iPlugDelaware Meeting – Tuesday September 15, 2015 – Here Comes iOS 9

September 15 2015 iPlug Delaware MeetingiPlugDelaware’s September meeting will be held on Tuesday September 15, 2015 at 7:30 am at the Panera Bread in Fairfax Shopping Center (2311 Concord Pike, Wilmington, DE 19803). The meeting will be in the community room in the back of the restaurant. Meetings last about an hour and are held on the third Tuesday of each month. Meetings are free to attend and are open to anyone in the legal community.

Meeting Agenda:

If you have not attended a meeting before, they are a great place to learn about features of mobile devices that can help make you more productive. All meetings are interactive and provide those attending with an opportunity to ask questions or demonstrate apps or devices that they use in practice. Although a large focus of the meetings are on Apple devices and services, our meetings are used as an opportunity to learn about all relevant mobile devices and technologies and frequently include discussion of Microsoft Windows based devices, Google Android devices, and wearables that are used by those attending the meeting.

We look forward to seeing some new faces at our meeting, and will be happy to address any questions or concerns about using mobile devices. If you would like anything to be added to our agenda, please let us know on our Facebook Page or through Twitter.

Apple September 9, 2015 Event – Hey Siri, Give Us Some New Products.

20150909-170241-IMG_0367Apple held a press event in San Francisco on September 9, 2015 to announce its Fall 2015 product lineup. As expected, Apple announced new iPhones and a new iteration of the Apple TV at the event. Apple also demoed the previously announced iOS 9 and watchOS 2. Both of these updates will be made available for existing devices on September 16, 2016. In a break from tradition, Apple also announced a new iPad Pro and iPad Mini 4. The iPad Pro will be available in November, and the iPad Mini 4 will be available September 25, 2015.

Apple Watch Lineup Changes Announced along with watchOS 2 Availability September 16.

20150909-170709-IMG_0368Apple began the day by discussing watchOS 2. New watch faces and third party complications were again shown. It was indicated that with native apps, developers would be able to do much more with their apps. Among the apps featured by Apple were Facebook Messenger, iTranslate, and AirStrip. AirStrip is a medical app that allows individuals in the medical field to manage their patients, schedules, and real-time medical data. There is also a client app available for patients that allow them to collect and transmit data to medical professionals using the Apple Watch.

20150909-171601-IMG_0370Apple announced new models of the Apple Watch and new bands. Two new finishes were announced for the Sport Watch Lineup. Gold and Rose Gold aluminum finishes were added, as were new finishes for the stainless steel Apple Watch line including the Product(Red) Apple Watch. New bands were also announced. New models are immediately available, and Apple WatchOS 2 will be available September 16, 2015. No changes are being made to the internals of the Apple Watch.

Apple Announces Next Generation iPad… the iPad Pro.

20150909-172109-IMG_0376Tim Cook next discussed the iPad Pro. He called the announcement the “biggest news in iPad since the iPad”. The iPad Pro has a 12.9” display, but is still thinner and lighter than a laptop (it weighs about 1.5 lbs). It features a full-size on-screen keyboard when used horizontally. The iPad Pro display is almost 2 times the size of the iPad Air, which allows you to easily run two apps side by side. It is powered by the A9X chip that was described as providing desktop-class performance. Graphics performance was described as “Console Class”, battery life was estimated at 10 hours, and for the first time for an iPad it includes four speakers.

20150909-175357-IMG_0393The iPad Pro will be available in November. It comes in Silver, Gold, and Space Gray. It starts at $799 for a 32GB WiFi only model. It will also be available at $949 for a 128GB WiFi model and for $1079 for a 128gb WiFi + Cellular model.

20150909-173001-IMG_0387In addition to the new iPad Pro, Apple announced the “Smart” Keyboard. The keyboard is made of fabric and included within a cover. Apple added a smart connector on the iPad pro that allows accessories to connect to and be powered by the iPad Pro. The Smart Keyboard will be $169 and will be available when the iPad Pro ships.

20150909-173200-IMG_038920150909-174833-IMG_0390Apple Pencil was introduced as a new input accessory for the iPad Pro. This stylus includes the ability to sense force and stroke to more precisely draw or write on your iPad Pro. Apple Pencil is battery powered, but allows you to plug it into the lightning port of the iPad to recharge. New applications will be able to take advantage of the Apple Pencil and integrate its abilities. The Apple Pencil will be available for $99 when the iPad Pro ships.

Microsoft was featured on-stage to show how Microsoft Office will take advantage of the new features of iPad Pro. Using the ribbon on the Microsoft Office Apps, the Apple Pencil can be used for annotation or markups of documents (it looks like this functionality may be available by touch too). The annotations will be stored natively with the Office Apps, and can be viewed on any device. Microsoft also showed the value of being able to use Microsoft Office Apps side-by-side on the iPad Pro.

Apple Talks TV and Apps – The New Apple TV with Siri and an App Store Announced.

20150909-175953-IMG_0395Tim Cook noted that the TV experience has remained stagnant despite changes in technology. He promised that Apple would do something to change that, and stated that the future of TV is Apps. The center of the new Apple TV is the new remote and an App Store.

20150909-175959-IMG_0396The new remote features a glass touch surface on top, with a microphone button to allow voice interaction with Siri. Rather than just search, Siri uses context to bring results to you. For example, you can simply ask Siri to show “funny movies”, and Siri will bring a list to you. Siri will also allow searching across iTunes, Netflix, Hulu, HBO and Showtime (with additional apps in the future). In addition to Siri functionality, the new remote includes motion sensing to allow you to use it as a “Wii-like” controller for games. iPhones and iPod Touches will also be able to be used as remotes for games on the new Apple TV.

The new remote will control the volume on your TV and receiver and allow you to power on your other devices. The 32GB version of Apple TV will sell for $149, with a 64GB version for $199. It will be available for purchase in late October 2015. tvOS is available for developers beginning September 9, 2015.

20150909-182517-IMG_0400Siri was the star of the Apple TV demo. Among the features of Siri, is allowing you to navigate shows while playing. You can skip ahead (or back) a certain number of seconds or minutes, or even ask “what did they say” and it will skip back 15 seconds and provide temporary closed captioning. You can ask for information about actors in something you are watching, or check sports scores or weather while watching something. You can use voice commands to switch to other apps on Apple TV.

All the existing Apps remain on the Apple TV, but the Apple Apps have been revamped and updated. Additionally an App Store will be available that allows developers to create apps for the Apple TV and tvOS. Among developers that have already worked on apps, include Netflix, Hulu, Activision and Disney. The third generation Apple TV will remain on sale, but there was no discussion of what features if any will be available on the older device.

And Finally we have the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus.

20150909-182810-IMG_0403Apple saved discussion of the updated iPhone 6 for last. Cook introduced an updated iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus that keep the appearance of the iPhone 6 and 6 plus. Colors include Silver, Space Gray, Gold, and a new option of Rose Gold. The display size remained the same for the iPhone models, but the metal and glass were both updated to be stronger and more durable. 3D Touch was introduced for the iPhone as the next generation of multi-touch. The new iPhones will include A9 chips that are advertised as being “desktop class” processors. Siri can also always be launched by simply saying “Hey Siri” (even when not plugged in). TouchID is now twice as fast as before, and the camera on the iPhone was updated with an increased 12MP sensor.

20150909-183528-IMG_04073D Touch allows the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus to recognize how hard you are touching the screen to react based on the force of your touch. This allows additional menus to be shown on the home screen, or for you to peek at other information within an app. For example, if you are sent a street address in a message, you can peek at the map without leaving your message. 3D Touch also allows a new type of photo called Live Photo. When you take a photo with iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, by default it captures 1.5 seconds before and after your photo was taken so your photo can come to life when you use 3D Touch on the photo.

20150909-190125-IMG_0411The iPhone 6s and 6s Plus remain available in 16GB, 64GB and 128GB models. The iPhone 6s starts at $649 for the 16GB model, with the 64GB model costing $749, and the $128GB model $849. The iPhone 6s Plus starts at $749 for the 16GB model, increases to $849 for the 64GB model and will be $949 for the 128GB model. They will be available for pre-order on September 12th and start shipping on September 25, 2015. iOS 9 will be available for existing devices on September 16, 2015.

20150909-190308-IMG_0413The press event ran just over 2 hours in length. Although the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus were featured last, the iPad Pro and new Apple TV were probably the biggest stars of the event. It will be exciting to see when Apps start to arrive on the Apple Watch that take advantage of watchOS 2, and when the Apple TV App store debuts in October. More to come as information becomes available. Please share your thoughts on our Facebook Page or send a tweet to us.

Google to Hold Nexus Phone Event on September 29th

Google Nexus EventHot on the heals of Apple announcing their next iPhone Event, Google is planning to hold an event in San Francisco to introduce new Android-Based Nexus SmartPhones on September 29th. It is expected that for the first time Google will introduce two new Nexus phones. According to rumors, Google will introduce an LG-manufactured Nexus 5 with a 5.2″ screen and a Huawei-manufactured Nexus 6 with a 5.7″ screen. These will replace the current Nexus 5 and Nexus 6 sold by Google.

Notably these devices are expected to be the first to run Android 6.0 Marshmallow. Typically Google has sold Nexus devices directly through the Google Play store. These devices are usually shipped within a month after the announcement, but in the past have had extremely limited availability for several months. Nexus devices receive updates directly from Google and run stock Android without any manufacturer added software.

If you are considering switching to an Android device, or upgrading your current Android Device, it would probably be smart to wait for the Google September 29th event before purchasing a device. More to come after the event.

Apple’s September 9, 2015 iPhone Event May Include New iPads

Apple September 9 2015 Siri EventApple last week announced an event scheduled for September 9, 2015 at 10:00 am Pacific Time (1:00 pm here on the East Coast), titled, “Hey Siri, give us a hint.” The rumor blogs immediately indicated that the event would introduce the world to new iPhones called the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, and a new version of the Apple TV set-top box that will include 3rd party Apps and an App Store for the first time. It is also projected that the new Apple TV devices will also include a motion sensing remote that allows force touch and speech input. The new iPhones are also expected to include Force-Touch functionality and an upgraded camera.

Today, reports have surfaced that Apple may also be ready to introduce a long-rumored iPad Pro. The iPad Pro is expected to go on sale in late October, with availability in early November. The iPad Pro is rumored to be 12.1 inches and include a stylus with force touch capabilities. It is also expected that a revamped iPad Mini 4 will be introduced alongside the iPad Pro. The iPad Mini 4 is expected to adopt similar internals to last year’s iPad Air 2.

Updates will be posted on iPlugDelaware.com on September 9th. If you would like to watch the event live, Apple will stream it on Safari for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, and the Mac. Streaming will also be available on Apple TV and if you have Windows 10, on the Windows 10 Edge Web Browser. Let us know on our Facebook Page or Twitter Feed what you would like to see at the upcoming event!

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?

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.

iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus Officially Available Today

iPhone 6 on Sale

Apple officially began selling the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus today, Friday September 19, 2014. Individuals that previously pre-ordered the iPhone 6 or 6 Plus should also be receiving their phones today (if they were lucky enough to get one available for launch day shipping). Apple had already announced that its stores had sold over 4 million pre-orders before the phone was officially available. This number does not include Apple authorized re-sellers, and iPhones that were being held for walk-in customers.

We will continue to update our site with information about the new iPhones. In the meantime, review my article about the iPhone 6 size comparisons. I am expecting shipment of my new iPhone later today and will have some first impressions after it is received. Stay tuned….

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