feature on the iPad that allows a user to quickly select some basic settings without having to launch the iOS settings app. It was introduced in iOS 7, but I am often surprised that many attorneys do not know it exists. Control Center is accessed by swiping up from the bottom of your screen on your iPad, and it only takes up a small portion of your screen. I have created a short YouTube Video showing how to use Control Center, and describing all the functions that you can access with it:

In the video, you will learn how to launch Control Center, how to change settings on your device using Control Center, and how to customize when Control Center is used. As an attorney, I often use Control Center while traveling to switch Airplane Mode on and off, while presenting to enable Airplay, AirDrop, and Do Not Disturb, and when listening to Podcast or Audiobooks to quickly pause titles, skip around tracks, or to change the volume. Control Center is a useful tool that allows you to quickly access functions without leaving an application, and has often helped save valuable time.

Readdle Celebrates 7 Years by Having a Big Sale

Readdle 7 Year SaleiOS App maker Readdle is currently celebrating its 7th anniversary by offering deep discounts on some of its most popular apps. PDF Expert 5, a great universal PDF viewing and annotating app for iPhone and iPad is being offered at $4.99, 50% off of its standard price of $9.99. This is also your opportunity to get other great apps from Readdle, including Scanner Pro ($2.99), PDF Converter ($1.99), and Printer Pro ($2.99). These are all on my list of highly recommended apps for any attorney that wants to use their iOS device for productivity.

The sale will only last for 48 hours (according to Apple Insider the sale will end at 1:00 am eastern time Saturday August 2, 2014), so don’t wait to add these apps to your device.

1 2 3 4 5 6