Apple Releases iOS 10.2

Apple released iOS 10.2 yesterday to the public, making this the second major release of iOS 10 since it launched on 13th September 2016. 

The update is free and will be distributed over the air to those devices capable of supporting it. It can also be downloaded and installed via iTunes. 

TV App

The update introduces some new features. 

These include a new ‘TV’ app (US only at launch) which is Apple’s TV guide and aims to simplify your television experience. Other updates include:

  • Get recommendations for new movies and TV shows in Watch Now. 
  • Access your iTunes purchases and rentals.
  • Use Up Next to see the movies and shows you’re currently watching and pick up where you left off 

Single Sign-On

Apple also released their Single Sign-On feature which allows cable subscribers to sign in once with their cable sign in details and have access to al of the live content across various apps and multiple devices. From launch Singe Sign-On is available for CenturyLink Prism, DirecTV, Dish, GVTC, GTA, Hawaiian Telcom, Hotwire, Metrocast, Service Electric and Sling TV. 

Emoji

Emoji’s also received an update with new emoji’s. Clown Face, Face Palm, Selfie, Fox, Owl, Bacon, Avocado, Croissant, Medals and new Profession’s and many more – in fact there are more than a hundred new emoji’s.

Photos

There were a number of updates to the Photos app, such as improved stabilisation and faster frame rates for Live Photos. There has been an improvement of the recognition of similar faces in the photo album. 

Design

iOS 10.2 also includes some design updates and improvements, namely to the Music app where the Repeat and Shuffle buttons have been revamped and can be easily found by swiping up on the Now Playing screen. There are new wallpapers as well as new ‘Celebrate’ and ‘Send With Love’ Screen Effects in Messages app. 

Bug Fixes

  • Fixes an issue where Memories might generate a memory from photos of screenshots, whiteboards or receipts 
  • Fixes an issue where the camera would stay zoomed in after switching back from the Camera Roll on iPhone 7 Plus 
  • Fixes an issue that caused the Move sheet to persist after filing a Mail message 
  • Addresses an issue with long press activating copy and paste in Mail 
  • Fixes an issue in which the wrong message would be selected after deleting a Mail conversation 
  • Fixes an issue where the braille table could switch unexpectedly with VoiceOver 
  • Fixes an issue where sometimes Siri enhanced voices were unavailable to VoiceOver 
  • Fixes an issue where VoiceOver users could not re-order items in lists 
  • Fixes an issue where Switch Control was sometimes unable to delete Voicemails 
  • Adds notification support for HomeKit accessories including window coverings, occupancy, motion, door/window, smoke, carbon monoxide, and water leak sensors 
  • Adds notification support for HomeKit accessories when software updates are available to HomeKit accessories 
  • Improves Bluetooth performance and connectivity with 3rd party accessories 
  • Fixes an issue that could cause FaceTime participants to appear out of focus 
  • Fixes an issue that could cause FaceTime calls to appear with incorrect aspect ratio and orientation 
  • Fixes an issue that prevented some Visual Voicemail from completing playback 
  • Fixes a Safari Reader issue that could cause articles to open as empty pages 
  • Fixes an issue that could cause Safari to quit unexpectedly after marking an item as read in Reading List

The security contents of iOS 10.2 can be found HERE.

Why Apple Eliminated the 3.5mm Headphone Jack

It didn’t come as a surprise on the 7th September 2016 when Apple announced that it was removing the 3.5mm headphone jack from the new iPhone 7. It was a long awaited rumor but that hasn’t stopped a widespread internet backlash. 

Not Able to Charge

The main complaint was the inability to charge the phone whilst listening to lightening or 3.5mm headphone jack headphones. Following the announcement this is still a concern for many. Apples Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing, Phil Schiller doesn’t believe this is an issue and says you can buy the lightening dock that allows you to listen to music whilst charging. 

Looking at the picture below from the Apple Store, this doesn’t solve it Phil, what if I have lightening headphones? That solution puts you in no better position unless you have 3.5mm headphone jack headphones. Not to mention it’s a £39 ($49) solution to something that could surely be solved with a Lightening to 3.5mm headphone jack/lightening charging port combo.

 Apple Lightening Dock
Apple Lightening Dock

 

Death of the 3.5mm Headphone Jack

Despite these issues, the reasoning for removing the 3.5mm headphone jack itself is a valid one. The 3.5mm headphone jack first came to service with the Sony EFM-117J radio which was released in 1964 and became very popular with the release of the Walkman in 1979. That’s a whopping 52years old! It’s an old single use technology that takes up valuable room in an iPhone enclosure whilst we, as customers, demand better battery life, waterproofing and better speakers. Why sacrifice all those benefits including cost for a port that serves a single function? 

The Future of Audio and Other Connectors

There is a lot of focus on the iPhone 7 and lack of headphone jack, I’m sure others will now follow Apple since they have been brave enough to go out in front. 

An interesting thing to consider is what the Airlines will do in response. Consumers will rapidly adopt wireless headphones and lightening enabled ones. So far there is not lightening to 3.5mm headphone jack adaptor. Will the airlines install lightening ports, go wireless or provide lightening to 3.5mm flight adaptors to avoid customer disappointment?

I don’t think this will be the end to port removal, the lightening connector will be next. With the proliferation of wireless charging and wireless headphones this will be another port that Apple can remove to reduce costs, decrease complexity, increase case space and increase waterproof capabilities.

Apple has always been at the forefront of change, whether that’s removal of the floppy drive or DVD drive, they have always been one or two steps ahead of where we know we want to be. Long may that continue! 

Carl Icahn Sells His Apple Stock

Disclaimer: The author is an investor in Apple Stock

Carl Icahn announced on 28th April 2016 that he is selling his 0.8% stake in Apple due to fears over China’s attitude towards Apple and that he would happily by back in if China’s sentiments change. Whilst Icahn has obviously been very successful in the investment world, if what I have read even has a shred of truth it’s more through his aggression, bullying and secondary deals off of his investments than through shrewd value investing like Warren Buffet. 

Icahn has been very vocal during his ownership of Apple stock, including his demands for accelerated stock buyback in October 2014.

Here are my thoughts on the sell off:

  1. He left himself an ‘In’ to buy the stock off in his media fuelled sell of his shares. In other words, to me, this stinks of a forced stock price drop through media sensationalist reports where he or entities related to him will then buy large volumes at the drop and pocket the profits when the price stabilises. 
  2. No where is there anything raised about the correlation between China’s stand against Apple alongside the whole device encryption debate that is ongoing – centring around Apple. I doubt China likes the thoughts of its citizens being able to hold information from the government. With this respect I think the App Store is only the tip of the iceberg here. 
  3. With collapsing industry in westernised countries, for example steel in the UK, it is only a matter of time before China holds all the manufacturing of things like Aluminium, Steel etc. At which point they will control the prices and it will inevitably go up. 
  4. Icahn leaving will give the Apple executives a bit of peace and quiet to focus on their product line, which quite frankly is starting to become misaligned and suffer.

China always has been an issue and will continue to be so going forward, for reasons far beyond Apple and closing its App Store. They will soon control the worlds supply of materials and with it the price of all of our goods. We have farmed all of our industries out to the East and will soon reap the seed that we have sown. 

This goes far beyond Apple, as such, will I be selling my Apple stock on the back of Icahn’s statement and actions? Not a chance. Now, Apple, refocus your product line and quality and consider your long term strategy of where you will operate. China will only prove to be more difficult over ‘Privacy’, ‘Monopoly’ and ‘Material’ issues moving forward – maybe a return to the west would best serve your future?

As a final note, this article was written the day after, Friday 29th May 2016 that the news broke and is being published on Wednesday 4th May 2016, some six days after the event showing how concerned I am as a share holder.

iOS 9.3 Web Links Crashing

MacRumors has an article about web links crashing in iOS 9.3. 

We can confirm this to be the case, not only do the links not work it effectively crashes the app in which you are trying to launch the link in.

For now we suggest you avoid iOS 9.3.

iOS 9.3 Beta

Apple has announced iOS 9.3 Beta which is available to public beta testers and developers. iOS 9.3 has several new great features and updates:

  • Night Shift – Uses your location and phone time to turn down the blue light on your screen after sunset and putting it back to normal at sunrise. I’ve used this for a few nights now and it works well.
  • Notes – Ability to finger print protect your notes.
  • News – Improved selection of personal recommendations, landscape mode and a much needed speed boost in new article fetching.
  • Health – General enhancements and improvement in finding apps that report data to the health app.
  • CarPlay – Improved Apple Music with enhanced recommendations. Also ‘nearby’ finds local things like gas stations. 
  • Education Preview – Many new enhancements for education.

TUAW is Closing Down

It has emerged that AOL will soon be shutting down ‘The Unofficial Apple Weblog’, also known as ‘TUAW’.

UAW has been around since 2004 and was acquired by AOL in 2005. It appears the closure is part of larger restructuring plans at AOL.  

CEO Tim Armstrong’s comments during the company’s fourth quarter earnings call in November:

“As we look out to 2015, our strategy and decisions will be driven by the following organizing principles,” said Armstrong. “Number one, we’ll focus our capital allocation resource management and management time against scaled assets and platforms. Two, we will organize our asset portfolio around scaled value and scaled growth assets. Three, we’ll simplify everything that can be simplified.”

Despite the closure of TUAW we still feel that Apple Resource will fulfil a vital gap in the Apple and Mac related sites by providing quality content over rumours and off the cuff quick fire reviews of software and hardware without extensive testing.

Apple Releases OS X Yosemite 10.10.2

Apple has released its second update to its Yosemite operating system, version 10.10.2. The update can be downloaded through the Software Update section of the Mac App Store.

The following release notes were included:

– Resolves an issue that may cause Wi-Fi to disconnect 
– Resolves an issue that may cause web pages to load slowly 
– Fixes an issue that caused Spotlight to load remote email content when the preference was disabled in Mail 
– Improves audio and video sync when using Bluetooth headphones 
– Adds the ability to browse iCloud Drive in Time Machine 
– Improves VoiceOver speech performance 
– Resolves an issue that causes VoiceOver to echo characters when entering text on a web page 
– Addresses an issue that may cause the input method to switch languages unexpectedly 
– Improves stability and security in Safari

The release notes indicate that this update solves some of the long standing Wi-Fi issues that users have been experiencing. This update also includes Safari 8.0.3 which is also available as a standalone update for Mavericks (7.1.3) and Mountain Lion (6.2.3).

Apple Releases iOS 8.1.3

Apple has released iOS 8.1.3 which includes a range of bug fixes and enhancements. These include: 

  • Fix for an issue that prevented some users entering their Apple ID passwords for Messages and FaceTime.
  • Spotlight bug which caused Spotlight to stop showing app results.
  • Issue that prevented multitasking gestures from working on the iPad.
  • Reduction in the amount of space required when performing an iOS update.
  • New configuration options for education standardised testing.

The update is available now via the ‘over the air’ download feature.