iPhone 5s and iOS 7: Forward Looking or Just Change?
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iPhone 5s and iOS 7: Forward Looking or Just Change?

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There are quite a few clichés about change. The one in my mind most recently is the old adage that “the only constant is change.” Long time GBM readers know that I’ve been absent from these pages for quite some time. Those who took the time to ask know some about the saga I experienced with my former job at Wayside Theatre. I’m no longer employed there after being “resigned.” And, that theatre, sadly no longer exists as it closed down just a few short weeks after I spent my final day trying to keep it open. That change resulted in my moving from Virginia to Chicago, and transitioning from a life running a theatre to a free-lance career in the same art form. But that’s a saga best told on another blog. Change is also a constant when it comes to mobile tech. There is constant pressure to innovate, to create something new. If a company doesn’t meet that demand, well then the conventional wisdom deems them tired and withering. With a thirst for the latest and greatest as insatiable as any that plagued Tantalus, the world of mobile tech always seems to be in search of rehydration. This cycle eventually brings about change in and of itself. Sometimes change is abrupt and sudden. In some instances it takes time.

The iPhone 5s

The iPhone 5s

Since my last blog post here there have been many changes in mobile tech. Steve Ballmer finally threw in the towel (or had it thrown in for him), and Microsoft looks like it hasn’t learned any of the lessons from its first Surface launch as it prepares to bring forth round two. Nokia and Blackberry have moved closer to their inevitable ends. One day Google looks to continue its ascension and the next not. (Although the stock price keeps moving North.) All of which can be mostly attributed to how fast, or not, players work to keep up with the rapid pace of change now demanded by a mobile market place that seems inexplicably intent on turning the latest incarnation any new product into a hit or a miss on day one.

Change when you plan it is hard to accomplish. Change when forced upon you hits you hard in the face and is even tougher to pull off. In either case, judging the impact of change is never easy. Unless of course the bottom falls out and you can’t meet even the most well managed or well-intentioned expectations.

To a certain degree, Apple’s way of changing things has created is an expectation cycle of its own making. The list of exciting game changers Apple introduced beginning with the iPhone and evolving into the iPad changed an industry. It can also be argued that it changed the way we do things on a daily basis. Smartphones, and to a lesser degree, tablets, have become the weapons of choice for us to spread ourselves socially around the web (and in the databanks of the NSA), get some work done, relax and entertain ourselves, and, of late, look to these devices to discover how fit (or unfit) we are. If you pay attention beyond the headlines and rumor posts about this Apple thing or that Apple thing, you can easily see that Apple is content to keep gradually innovating and not rush things to market. But does that gradual (and profit making) pace satisfy the insatiable market thirst for another game changer? Does it matter?  For some, Apple’s pace is just fine and dandy. I’m in that camp. As, apparently, are many others who have tried to purchase Apple’s latest iPhones, and brought the Internet to its knees with the release of iOS 7. So, in that context, and with Apple about to drop more big news on Tuesday, I want to share some impressions about the iPhone 5s and iOS 7.

The iPhone 5s

The iPhone has been my go to weapon of choice since the iPhone 3G. I’ve owned every release since then. Each device has served my needs well. I almost changed that record with the iPhone 5s due to my life changes, but I got lucky and fell within a window where Apple was taking “pick up at a store” orders on the first Monday night after the iPhone 5s release. I ordered that night and picked it up the next morning. Coincidentally, this was right as the news was breaking that Apple was discontinuing that option due to demand issues.  In fact, when I showed up at the Apple Store, the Apple folk were a little surprised to see that indeed the pick up option was in effect for a brief time and even more surprised to hear it had ended so quickly. (Apple has since put this back in place.) Consequently, I got my hands on the 5s about the time those who ordered early overnight on release Friday did. This violated one of my prime directives: never make a major change during a big project, and came while I was directing a show at Circa 21 Dinner Playhouse in Rock Island, Illinois. But, being a geek brimming with gadget lust, I just couldn’t help myself.

I picked up a 64GB Space Gray iPhone on AT&T. Fundamentally, there is no real form factor change from the iPhone 5 except for the color(s). So in this tick-tock cycle that Apple has created for its flagship phones, outward appearances remain largely the same. So, for this tock, Apple has labeled the iPhone 5s the “most forward-looking phone” and focused on three big three tent poles:  Touch ID (fingerprint sensor), improved camera, and the M7 chip. Oh, and there’s the 64 bit thing. More on that later as I take each of those in turn. “Most forward-looking” is a big expectation setter. But is it enough for those looking to purchase today?

Touch ID

Initially, I read reams of digital print about how Touch ID worked so well out of the box. I guess it must have for most. That many folks couldn’t be lying, unless you are talking about US politicians. Touch ID didn’t work as effortlessly for me initially, and of late, I’ve seen more and more folks who have had similar experiences to mine. I dutifully touched my way through the finger print reading process and found that after my fingerprints were registered, I was getting a “try again” more times than I thought should be the case. I erased the initial fingerprints and tried again. I repeated that process three times over a few days, until I now seem to be able to use Touch ID with the degree of latitude that I think is acceptable.

touchid_hero

That said, If the way it works now continues I can see the real value in this. Let me rephrase that. If the way it reads my fingerprint continues AND Apple actually opens this up for other App developers to use I can see the real value in this. It’s an easy way to access the phone and works reasonably well for iTunes or App Store purchases. I say reasonably because I keep having to re-verify when I make a purchase more frequently than I think is necessary. As far as security goes this too frequent two-step makes some sense, as does this entire move to a bio-metric form of ID. If hackers continue to disrupt our world to such an extent that two-factor authentication becomes the norm, then Apple is one step ahead of others on this already. (Forward thinking?) For those worried about their fingerprint data being stolen I hope you can find better things to do with your life. I say that not because Apple has created a crack proof system. Nothing created by humans can’t be undone by humans. But I say that in the same spirit that I’ve always said about locks on any enclosure, device, or automobile. If someone wants to break into it bad enough they will. Well identified security serves as a deterrent against the easy or casual theft. It won’t stop a determined thief, hacker, marketer or government. Apple has created a security scenario for those who don’t like to use passwords, and to a large degree that’s an improvement. So, I give Touch ID a grade of B in this first implementation and will be on the lookout to see if Apple can figure out a way to make this even more truly useful in the future. A forward-looking side note here: There has been much speculation about whether or not Apple will bring Touch ID to the iPad and the iPad mini. In my view, if they don’t it will be a major disappointment. Once you get past the setup and initial trial and error phase, it is tough to go back.

 

Camera

Apple has continued to innovate in its own way with its camera, both on the hardware side and the software side. I’ve alway been impressed by what iPhone cameras offer and this is no exception. But to my eye, the changes are nothing but evolutionary. Others certainly feel differently. Don’t get me wrong, the last several generations of the iPhone have had great cameras, and this is no exception. I’ve tried out the fancy flash thing, but I try to avoid flash when at all possible. It does improve skin tones in most situations. Lowlight quality pictures are indeed improved. Burst mode works as advertised and I can see where this will be useful for all of those cat and kid photos taken on a daily basis. The slow motion video feature will give us a whole new inventory of things to fill up our Twitter, Google+, and other feeds, and indeed is easy to use. But, don’t try transferring that video to your Mac just yet, as the metadata is lost and you won’t get the benefit of slow motion without jumping through some hoops. Presumably that will get taken care of with the next release of OSX and iPhoto. So, the camera is indeed improved. But, I’m not a fan of the new Photos App and how it works. To my way of looking at things, that is as much a part of the Camera experience as the camera itself, but I’ll have more to say on that when I talk about iOS 7 below. I give the improved camera a grade of B.

The M7

The addition of a new low power M7 chip to record all sorts of motion and sensor info is probably the most significant and perhaps immediately usable “forward-looking” change. The principle is simple. This chip receives and catalogs data from the various motion sensors in the phone. Apps can grab that data for their purposes. There’s less drain on the main processor and thus battery life. The immediate boon here is to the increasing health and fitness App and accessory market. I’ve not been one to jump into the fitness accessory market beyond owning a Withings scale and blood pressure cuff. With the addition of this chip, it looks like I can derive some benefit from other Fitness functions without having to attach a watch or a wrist gadget or some another device to my body (and another charging chord to my wall). An App that I’ve recently tried out to test the M7 chip is Argus by Azumio.

Argus tracks steps and other fitness data points

Argus tracks steps and other fitness data points

The Argus App is one of the first to take advantage of the M7 chip. It records my steps, takes data from the Withings scale, and if I want to, well let me enter data about calorie, caffeine, and fluid intake. (These kind of Apps need a beer intake selection.) They way it works is that up to a week’s worth of data is stored on the chip and you can access it when you open the App. Of course you can configure the App to give you notifications if you are into that. If you want to try this out, download the App and set it up. Notice that it will immediately populate with data on steps you have been taking you might not know your phone was compiling. This might put a dent in the fitness gadget market because it is possible to use only your phone to record much of the data you get from the addition of a monitoring gadget. I will be interested to see how Apple and others use the recordable data in the future for other applications as well. As the M7 can distinguish between walking, running, or driving it offers some interesting possibilities. Some have already said this might lead to some sort of locking down the phone to prevent texting while driving. Who knows? The M7 chip, like the fingerprint sensor, certainly point forward. How much we look forward will depend on how willingly Apple will let developers play with these innovations. At the moment, the M7 looks like it will be more accessible than the Touch ID. I give the M7 a grade of A- in this first iteration.

Read: 5 Apps That Use the iPhone 5s M7 Chip

64 Bit Architecture

At least for the moment, this is about promise and not much else. This is another “forward-looking” move by Apple. So much so that the jury hasn’t even been convened yet to debate the benefits it might bring. Until App developers start taking advantage of the new architecture and instruction set, we won’t know if this is a big deal or not. I can’t grade this (and neither can anyone else) until we see what this brings in the future. Will more addressable memory make a difference down the road? Will this make photography and video easier to edit? Will gaming benefit? Again, we’ll see in the future if the promise is worth the push.

Battery Life

I don’t see any material change one way or the other on my device in several week’s worth of usage as compared to the iPhone 5. There is a bigger battery in the iPhone 5s, but I’m guessing there is a trade off that keeps things on par with the previous iteration. In my typical usage that is more than enough to get through most days, so that’s a plus. (Note: I set up my iPhone 5s as a new iPhone and rebuilt it from scratch as opposed to bringing things over from a backup.) To give this a grade feels like cheating. Apple may have upped the batter size, but the tradeoffs leave my experience the same. Call it a wash.

Speed and Performance

Again, like with Battery Life, I notice very little substantial change between the 5 and the 5s. Some of Apple’s Apps (Safari, Contacts, etc…) seem to run snappier and scroll faster, but then they have been compiled for the 64 bit architecture. But in day to day usage, I’m not seeing any significant speed or performance bump. Time and newer Apps may change this, but for now, all is about the same. I was happy before with speed and performance on the iPhone 5. I’m still happy. Grade this an A.

Screen

There’s really no change in the screen of the iPhone 5s. It’s the same retina screen as the iPhone 5. That said, to my eye, the screen on the iPhone 5 is noticeably easier to read in bright sunlight than that of the iPhone 5s. Curious. Grade this a B.

Multi-path TCP and Siri

I consider this a potential real win in the “forward-looking” category. In iOS 7 Apple has included a new technology called Multi-path TCP. Essentially this allows your device to transmit and receive data over multiple radios simultaneously, as in this case over LTE and WiFi. I had read about this and was eager to test it out. Fortunately, this free lance gig I was in the middle of when I picked up the iPhone 5s allowed opportunities for that to happen. Using the iPhone 5 with iOS 6 when I would be outside my living quarters I would be on the fringe of the WiFi network I was using. If you’ve ever attempted to use Siri when you are in that situation you know what happens. Nothing. Siri doesn’t like this. In order to get any sort of data flow I had to turn off WiFi and rely on LTE in these types of locations as the WiFi network wanted priority and kept LTE from kicking in. Of course I could have just walked a few more steps away. But that’s beside the point. Once I updated to the iPhone 5 to iOS 7, the multi-path TCP kicked in and the connection was much better. Siri didn’t flop once while in that same area. I won’t say it was flawless and that I saw no interruption or occasional slow down, but Siri did its thing more frequently without interruption. Fortunately for iOS users this is a function of IOS 7 and not just the new iPhone 5s or 5c. Apparently Apple is only using this for Siri at the moment, and while that makes sense given the transfer of data back and forth over servers that needs to occur for Siri to work, here’s hoping we see this open up a bit more some day. Grade this a B given this early inclusion.

Read: More GBM iPhone 5s Coverage

The iPhone 5s in Summary

Apple has proudly called this its “most forward-looking” phone to date. That may indeed be the case. But just like every new production of every new play begins rehearsals with great promise of success, the proof of that success lies not in the promise but in the execution. Anyone can stage a fancy roll out and offer great press releases about the promise of great success. (Well, there was that Samsung roll out in New York.) If the iPhone 5s is all about looking forward, then we’ll have to wait and see what the future might yield. Right about the time that iPhone 6 rumors heat up, we should start to glimpse how far forward Apple and iOS developers are looking. Is it a solid new iPhone? Yes. But if you’re moving from a iPhone 5 I’d think twice this holiday season and into next year.

iOS 7

Back to the change thing here for a moment. There is no doubt that iOS 7 is a significant change on many levels. There’s the new design, improved multi-tasking, and Apple is starting to take better advantage of touch in good ways in the UI. There are under the hood and user experience changes that make a lot of sense, but the surface design changes leave me scratching my head. When something changes this much, it is often difficult to discern whether one is responding to the change as something different, or responding to change as something that is honestly a change that may or may not make sense. After installing iOS 7 on the iPhone 5, an iPad mini and an iPad 4, in addition to working with it on the iPhone 5s, I can honestly say that my responses are to what I perceive as faults in the design changes and not just because things are different.

Design Changes

When I first saw iOS 7 introduced I was appalled at the design changes. What I saw in renderings reminded me of that era when the fashion world collectively decided to make everything in mustard, puke green, and cow patty brown. My initial impressions of iOS 7 were that this change was not going to be for me. To a certain degree I’m still there, but after using the new OS I understand where Mr. Ive is going. I just don’t think I like it as much as most. Caveat here: beauty is in the eye of the beholder. So, you may see things differently and if cow patty brown is your favorite color, I apologize. Let’s talk about some specifics why I think the design changes aren’t that great.

Color Overload

Color Overload

Color

On the one hand it looks like Apple discovered a color wheel for the first time and went crazy. On the other, it looks like they just got bored and decided white is cooler than anything else they could come up with. Even with more white space than any editor could demand, iOS 7 is certainly colorful. To my eye, to a fault. I get that this ties in with the colorful, “unapologetically plastic” iPhone 5c design, but boy howdy, Apple went a little overboard with this quasi-neon, quasi-pastel approach. I understand what that means for certain markets where this kind of color choice and saturation is attractive. I just think it looks immature and in some combinations borders on the childish. The hideous iPhone 5c cases and color combinations bears this out. Seeing those in stores and in renderings makes me think of my daughter’s long ago affection with My Little Pony and other garish toy choices. When color isn’t leaping out of the screen at you, there’s white. Lots of it. Too much of it. So much so that in my view, the use of so much white makes things look incomplete, or just badly designed.

Photos App and White Space

Photos App and White Space

Take the Photos App as an example. Instead of floating in a dark background, photos now float in a white background. This not only looks like Apple hired some long-unemployed designer from Flickr, but to my eye, it makes it harder to discern detail in the pictures taken with the fancy-schmancy new camera. Flickr’s previous design was derided for years as it languished under Yahoo’s umbrella, and now it looks like someone at Apple yearns to bring it back again. There’s a disconnect here in the design process for the Photos App that just doesn’t make sense to me. Maybe if you’re an early Flickr fan it does.

The next place that Apple’s approach to color in iOS 7 sent my eyeballs spinning had to do with folders. As I said I did an in place install on the iPhone 5, the iPad mini, and the iPad 4. This meant that all of my folders were left intact. The background of folders is now a color derived to coincide with the colors of your wallpaper. All well and good in theory. But in practice, you now have to work much harder to find a pleasing wallpaper/folder icon color combination. Using the wallpapers I already had on those devices the folder backgrounds looked like pimples on the face of your worst teen age nightmare. They were garish and distracting. Experimentation yielded better color combinations but, boy that was an ugly experience.

Folder icons look like pimples

Folder icons look like pimples

Even some of the color combinations that come with the included wallpapers from Apple don’t look that swift. That said, App icons as opposed to folder icons do look better in most cases, with the exception of those with white backgrounds. But I’m a folder guy by preference. If you have a folder with only a few icons in it, the background color takes over your screen when you open the folder, offering you not much more than a big block of color below an unnecessary title of the folder. This color combination factor can be quite unsettling if you have the wrong combo. Given all of the attention Apple obviously paid to color and fonts I’m also surprised at the the top bar information. In iOS 7 I find this information too tiny and at times (depending on color combo) unreadable. Sloppy.

Folders take up too much of the screen

Folders take up too much of the screen

Text Instead of Graphics and Outlined iCons.

A part of Apple’s new flat approach is to use text instead of graphics as targets to initiate actions. The word “Trash” instead of a trash can is an example. When content is text centric it makes it harder to find the clues for controls if they are text based also. Thin may also be in, but the thin outlined icons that do appear for some actions are tough for me to differentiate at a glance. They make more sense to me on an iPad than on the iPhone because of being rendered larger. These approaches to giving us clues on what to touch just don’t satisfactorily tell the same story as what came before, and I find this to be a large failure in the design of iOS 7.

Outlined icons are not easy to decipher

Outlined icons are not easy to decipher

Layers, Translucency, and Animations

To hear Jonny Ive talk about layers in iOS 7, what was there before is subtly there underneath through a semi-transparent layer. This is done with a combination of translucency and blurs. You can see this in the new Notification Center pull down and the Control Center pull up as well as the keypad to enter your passcode on the lock screen. You can also see it in the address bar in Safari. This is more distinct on an iPad or iPad mini, than the iPhone 5s. On the iPhone, Apple has placed the control bar at the bottom of the screen the address bar shrinks as you scroll down the page and reappears when you scroll up. (I find this animation behavior inconsistent at best.) But on the iPad the controls are at the top of the page and thus the address bar does not disappear.  So, the effect is that it seems like the page is scrolling under the bars at the top of the page. The translucency effect is there on both, just not as noticeable on the iPhone 5s. To my eye, they got the blurry part right and not so much on the translucency.  I just don’t think that Apple got the mix correct here. If you find a wallpaper that has a distinctly different color at the top than it does at the bottom, I think you can see what they were going for. Otherwise it is all a blur and more of a distraction than an enhancement.

Translucency in Safari easier to see on iPad

Translucency in Safari easier to see on iPad

The supposedly “wow” inducing parallax effect is a neat novelty that quickly wears off in much the same way that many of Samsung’s wiz bang features quickly become non-entities on its phones. There is also a distracting bug that belies Apple’s usually attentiveness to fit and finish that I think is due to this parallax effect. When you return to the home screen from an App there is a disconcerting and noticeable jump as it seems the home screen is snapping back into place. Perhaps this is due to the larger sized wallpapers needed for the parallax effect to work. Perhaps not. My suspicion is that it is, and in either case I find it annoying and decidedly un-Apple. I predict at some point in the future that many will be talking about Apple’s use of animations in the same way they did about the use of skeuomorphism. Things fly in and fly out. Eventually this design approach will fly out the way it flew in. If you open a folder or App in the upper right corner of the screen, you are treated to an animation that descends diagonally from that direction. When you close it it collapses back along the same path to that same start point. Do the same with an App or icon in the lower left and you get the same directional sense of animated opening and closing. There’s been talk of all of this motion making some have motion sickness. I can’t speak to that other than to say, these folks are sure going in and out of Apps a lot more than I do. This animation metaphor makes more sense on the larger screen of an iPad than it does on the iPhone in my view. So, why no grades on these design changes? Simple. What I like about design you may not and vice-versa. I’m hot thrilled with the new visual look of iOS 7. You might be. These are just my opinions.

User Experience

So, I’m obviously not that thrilled with the visual elements of the design. Beyond that the user experience of iOS 7 has some very nice improvements that make navigating around easier and offer promise for the future of Apps. Many of these have required a substantial bit of re-training on my part.

Touch Navigation

Among these are the fact that you can slide back and forth (left and right) between web pages in Safari as well as the 3 dimensional display of pages you have visited. You can also do this slide back and forth in Mail, Contacts, and I assume in other of Apple’s Apps that I haven’t visited yet. This kind of navigation isn’t all that new. Some Apps have done this for awhile now. I’m hoping that we see more consistency evolve around this. By the way, If you’re using an older model iPhone than Swipe to Unlock is easier than it was when you had to hit a more specific target. I do notice that this new OS level touch gestures require some adjustment for the user and possibly developers. Case in point is the App, Mailbox. This email App when introduced used gestures to swipe emails to archive, trash, or to be dealt with later, depending on your desire. Those gestures still work, but I find that I have to be more precise about where I place my finger to initiate those gestures in iOS 7. That requires some re-training. I will grade this as a B but it could really be an Incomplete until we see how App developers respond.

Notification and Control Centers

As I mentioned previously there is a new Notification Center that slides down from the top of the screen. There is some configurability as to what notifications you receive but not enough. You still can’t delete all notifications in one fell swoop, but what exists now is better than what was before. The Control Center slides up from the bottom of the screen and like Android gives you the ability to control some functions from either the lock screen or wherever you are. I like this approach to common controls better than the previous version in iOS 6. It’s much easier to pause a song or podcast than it was before. Again, being able to configure what is on the Control Center panel would be nice. Grade this a B.

Control Center showing blurred transparency

Control Center showing blurred transparency

Multi-tasking

Multi-tasking is improved and the webOS card like metaphor makes as much sense on an Apple product as it did on a webOS device. Again, I find it easier to use on the larger screen of an iPad than I do on a phone, because of available screen real estate. Apple claims that eventually your iOS device will learn what Apps you use the most and will take advantage of this when it comes to multi-tasking and keeping things running in the background. Makes sense. Can’t say I’ve seen any real significant result of this so far. Grade this a B.

Folders

I’ve already stated that I’m not impressed visually with the Folder metaphor. I’m also not impressed with the fact that we now have a reduced number of Apps on each page. Hitting the home button now also brings you back to the folder instead of to the home screen, which was the previous behavior. I’m not a fan of this, but understand the design logic behind it given that you can apparently create an unlimited number of folder pages. Grade this a D.

Spotlight

Accessing Spotlight is now different. Instead of a swipe to the left-most page you swipe down from any home screen to bring Spotlight into view. I didn’t like this at first but it has grown on me and I now consider it a plus. Grade this a B+

Background App Updates

Apple finally decided to build in a way for Apps to update automatically. For some this will be a blessing. But in some instances this will be problem. I’ve been bitten in the past by updating an App to find that the update is buggy and breaks the App. I’ve turned this feature off for that reason. Grade this a C.

Background App Refresh is a plus

Background App Refresh is a plus

Background App Refresh

I’ve read that this is one of those features some are turning off to save battery life, but I still have it on. If you have Apps that collect data and are tired of waiting for them to refresh when you open them for the first time this is a feature for you. Take Pocket as an example. It’s a read later app where I collect articles I want to read at another time. With the iOS version, I always had to wait for the App to update the content I had saved before I could enjoy reading that content. (Note that wasn’t and isn’t the case with the Android version.) Now that content is pushed to the iPhone automatically. The same is true with Evernote. I use both of these Apps quite a bit, so not having to wait for that refresh is a positive tradeoff with battery life, but I haven’ seen this really affect battery life to any great extent. You can configure which Apps take advantage of this in settings, so you have some control over how much Background App Refreshing is happening. Grade this an A-.

I find it harder to use the keyboard in iOS 7

I find it harder to use the keyboard in iOS 7

Keyboard

One improvement that isn’t working so well for me is the keyboard. Maybe it is just me, but I find it harder to hit keys on the newer keyboard than on the old. Setting up the iPhone 5s as a new phone meant I had to re-enter a lot of passwords and/or setup keyboard shortcuts. This is harder than it was before to be accurate. I’ll join others who say that the Shift arrow color designation isn’t a good design choice as it makes it unclear to know when you’ve locked things into shift mode or not. I give the changes here a C-.

Read: More GBM Coverage on iOS 7

Forward-Looking or Just Changes

So, there you have it. Some thoughts on the changes that Apple has brought to the table with the iPhone 5s and iOS 7. Some are good. Some are not so, in my opinion. Change brings about all sorts of things that are new, different, unexpected, sometimes good and sometimes bad. Like moving to a different city you have to begin anew in finding the ordinary patterns of life. That doesn’t come quickly in the real world, and in my view, Apple has made some forward-looking changes in its flagship mobile product and OS that will also take time to adjust too. I will be very interested to see how the changes in both hardware and software manifest themselves in new or redesigned Apps down the road. I think we’ll have a better picture of that come December or January. So, maybe this is all “forward-looking.” But then, sooner or later, we need to arrive at what we’re looking forward to and the way the mobile marketplace insistently demands change I’m not sure how much patience there is these days.

We might see some inklings that point us forward with Apple’s announcements tomorrow. Much focus will be on the iPad line and deservedly so. The real keys to watch there, in my opinion, is how much of these “forward-looking” changes Apple brings to the party. Will the new chipset be the same as the iPhone 5s? 64bit? Will there be Touch ID? Equally as important, with the latest version of OSX is scheduled to roll out, is how Apple ties this all together with iCloud, still very much a work in progress.

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Gavin

    10/21/2013 at 1:32 pm

    Nice to see you back with a characteristically indepth article Warner!

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    Visit the below mentioned link and follow simple steps in order to earn money online. Make money online in the partime with a bit effort and enjoy a gentle man life like me. … url.ℳℕ/ca465e7

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Apple

5 Things to Know About the iOS 14.2 Update

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Apple’s confirmed a new iOS 14.2 update and the software is now in beta testing ahead of a release for iPhone.

iOS 14.2 is a milestone release (x.x) which means it should bring new features, security enhancements, and fixes for bugs impacting the current version of iOS 14.

There’s a chance iOS 14.2 serves as iOS 14.0’s successor, but we could also see the company release iOS 14.1, or another version of iOS 14, perhaps iOS 14.0.1, before it arrives.

We don’t have an official iOS 14.2 release date yet, but iPhone users who don’t want to wait for the official roll out can try the update out right now through one of Apple’s beta programs.

With iOS 14.2 on the way, we want to take you through everything there is to know about the software.

In this guide to 14.1 we’ll take you through the update’s known changes, what you can expect from the iOS 14.2 release date and release time, key information about the iOS 14.2 beta, and more.

Try Starz or HBO Free with Amazon Channels

iOS 14.2 Beta

If you don’t want to wait for the official version of iOS 14.2 to arrive, you don’t have to.

The iOS 14.2 beta is available to those in Apple’s developer program and those enrolled in the Beta Software Program.

While a developer account requires you to pay money, Apple’s Beta Software Program is free to anyone with a compatible device and working Apple ID. Most people should install the public iOS 14.2 beta.

Before you download the iOS 14.2 beta onto your phone remember that pre-release software is almost always plagued with bugs and performance issues. These issues could impact the performance of your core apps, your device’s battery life, and its overall speed which makes it a less than ideal daily driver.

You should be able to fix some of these problems on your own, but some bugs and performance issues will probably require a fix from Apple down the road.

If you can’t stand the beta’s performance on your iPhone you can downgrade back to iOS 14.0 or iOS 13 though Apple is only signing on iOS 13.7. The downgrade path back to older versions of iOS 13 is closed.

In other words, if you were to move from iOS 13.6.1 or older to iOS 14.2 beta, there’s no way back. Keep that in mind before you jump to the beta.

iOS 14.2 Release Date

Apple hasn’t confirmed an official iOS 14.2 release date for iPhone.

Nothing is confirmed, but the company is reportedly planning to launch iOS 14.1 alongside the new iPhone 12 series in October.  The iPhone 12 announcement is currently rumored for Tuesday, October 13th.

If that pans out, Apple could release iOS 14.1 shortly before the new iPhones arrive on shelves with an iOS 14.2 release coming sometime afterward.

Apple recently told CNET that it is “aware of an issue that can impact default email and browser settings in iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 and that a “fix will be available to users in a software update.”

Given the nature of the bug, we could see a new version of iOS 14 roll out in the near future. Apple could also bake the fix into iOS 14.1 or iOS 14.2.

We’ll let you know when we learn more.

iOS 14.2 Release Time

We don’t have an official iOS 14.2 release date yet, but we know exactly when Apple will roll the software out on whatever day it chooses.

The official version of iOS 14.2 will probably arrive in and around 10AM Pacific. It sometimes takes a few minutes for iOS updates to show up so there’s no need to worry if you don’t see new software right when the clock strikes 10AM.

Apple will also release iOS 14.2 beta updates for developers and those in the Beta Software Program in and around 10AM Pacific. The company typically releases new beta updates every 1-2 weeks.

Keep this timeline in mind if you plan to install the official version of iOS 14.2, or new iOS 14.2 betas, right away.

iOS 14.2 Update: What’s New

Apple’s x.x updates always bring a mix of features, security patches, and under-the-hood improvements and that’s exactly what to expect from iOS 14.2.

Developers digging through the first iOS 14.2 beta have discovered a new Music Recognition control for Control Center. The feature will let iOS 14.2 users discover music around them.

Beta testers have also discovered a new “People Detection” feature in Magnifier in Control Center that uses AR (Augmented Reality) to show you the distance between yourself and other people.

The Apple Watch icon has also been updated to reflect the new Solo Loop band that was released alongside the company’s new Watches.

Apple could add, or subtract, from the iOS 14.2 change log as the beta progresses so keep an eye out for changes as the software makes progress behind the scenes.

iOS 14 Jailbreak

If you still jailbreak, make sure you avoid the iOS 14.2 beta. The only way you can jailbreak a device right now is if it’s running an older version of iOS 13 or iOS 12.

We don’t expect them to release a tool that’s compatible with the iOS 14.2 beta.

4 Reasons Not to Install iOS 14 & 11 Reasons You Should

Install iOS 14 for Better Security

Install iOS 14 for Better Security

If security is important to you, think about installing the iOS 14 update right away.

iOS 14 brings 11 new security patches to your iPhone. If you're interested in the exact nature of these improvements, you can read about them over on Apple's website.

If you skipped iOS 13.7 or any older versions of iOS 13, you'll get the security patches from those updates with your iOS 14 update. 

In addition to those patches, iOS 14 comes with some security and privacy upgrades including improvements to Home/HomeKit and Safari. 

For instance in Safari, you can now tap the Privacy Report button to better understand how websites handle your privacy.

With iOS 14 on board you can now get information on the App Store that will help you understand the privacy practices of apps before you download them. 

There is also a new recording indicator that will appear at the top of your screen whenever an app is using your microphone or camera. You can see if an app has used them recently in Control Center.

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7 Things to Know About the iPhone SE iOS 14 Update

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Apple’s iOS 14 update is out for the iPhone SE and the new operating system has the potential to help, or hurt, your device’s performance.

After a lengthy stint in beta, iOS 14 is now available for iPhone SE models around the world. Apple’s decision to push iOS 14 to the iPhone SE means owners can delay an upgrade to a new device and hold onto the device for another year or more.

The iPhone SE’s iOS 14 update is a big one. It’s packed to the brim with new features including upgrades to Messages, Widgets on the home screen, an upgraded Maps app, and a whole lot more.

Unsurprisingly, many iPhone SE users, us included, have made the jump up from iOS 13. And while a lot of the feedback has been good, we’re also hearing about various issues ranging from minor bugs to serious performance problems.

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If you decide to push ahead with the installation, know that iOS 14 requires a lot of free space on your internal storage. It’s multiple gigabytes.

If you’re running an older version of iOS on your iPhone SE, the download could be larger. That’s because the features and fixes from iOS updates you skipped are baked into the upgrade.

With all of that in mind, we want to take you through the most important things to know, right now, about the iPhone SE iOS 14 update.

This walkthrough will guide you through some of the early problems plaguing the software, the iOS 13 downgrade status, the iOS 14 jailbreak, and the software’s performance. We’ll also tell you about Apple’s plans for the future.

iPhone SE iOS 14 Impressions & Performance

We’ve been using iOS 14 on the iPhone SE for a few days and so far it’s running decently.

iOS 14 feels about as fast as iOS 13 did. Most of the time it’s pretty fast, but there are also times when the operating system feels a bit clunky.

We’ve noticed occasional lag when scrolling around the home screen and when using the keyboard. On the other hand, we haven’t seen any lag when using Control Center or Notification Center, both of which have given us problems in the past. Apps, both first and third-party, open up quickly.

Battery life is stable right now. We haven’t encountered any abnormal battery drain. Nor have we run into problems with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or GPS.

As for our core apps, which include Slack, Asana, Spotify, Chrome, and Gmail, they’re all working fine. If you’re running into issues with one or more of your applications, you’ll want to download the latest version. Developers are rolling out iOS 14 support updates and they should help.

Besides the occasional lag, we haven’t run into any game-breaking issues. It’s still early, but this is about what we expect from a device that was released all the way back in 2016.

If you’re feeling leery about the move to iOS 14, have a look at our reasons to, and not to, install the software right now.

You Should Prepare for iOS 14

If you’re gearing up to install iOS 14 on your device, make sure you prepare yourself, and your phone, for the move. This will help you avoid serious issues.

If you don’t know how to properly prepare for iOS updates, or you just need a refresher, we’ve released a pre-installation guide that will take you step-by-step through the process we use before we install new iOS software.

If you don’t have a time of time to devote to the pre-installation process, be sure to backup all of the data you store on your iPhone. Data issues are pretty rare, but it’s better to be safe than sorry, especially when moving from one operating system to another.

iPhone SE iOS 14 Problems & Fixes

We aren’t the only ones who have run into issues with the iPhone SE’s version of iOS 14.

We’ve heard about a variety of problems including abnormal battery drain, Touch ID problems, issues with first and third-party apps, touchscreen problems, Exchange issues, and more.

It’s still really early so we expect the list to grow as more iPhone SE users around the world decide to transition from iOS 13 to iOS 14.

If you’re nervous about potentially wrecking your iPhone SE’s performance, you might want to hang back and wait for Apple’s next batch of bug fixes. We expect a new version of iOS to roll out in the near future.

If you happen to run into an issue while running iOS 14, you might be able to fix the problem(s) on your own. If you don’t know where to start, our list of fixes for the most common iOS 14 problems is a good place to do so.

If your iPhone SE’s battery is draining faster than normal, we’ve got a list of tips that should help you improve the device’s battery life going forward.

If you’re dealing with bad performance (lag, slow download speeds, etc), take a look at our guide to fixing bad iOS 14 performance.

iOS 13 Downgrade Open

If you run into debilitating problems on iOS 14, and you can’t find a fix, you might try moving your phone’s software back to iOS 13.

Apple is currently signing on iOS 13.7 which means you can drop your iPhone SE’s software back in an attempt to improve performance.

The company won’t sign on iOS 13 forever so if you really want to get your phone off of iOS 14, you’ll need to make a move sooner rather than later. Once Apple stops signing on iOS 13.7, you won’t be able to get off iOS 14.

If you’re unfamiliar with the downgrade process, take a look at our guide.

iPhone SE iOS 14 Update: What’s New

Again, the iPhone SE’s version of iOS 14 is packed to the brim with the changes. The device misses out on a few features, but most of the key upgrades are there.

Highlights include the new Translate app, improvements to Siri, upgrades to Messages, Widgets on the home screen, and a number of changes to the Maps app.

We’ve put together a guide that will take you through some of iOS 14’s best features and it’s worth a look if you haven’t spent time digging into the new software.

If you’re moving your device up from an older version of iOS 13 you’ll get the features and fixes from the updates you skipped. We also have a guide that goes over the latest iOS 13 features and you should check it out if your device is on older software.

What’s Next for the iPhone SE

If your iPhone SE is having a tough time on iOS 14, you won’t have to wait long for Apple’s first batch of bug fixes.

Apple has told CNET that it is “aware of an issue that can impact default email and browser settings in iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 and that a “fix will be available to users in a software update.”

The company recently confirmed an iOS 14.2 update and there’s also been chatter about an iOS 14.1 release alongside the iPhone 12 series in October. We could also see a fast iOS 14.0.1 release.

Whatever the case may be, we should see a new version of iOS 14 roll out soon and that’s great news for those of you looking for help.

iPhone SE iOS 14 Jailbreak

Developers have released an iOS 14 jailbreak tool that’s compatible with the iPhone SE.

The developer team behind the Checkra1n jailbreaking tool for iOS has released version 0.11.0 which adds support for iOS 14.

If you’ve moved to iOS 14 and you think you might want to jailbreak your phone, you can learn more about it over on the official Checkra1n website.

4 Reasons Not to Install iOS 14 & 11 Reasons You Should

Install iOS 14 for Better Security

Install iOS 14 for Better Security

If security is important to you, think about installing the iOS 14 update right away.

iOS 14 brings 11 new security patches to your iPhone. If you're interested in the exact nature of these improvements, you can read about them over on Apple's website.

If you skipped iOS 13.7 or any older versions of iOS 13, you'll get the security patches from those updates with your iOS 14 update. 

In addition to those patches, iOS 14 comes with some security and privacy upgrades including improvements to Home/HomeKit and Safari. 

For instance in Safari, you can now tap the Privacy Report button to better understand how websites handle your privacy.

With iOS 14 on board you can now get information on the App Store that will help you understand the privacy practices of apps before you download them. 

There is also a new recording indicator that will appear at the top of your screen whenever an app is using your microphone or camera. You can see if an app has used them recently in Control Center.

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7 Common WatchOS 7 Problems & How to Fix Them

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The watchOS 7 update brings new features, but it also brings new problems and errors. We will show you how to fix many of the common watchOS 7 problems that are popping up.

Apple is already working on a watchOS 7.1 beta that will fix some of these issues, but there is no specific release date for it yet.

The current watchOS 7 problems include familiar issues like; bad battery life, slow performance, connectivity errors, problems installing the update, watch face issues, and apps that don’t work.

You can try most of these fixes at home, but you cannot downgrade to watchOS 6. If you run into problems that you cannot fix, you can go to an Apple Store for help. It’s smart to make an appointment before you go.

This guide will walk you through fixes for some of the most common watchOS 7 problems. If your Apple Watch battery is draining fast, or the watch is feeling sluggish and experiencing connectivity issues, this guide will help you get your Apple Watch back to like new.

watchOS 7 Installation Problems

How to fix watchOS 7 installation problems.

You may see watchOS 7 installation problems depending on your Apple Watch model, your Internet connection, and the demand at the time.

It can take a while to download and install watchOS 7, so plan for that. You can speed this up by connecting to faster WiFi, or by waiting for others to finish and trying later.

If your iPhone doesn’t see the watchOS 7 update, you need to make sure that you install iOS 14 first. If that doesn’t work, restart your iPhone and your Apple Watch and see if that solves the problem.

Users who tried the watchOS 7 betas, need to delete those profiles to install the official release. Go to Settings -> General -> Profiles and then delete the beta profiles.

watchOS 7 Connection Problems

How to fix watchOS 7 connection problems.

Is your Apple Watch not working with Bluetooth, WiFi or LTE? While not common, an update like this can cause some weird connection errors.

Try turning these connections off and then back on. You can also try turning AirPlane mode on and then off.

  1. Swipe Up from the bottom of your Apple Watch
  2. Tap on WiFi to turn it off.
  3. Wait for a second and tap again to turn it on.

You can try the same thing with LTE. If you need to fix Bluetooth issues the best bet is to restart the Apple Watch. To do this, hold the side button and then slide power off to the right and then after the watch powers down press the digital crown to start it back up.

watchOS 7 Battery Drain

How to fix watchOS 7 battery life problems.

Is your Apple Watch battery life bad after installing watchOS 7?

It may be a watchOS 7 problem, or it could be that you are using the watch for sleep tracking more and need to change when you charge.

This is a very common watchOS 7 problem for the first day or two after the update. This should stop relatively quickly though. If not, there are some steps that you can take.

Try restarting your Apple Watch and your iPhone. This can solve many issues. Press and hold the digital crown and the side button at the same time until you see the Apple Logo. Then let go.

You can also try to limit notifications, or uninstall apps you no longer use.

Another option is to turn on power reserve mode if things get really bad. This isn’t a fix for bad battery life problems, but it will get your Apple Watch through the day. To do this, hold the side button until the menu pops up and then swipe over on power reserve.

For users with bad watchOS 7 battery life after a few days, you may need to unpair and re-pair the Apple Watch and iPhone. To do this, you need to go to the Apple Watch app on your iPhone.

  1. On your iPhone open the Watch app.
  2. Tap on My Watch and tap Apple Watch.
  3. Tap to Unpair Apple Watch.
  4. Next, tap to confirm and if you have Activation Lock on, enter your Apple ID password to turn it off.

Once this is done, you can connect the device and set it up with your iPhone again.

Missing Watch Faces in watchOS 7

How to find missing watch faces on watchOS 7.

Apple adds new watchOS 7 watch faces with this update. Some users are having trouble finding them. Ther are two reasons for this.

If you are on the official watchOS 7 update then you need to swipe and add the new watch faces.

  1. Press on any watch face.
  2. Swipe all the way to the right.
  3. Tap on New (+)
  4. Scroll with the Digital Crown to find the face.

If you don’t see any of the new watchOS 7 watch faces, you may be on the watchOS 7.1 beta, which at this stage does not have the new watch faces.

Slow Apple Watch After Installing watchOS 7

How to fix a slow Apple Watch after installing watchOS 7.

Is your Apple Watch running slow after installing watchOS 7? These fixes are similar to those for bad battery life on watchOS 7.

  • Try restarting your Apple Watch.
  • Try Restarting your iPhone.
  • Do a Hard Reset – Hodl the Digital Crown and Side Button for 10 seconds until you see the Apple Logo.

If these don’t work, you can try waiting a day or two for the device to index and update all the apps and adjust, or you can try to un-pair and re-pair. To do that,

  1. On your, iPhone open the Watch app.
  2. Tap on My Watch and tap Apple Watch.
  3. Tap to Unpair Apple Watch.
  4. Next, tap to confirm and if you have Activation Lock on, enter your Apple ID password to turn it off.

This process takes a while, so only do this when you are ready and able to dedicate time to the process.

WatchOS 7 App Crashes & Errors

How to fix Apple Watch app problems on watchOS 7.

If you experience watchOS 7 app crashes or errors there are a few things that you can try.

  1. Restart your Phone and Watch
  2. Update All Your apps
  3. Uninstall and Re-install the App

We’ve run into some apps asking for location access again with new prompts, so you may need to allow location access for different apps before they work. In most cases, you will get a pop-up. You can also change these settings in the Watch app on your iPhone.

How to Fix Lingering watchOS 7 Problems

How to fix other annoying watchOS 7 problems.

If you experience annoying problems and issues, you may need to reset your Apple Watch. Here is how to do that.

  1. On your, iPhone open the Watch app.
  2. Tap on My Watch and tap Apple Watch.
  3. Tap to Unpair Apple Watch.
  4. Next, tap to confirm and if you have Activation Lock on, enter your Apple ID password to turn it off.

This is resetting your watch, so you will need to set it back up. Once you do this, you can choose if you want to restore the backup or start from scratch. Most users will want to restore from backup.

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10 Things to Do Before the iPhone 12 Release Date

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Apple iPhone 12 rumors are heating up and the release date is getting close. If you’re thinking about buying an iPhone 12 or iPhone 12 Pro this fall, there are some things you should do before Apple’s 2020 iPhones arrive.

Now that we’re pushing into the fall there are some great reasons to think about waiting for Apple’s next batch of iPhones.

The company’s new iPhone 12 models are reportedly coming with massive changes including 5G support, upgrades to the camera, new processor, and more.

We don’t have an official release date yet, that announcement won’t come for a few weeks, but all signs point to a launch in October.

According to AppleInsider, the iPhone 12 announcement could come on Tuesday, October 13th, followed by pre-orders on Friday, October 16th. This lines up well with iPhone 12 launch rumors and Apple’s standard protocol.

While it might seem like it’s a bit early to start preparing for the iPhone 12’s release date, taking some steps ahead of time will ensure that you’re fully prepared to buy one when the time comes.

In this guide we’ll take prospective iPhone 12 buyers through some steps to take ahead of Apple’s announcements.

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Track iPhone 12 Rumors

If you’re interested in buying one of the new iPhones in the fall, you’ll want to track the latest rumors as we push toward their release date.

Apple does its best to keep things under wraps, but rumors and leaks are inevitable and we’ve seen a ton of information emerge in recent weeks.

Rumors will fill in many of the blanks well ahead of the iPhone 12’s release and they will help you set proper expectations as we close in on Apple’s announcements. If you have proper expectations, you’ll avoid disappointment.

In addition to keeping an eye out for hardware and software rumors, you’ll also want to keep your eyes peeled for supply chain rumors.

We haven’t heard anything concrete yet, but if rumors start pointing to potential shortages at launch, you might want to think about putting in a pre-order in order to avoid a delay.

If you want a look at the latest iPhone 12 rumors, take a look at our guide.

Check Your Upgrade Status

If you’re planning to buy a new iPhone in the fall, you’ll want to keep an eye on your upgrade status as we push closer to the release date.

If you’re not eligible for an upgrade until October or later, you might not be able to put in a pre-order for a new device since your line won’t eligible.

Carriers will sometimes move up your upgrade status so you’ll want to check in on it to see if anything changes in the buildup to the announcements.

Checking your current upgrade status is easy and only takes a few minutes. Here’s how to check your upgrade online at VerizonAT&TT-Mobile, and U.S. Cellular.

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Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max, 256GB, Midnight Green, Fully Unlocked (Renewed)
  • Fully unlocked and compatible with any carrier of choice (e.g. AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, Verizon, US-Cellular, Cricket, Metro, etc.).
  • The device does not come with headphones or a SIM card. It does include a charger and charging cable that may be generic, in which case it will be UL or Mfi (Made for iPhone) Certified.
  • Inspected and guaranteed to have minimal cosmetic damage, which is not noticeable when the device is held at arms length.
  • Successfully passed a full diagnostic test which ensures like-new functionality and removal of any prior-user personal information.
  • Tested for battery health and guaranteed to have a minimum battery capacity of 80%.

Get Familiar with iOS 14

We recommend getting comfortable with the software that will power the iPhone 12.

Apple’s new iOS 14 operating system has arrived which means you can try it out on your current iPhone ahead of the official release.

If you do this before the iPhone 12 launches you won’t be caught off guard by all of the changes when you open up your new phone.

For more on iOS 14, have a look at our walkthrough.

Research iPhone Accessories

As we speed toward the release you’ll want to get familiar with case manufacturers and other iPhone accessory makers. This way, you’ll know exactly what to buy and how much to spend on accessories if you decide you need them.

We recommend reading reviews and digging into the best iPhone cases, screen protectors, and various other accessories before Apple confirms the devices.

Get a feel for the pricing, dig into pros and cons of each manufacturer, and find styles that appeal to you.

Figure Out How Much Storage You Need

Figure out how much storage you might need ahead of time.

iPhone 12 rumors are hinting at one major change to the iPhone’s storage capacity. Instead of 64GB, it looks like the iPhone 12’s storage will start at 128GB. Rumors point to additional 256GB and 512GB options.

Picking the right storage will help you save money and avoid headaches down the line. While some of you will be fine with the least amount of storage, others will want the peace of mind that comes with having more internal space available.

If you’re unsure about what you might need, take a look at our guide to picking the best iPhone 11 storage size.

Research iPhone 12 Alternatives

Before you decide to wait for the iPhone 12, make sure you go hands on with the current models. You might find a model you like at a price you love.

The iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max are still fairly expensive, but their prices have dropped since launch.

We’ve also seen deals on Apple’s iPhones from 2018. The iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR are still solid devices and they’re worth a look as well.

You might also want to take a peek at Apple’s new iPhone SE and other budget alternatives like the iPhone XiPhone 8 and iPhone 7. All of these devices are holding up quite well in 2020 and all of them will get upgraded to iOS 14 this fall.

While the iPhone 12 models are exciting, a lot of you might be fine going with a device from the current crop.

If you aren’t committed to buying an iPhone, make sure you check out iPhone 12 alternatives.

Some of these alternatives are already out on shelves. We recommend checking out the Samsung Galaxy S20 series, Galaxy Note 10Galaxy S10Galaxy Note 9, Galaxy S9, OnePlus 8, OnePlus 7, and Google’s Pixel 3, Pixel 4, and new Pixel 4a.

Make a Plan for Your Current Phone, Headphones & Charger

Make a plan for your current phone ahead of time. That way, you aren’t scrambling when the time comes.

Some of you might know of a friend or relative who could benefit from your current device. Ask around and see if anyone might need a hand-me-down later on this year. You might also look into donating your phone to charity.

If you plan on selling your current device to help offset the cost of your new iPhone, you’ll want to dig into prices at resellers like Gazelle and NextWorth.

You’ll also want to keep your current phone in pristine condition because that’s how you’ll get the most money back from those resellers, your carrier, or Apple when the time comes.

It’s not confirmed, but it looks like Apple won’t include a pair of headphones or a charger in the iPhone 12’s box. And that means you should come up with a plan for those items.

If you already own a pair EarPods, hold onto them. If you don’t, and you were relying on Apple to provide you with a pair, you might want to look into buying a pair of AirPods, a cheap pair of EarPods, or an EarPods alternative.

Apple will likely sell a charger through its website, but you should be perfectly fine buying a cheaper alternative from a company like Anker.

Look Into AppleCare

If you’re set on buying an iPhone 12, you’ll want to protect your investment.

All iPhones come with a standard warranty, but AppleCare is an extended warranty service that delivers better support. If you aren’t familiar with AppleCare’s service and its benefits, you should research them in the days ahead.

You will be able to add AppleCare to your bag during the checkout process when you purchase a new iPhone. You can also buy it later if you decide you want to wait.

Apple now gives users in the U.S. and Canada up to one year to buy AppleCare+.

Research Carriers

If you’re unhappy with your current provider’s coverage or plan, use this time to dig into competitors and see if you can find a better fit. This is especially important because the iPhone 12 series should feature 5G.

Each carrier has its pros and cons, but you might find one that stands out. If you’re interested in switching carriers, please take a look at our guides covering AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon.

You’ll also want to dig into other carriers like Spectrum, Xfinity, Boost Mobile, and others. They don’t always get the iPhone on day one, but the pricing is often better.

11 Reasons to Wait for the iPhone 12 & 5 Reasons Not To

Wait Because the iPhone 12 Launch is Close

Wait Because the iPhone 12 Launch is Close

The iPhone 12 launch is just weeks away and that means those of you interested in picking one up should consider holding off on buying a new device until Apple makes its announcements. 

Again, it looks like the iPhone 12 series will start shipping in October due to supply chain issues related to the coronavirus outbreak. 

And again, it looks like the iPhone 12 Pro models might not start shipping until sometime in November. Plans can change, but the leaker who released this information has been spot on in the past. 

According to Jon Prosser, Apple is currently prepping an iOS 14.1 update for release alongside the iPhone 12 series. 

iOS 14.1 reportedly won't be ready until October 9th which means the iPhones likely won't start shipping until mid-to-late October.

If you don't think you can sit through a few more weeks of rumors and/or you phone isn't going to last that long, you'll obviously want to move onto something else.

That said, if you can wait, now is the time to do so. We're getting close. 

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11 Reasons to Wait for the iPhone 12 & 5 Reasons Not To

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Apple’s iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max are top notch, but some of you might want to wait for the 2020 iPhones, also known as the iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max.

Last September, Apple unveiled new flagship iPhone models. The iPhone 11 series is available in the United States and other countries around the world.

In April, the company announced a new iPhone SE which comes with a 4.7-inch display, an iPhone 8-like design, and upgraded internals.

As we push deeper into 2020, we’ve seen Apple and retailers offers deals on these devices and others. The iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR from 2018 are still fairly expensive, but price cuts and trade-ins can save you quite a bit of cash on the  former flagships.

If you’re in the hunt for a new iPhone in 2020, these devices should be at or near the top of your shopping list alongside budget alternatives like the iPhone XiPhone 8 and iPhone 7.

While many of you are perfectly fine with one of these devices, others might want to wait. Rumor has it, the 2020 iPhone lineup will come with a much bigger set of changes and those who aren’t impressed with the iPhone 11 series, or Apple’s older iPhone models, should consider waiting.

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Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max, 256GB, Midnight Green, Fully Unlocked (Renewed)
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Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max, 256GB, Midnight Green, Fully Unlocked (Renewed)
  • Fully unlocked and compatible with any carrier of choice (e.g. AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, Verizon, US-Cellular, Cricket, Metro, etc.).
  • The device does not come with headphones or a SIM card. It does include a charger and charging cable that may be generic, in which case it will be UL or Mfi (Made for iPhone) Certified.
  • Inspected and guaranteed to have minimal cosmetic damage, which is not noticeable when the device is held at arms length.
  • Successfully passed a full diagnostic test which ensures like-new functionality and removal of any prior-user personal information.
  • Tested for battery health and guaranteed to have a minimum battery capacity of 80%.

iPhone 12 Rumors

We’re just days away from an official iPhone 12 announcement and that means we’ve seen a ton of credible information emerge.

The iPhone 12 series will reportedly feature an overhauled camera system with 3D capabilities, OLED screens across the board, display upgrades, a new processor, 5G support, and a new design that could include a smaller notch.

We’ve heard that Apple might pull EarPods from the box in an effort to push people to AirPods. EarPods have always come with a new iPhone so this would be a pretty notable change.

Ming-Chi-Kuo agrees and predicts that Apple won’t include a pair of EarPods with the iPhone 12. He believes their removal will help Apple keep costs down.

Taiwanese research firm TrendForce also thinks “Apple has decided to sell the upcoming iPhones without accessories such as wired earphones, power adapter” in order to keep costs down.

Leaker L0vetodream also says the box won’t include a charger or EarPods. They also claim the iPhone 12’s packaging will become “thinner” and “exquisite.”

Analysts at British bank Barclays have backed this rumor up. They also think the new iPhones won”t ship with a power adapter. If true, that would leave a USB-C to Lightning cable in the box.

In his research note, Kuo says he thinks Apple will pull the power adapter from the iPhone’s box. He believes the company will sell the 20W power adapter as an accessory. He also thinks Apple will end production of the existing 5W and 18W power adapters.

A report from Nikkei suggests the same. So, at this point, it really looks like the iPhone 12 won’t have EarPods or a charger inside the box.

That being said, it looks like Apple will include a new braided USB-C to Lightning cable with the iPhone 12. Apple sells braided cables for other devices, but it hasn’t sold a braided cable for the iPhone or iPad before.

Apple currently includes a USB-C to Lightning cable and USB-C power adapter with iPhone 11 Pro models. The iPhone 11 comes with a USB-A to Lightning cable.

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We’ve seen a ton of back and forth about the iPhone 12 launch date and we finally have an answer straight from Cupertino. Apple confirmed a delay during its quarterly earnings call with analysts.

The company’s CFO says Apple is currently planning to ship the new iPhone models a few weeks later than the standard September window.

YouTuber Jon Prosser has outlined what he’s heard about Apple’s iPhone 12 launch plans and they are as follows:

  • iPhone 12 launch event – Week of October 12th.
  • iPhone 12 pre-orders – Week of October 12th.
  • iPhone 12 – Shipping week of October 19th.
  • iPhone 12 Pro – Pre-orders and shipping in November.

According to AppleInsider, the iPhone 12 announcement could come on Tuesday, October 13th, followed by pre-orders on Friday, October 16th.

A report from Bloomberg outlines Apple’s plans even further. The site says all four iPhone models will launch in the fall.

The site claims the two lower-end iPhone 12 models, 5.4 and 6.1-inch devices, will arrive on shelves first followed by the higher-end iPhone 12 Pro models. The report notes that the company’s “rollout is on course to be the latest since the release of the iPhone X in November 2017.”

There’s also chatter about a 4G-only iPhone 12 arriving sometime in early 2021. The rumor comes from Wedbush Securities analysts who believe the phone could launch in Q1 with an $800 price point.

As for the names, leaker L0vetodream claims the new lineup might be called iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max.

If true, the iPhone 12 mini moniker would extend to the 5.4-inch model, the iPhone 12 Pro Max to the 6.7-inch model, and the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro to the 6.1-inch models.

With all that in mind, we’ll take you through the best reasons to wait and the best reasons to go with another device before the 2020 iPhone models arrive.

Wait Because the iPhone 12 Launch is Close

Wait Because the iPhone 12 Launch is Close

The iPhone 12 launch is just weeks away and that means those of you interested in picking one up should consider holding off on buying a new device until Apple makes its announcements. 

Again, it looks like the iPhone 12 series will start shipping in October due to supply chain issues related to the coronavirus outbreak. 

And again, it looks like the iPhone 12 Pro models might not start shipping until sometime in November. Plans can change, but the leaker who released this information has been spot on in the past. 

According to Jon Prosser, Apple is currently prepping an iOS 14.1 update for release alongside the iPhone 12 series. 

iOS 14.1 reportedly won't be ready until October 9th which means the iPhones likely won't start shipping until mid-to-late October.

If you don't think you can sit through a few more weeks of rumors and/or you phone isn't going to last that long, you'll obviously want to move onto something else.

That said, if you can wait, now is the time to do so. We're getting close. 

Last update on 2020-09-23. This post may contain affiliate links. Click here to read our disclosure policy for more details. Images via Amazon API

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