PlayStation Vue vs Sling TV: What You Need to Know
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PlayStation Vue vs Sling TV: What You Need to Know

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Last decade, it was the battle over how users got their music that changed everything. This decade, it’s the television space that’s seeing big changes. The revolution that streaming music and subscription services brought us were big, but television stands to be even bigger. There’s more at stake; millions watch TV every day. There are dozens of services all vying for your dollar, but Sling TV and the new PlayStation Vue are the most exciting.

Sling TV is the incumbent in the space. Launched in 2015, it allows users to ditch their cable and satellite contracts for the safety of an internet service without contractual restrictions. Subscribers pay as little as $20 dollars a month for the service’s basic line-up, then add channels with $5 packs. PlayStation Vue costs $29.99, but boasts a seriously impressive channel line-up. What’s more, its apps and approach to on-demand content are impressive.

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Sling TV and PlayStation Vue are battling for the same audience of deal seekers that are finally ready to say goodbye to the unnecessary stipulations ruining the cable and satellite television landscape. Here’s how the two compare.

PlayStation Vue vs Sling TV: Features

Apps for iPhone, Fire TV, Roku, iPhone, iPad, Android, Chromecast and Android TV make up the core Sling TV experience. The service, uses your internet connection to bring you footage from live cable channels. With Netflix and Hulu, you can’t watch something until everyone else has already seen it on cable. With Sling TV, you can watch at the same time that they do.

Read: Sling TV Review: Is $20 A Month Worth It?

Add-on channel packs for Sling TV allow users to bolster the service’s default line-up with extra content. These add-on channels surface directly within the app, plus sometimes grant access to the services and apps of other companies. For example, HBO is a $15 add-on for Sling TV customers. A small library of on-demand content is available for users that really don’t have the time to check out their favorite shows as they air. Earlier this week, the service took a big step forward when it announced that subscribers could stream live channels from three different devices at a time with a new basic package. A single person could already watch content when they weren’t home through mobile apps.

Watch a variety of channels on Sling TV without cable or a satellite.

A guide that’s not all that different from the guides you’re used to with a cable subscription floats out from the bottom of each of the Sling TV apps. The company is in the middle of modernizing many of them, which is great news; they’re plagued by stability issues in their current form – especially on Xbox One.

PlayStation Vue, has different strengths and weaknesses. Like Sling TV, apps allow you to livestream television as well as pause a show you’re currently watching and pick up where you left off a bit later. An app for the iPhone allows you to stream around your home, when not in front of a TV. Because it’s a PlayStation service, Sony seems perfectly happy limiting the platforms that the service is available on. Only through the PS4, PS3 or Amazon Fire TV are you able to stream PlayStation Vue in your living room.

playstation-vue

Read: PlayStation Vue – What You Need to Know

Rather than forcing you to mark things for recording, PlayStation Vue automatically saves episodes of any show that you mark as a favorite for a total of 28 days after it aired on television. What’s more, PlayStation Vue supports broadcast channels in some areas, with on-demand streaming available for broadcast content in areas where streaming the local ABC and NBC affiliate isn’t possible yet. Standalone channels let you add Machinima or Showtime, if you want. HBO isn’t available.

PlayStation Vue comes with different channel bundles, instead of breaking everything out into smaller packs like Sling TV. The cheapest plan is $29.99. Though higher than the competition, the service offers up a pretty compelling channel list in exchange.

PlayStation Vue vs Sling TV: Channels

Honestly, the biggest difference between these two services is their channel line-up. PlayStation Vue is designed more like cable, in that there are large subscription packages instead of add-ons with a better channel line-up.

Either you choose the Elite Slim, Core Slim or Access Slim bundles with PlayStation Vue. Elite Slim includes over 100 channels for $44.99, Core Slim packs 70 channels for $34.99 and Access Slim has 55 channels for $29.99. The few standalone channels that the service offers are discounted slightly for subscriptions of PlayStation Plus.

core slim

Access Slim

Elite Slim

Sling TV’s channel line-up gets complicated. There are now two base packages. The $20 Best of Live TV package includes access to 26 different channels. You can add more through packages, like the $5 Kids Extra Pack. That new multi-stream support, is the second base package that the service offers. It’s still $20, but drops Disney and ESPN. It also drops a significant amount of the add-ons that are available with the original bundle. For example, you can’t add-on any Disney content to this plan.

It doesn’t help that Sling TV doesn’t support any of Viacom’s channels at all. That means no MTV, VH1, TeenNick or Nickelodeon. NBC Universal is missing from the line-up too, with USA, CNBC and more nowhere to be found. PlayStation Vue has these channels, but you lose access to HBO without a separate subscription.

best of live tv beta sling tv best of live tv

Sling Add Ons 2 Sling Add Ons

PlayStation Vue has some content restrictions of its own though. Some networks don’t allow you to fast forward through their on-demand content. When you’re not home, some channels are entirely missing because PlayStation Vue tracks your location and IP address. Vue has a better iPhone, but it’s not available online or on Android. You can only create an account essential to the service through FireTV or a PlayStation, which seems brutal and draconian.

Also, you can stream from multiple devices at the same time, but only if they’re different kinds of devices. For example, streaming on two PS4s isn’t possible. Streaming on a PS4 and a PS3 at the same time is possible. Vue allows for five simultaneous streams in all, but they have to be within your home.

PlayStation Vue vs Sling TV: Which to Buy?

playStation Vue

Having used both PlayStation Vue and Sling TV for an extensive amount of time, I can’t say that there’s a real contest here. If you’re a big fan of television and prefer variety, PlayStation Vue has Sling TV beat. You’re getting a very, very mature alternative to cable with PlayStation Vue, that Sling TV can’t match yet.

There are the usual caveats though. If you travel a lot, Sling TV is definitely for you. If you’re not into channels owned by Viacom and NBC Universal, but do want a back-up service for Netflix or Hulu, Sling TV is more affordable. Sling TV is also less hardware dependent than Vue is too. The service is available on most devices in some form, even if these apps are sometimes buggy.

All that being said, take the leap with PlayStation Vue if it’s available in your area. You won’t be disappointed.

7 Comments

7 Comments

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    04/15/2016 at 7:27 am

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  2. Cloud

    04/17/2016 at 8:38 pm

    I’m using the trial version of Sling TV on my Sony Android tv and it’s pretty nice. I like the interface. And it’s NBA playoffs so it’s nice having TNT and ESPN. My antenna picks up ABC so I get to see it all. I wish it allowed multiple streams that include ESPN, though. In case you’re not aware, the basic Netflix account allows two streams simultaneously–That’s why a Dad can have his kids in college use the family netflix account.

    I’d love to try Vue but it’s just not very easy to get. Sure I can download the app on my phone and then CAST it to my tv, but id rather have the app on my tv already. For that to happen I’d need to use a Playstation(not happening, too old. I’m almost 30!), or get an Amazon Fire Stick(30-40$). Moreover, while it does have better/more channels, Sony actually threatens you if you use it outside your “in-home” network. As this article states, if you travel then it’s useless. I do travel a lot. Seattle to Atlanta to New York to Toronto so I suppose that wouldn’t be the best use of money.

    As of right now if Sling allowed multistream with ESPN then it would be a no brainer. Sure I might like to have MTV, but the channels that they do give are good enough for $20 a month.

  3. Andrew

    05/06/2016 at 5:58 pm

    Sling is going to have Viacom! Dish Network made a deal with Viacom for 5 years, in that deal there was a path for Viacom’s channel to be added to the Over the top service (Sling TV)… Sling TV is cheaper, and if you don’t want to have to buy a new device to stream your channels then this is the service for you… We also have to talk about RSNs(Regional Sports Networks) Sling has them, Vue doesn’t .. I can watch my cowboys(OSU) on Sling TV. 650,000 people can’t be wrong(current number of Sling TV subscribers)..I would definitely give it a try if you haven’t already.

    • Ren

      05/12/2016 at 8:01 am

      Cite your sources. Where did you get that 650,000 number?

  4. William Payne

    05/12/2016 at 6:16 pm

    I’ve had Sling,,,now using Playstation Vue…wife hates it!…she watches a show commercial comes on and when the show returns its another episode completely…happened to me too. I like the Sling interface better, the Vue seems too cluttered. Plus doesn’t work with my two Nvidia Shields. If Sling allowed multiple users i would go back in a heartbeat.

    • MikeJames

      07/02/2016 at 2:20 pm

      it does offer multi streams(up to 3) via Sling Blue which is 40+ channels for 25 or Sling Orange and Blue which is a combination of the two base packages for 40 but Disney, Freeform and Espn will be single stream due to the contract with Disney/ABC the rest of the channels are multiple stream and you can work around the single ESPN stream restriction via the ESPN app with your Sling log in(if you have ESPN as part of your sling package of course).

  5. William Payne

    07/02/2016 at 3:28 pm

    Funny you should say that Mike…Sling sent me a come back notice about a month ago
    offering me a Roku 2…When i saw the 3 stream option changed and haven’t looked back…don’t need ESPN that much.

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Apple

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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Apple

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)
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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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Apple

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 2020-09-22. This post may contain affiliate links. Click here to read our disclosure policy for more details. Images via Amazon API

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7 Things to Know About the iPhone 7 iOS 14 Update

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Apple’s finally released its iOS 14 update and the new operating system could have a tremendous impact on your iPhone 7’s performance.

After a year on iOS 13, the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus have made the move to Apple’s new iOS 14 software.

As expected, iOS 14 is a huge upgrade for both models as it’s chock full of new features, upgrades, and under-the-hood improvements. It also has important security patches on board.

Many iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus users have made the jump up to iOS 14 and we’ve seen a lot of positive feedback in the early going.

We’ve also heard about a number of problems with the software with some users encountering an early batch of bugs and performance issues.

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If you make the decision to download iOS 14, note that it requires a lot of free space on your internal storage. It’s a 2GB+ download.

If you’re running an older version of iOS, your iOS 14 upgrade could be larger because the features and fixes from iOS updates you skipped are baked in.

With that in mind, we want to take you through the most important things to know, right now, about the iPhone 7’s iOS 14 update.

Our walkthrough will guide you through the software’s initial problems, the downgrade status, the iOS 14 jailbreak, and the iPhone 7 iOS 14 update’s performance.

We’ll start with the operating system’s early performance. We’ve been testing the iPhone 7’s iOS 14 update for a short time and here’s what we’ve learned thus far.

iPhone 7 iOS 14 Impressions & Performance

We’ve been testing the official version of iOS 14 on an iPhone 7 for a very short time and we’ve come away pretty impressed with the software’s performance.

While some iPhone 7 users have noticed bugs and performance issues, iOS 14 is performing at a high level on the device in our possession.

The software feels extremely snappy. It’s noticeably faster than iOS 13. Apps open faster and the software’s animations and transitions are crisp.

We haven’t noticed any slowdown in problem areas like Notification Center, Control Center, or the keyboard. There are areas where we’ve seen sluggish performance in the past.

Battery life is very strong at the moment and we haven’t noticed any issues with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS. All of these connections are strong.

Our core apps, a list that includes apps like Netflix, Chrome, Gmail, Dark Sky, Asana, and Slack, are all stable. We haven’t noticed any hiccups.

App developers are currently rolling out iOS 14 support updates so if you’re having issues with your apps, make sure you’re running the latest version.

Overall, iOS 14 is treating our iPhone 7 well. We haven’t stumbled upon any massive bugs nor have we run into any catastrophic performance issues. It’s early, but this is a good sign.

As of right now we’re recommending iOS 14 to most users. That said, if you’re having a good experience on iOS 13, you might want to wait for more longterm feedback.

If you need more help making a decision, have a look at our reasons to, and not to, install iOS 14 right now.

How to Prepare for iOS 14

If you’re planning to make a move to iOS 14, make sure you prepare for the upgrade.

While some of you might see a performance boost after upgrading, many others will run into trouble. This is why it’s important to prepare yourself, and your device, for the transition.

To assist you we’ve released a pre-installation guide that will take you step-by-step through the process we typically use before we install new iOS software on our phones.

If you’re new to iOS or you just want to play it safe, it could help. If you don’t have a ton of time to devote to the pre-installation process you’ll at the very least want to make sure your files are backed up before you tap download.

iPhone 7 iOS 14 Problems & Fixes

We’re having a very good experience on iOS 14, some iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus users are running into problems.

The current list includes abnormal battery drain, connectivity issues, UI lag, issues with first and third-party apps, issues with Touch ID, Exchange issues, and many more. Note that this is extremely common after a major iOS release.

If these problems have you feeling leery about an upgrade to iOS 14, you might want to hang back and wait for Apple’s first batch of bug fixes.

If you’re already running iOS 14, and you’re dealing with issues, have a look at our fixes for the most common iOS 14 problems. It’s a great place to start.

We’ve also released tips to improve iOS 14 battery life and a guide to fixing bad iOS 14 performance.

iOS 13 Downgrade Open

If you move your iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus to iOS 14, and you hate the performance, you might try moving your phone back to iOS 13.

Apple is currently signing on iOS 13.7 which means you can drop your iPhone’s software back to the final version of iOS 13. If you were having a good experience on iOS 13.7, it could help.

The company won’t sign on iOS 13 forever so if you really want to get your iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus off of iOS 14, you’ll need to move soon. Once Apple stops signing on iOS 13.7, there won’t be a way back to the operating system.

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

iPhone 7 iOS 14 Update: What’s New

The iPhone 7’s version of iOS 14 is robust. The devices miss out on a few features, but all of iOS 14’s key components are on board.

The list includes Widgets on the home screen, improvements to Messages and Maps, the new Translate app, and a laundry list of changes to Siri.

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 been following along.

If you’re moving to iOS 14 from an older version of iOS 13 you’ll, again, get the features and fixes from any updates you skipped. We also have a guide that goes over the latest iOS 13 features and you should check it out if you’re playing catchup.

What’s Next for the iPhone 7 & iPhone 7 Plus

We probably won’t have to wait long for the next version of iOS 14.

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.” It didn’t call the version out by name.

The company recently confirmed iOS 14.2 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.

One way or another, we should see a new version of iOS 14 roll out soon and that should be music to the ears of iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus users dealing with issues on the current version.

iPhone 7 iOS 14 Jailbreak

Don’t upgrade to iOS 14 if you’re jailbroken or want to jailbreak your phone.

The developer team behind the Checkra1n jailbreaking tool for iOS has released version 0.11.0 which adds support for iOS 14. The tool works with the following devices:

  • iPhone 6s, 6s Plus, and SE
  • iPad (5th generation)
  • ‌iPad‌ Air 2
  • ‌iPad‌ mini 4
  • iPad Pro (1st generation)
  • Apple TV 4 and 4K

The team says it hopes to bring support to newer models like the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus in the future, but we don’t have any specific timing. If you want to jailbreak your iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus, you need to stay on iOS 13.

Earlier this year the developers behind the “unc0ver” jailbreaking tool released version 5.0.0. It’s compatible with iOS 13.5 and most versions of iOS that fall between iOS 13.5 and iOS 11.0. That said, it doesn’t work with iOS 12.3-12.3.2, iOS 12.4.2-12.4.5, or iOS 13.7-iOS 13.5.1.

For more on the iOS 13 jailbreak, head here.

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.

Last update on 2020-09-22. This post may contain affiliate links. Click here to read our disclosure policy for more details. Images via Amazon API

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7 Things to Know About the iPhone 8 iOS 14 Update

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Apple’s new iOS 14 update could have a tremendous impact on your iPhone 8 or iPhone 8 Plus’ performance.

Earlier this month Apple pulled its iOS 14 operating system and pushed it to millions of iPhone models around the world. The update is available to download right now if you own an iPhone 8 or iPhone 8 Plus.

Apple’s decision to push iOS 14 to the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus means the two devices will get another year of software support and that means many of you can hold off on upgrading to a new iPhone model in 2020 and beyond.

iOS 14 is a massive upgrade and it includes a nice mix of new features, upgrades, and under-the-hood improvements.

A ton of iPhone 8 users have already made the jump to the new operating system which means we’re getting a lot of feedback about it.

The software could have a positive impact on your phone’s overall performance. Some users are noticing improved battery life and stability.

We’re also hearing a growing number of problems. Some iOS 14 users have stumbled upon performance issues and a number of annoying bugs.

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If you decide to install iOS 14 on your iPhone, the download requires a nice chunk of space on your internal storage. If you’re moving up from an older version of iOS the upgrade could be massive. That’s because the features and fixes from the updates you skipped are included.

With that in mind, we want to guide you through the most important things to know right now about the iPhone 8’s iOS 14 update.

It’ll take you through the software’s current problems, provide you with some fixes for common issues, fill you in on the iOS 13 downgrade, and a whole lot more.

We’ve been using the iPhone 8’s iOS 14 update for a few days now so we’ll start with some quick impressions about its performance.

iPhone 8 iOS 14 Impressions & Performance

We installed iOS 14 on the iPhone 8 shortly after Apple pushed it live. Our device was previously running iOS 13.7 and it took about 20 minutes for the installation to complete.

As for the software’s performance, iOS 14 has been running pretty smoothly on our device. The software feels snappy and we haven’t encountered any UI lag in key areas like Control Center, Notification Center, or the keyboard. Apps open up quickly on our device and animations and transitions feel fluid.

We haven’t encountered any abnormal battery drain and connectivity (Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS) is strong at the moment.

Our primary apps, which include the likes of Slack, Asana, Spotify, Chrome, and Gmail, are all stable right now. If you’re having issues with an app on your device, developers are rolling out iOS 14 support updates. If you run into trouble, try downloading the latest version because it could stabilize performance.

We haven’t encountered any debilitating bugs or performance issues yet, but we’ll let you know if that changes. The software is still new and there’s always a chance a bug, or three, pops up down the road.

If you’re currently on the fence about a move from iOS 13 to iOS 14, take a look at our list of reasons to, and not to, install iOS 14 right now.

You Should Prepare for iOS 14

If you plan to install iOS 14 today or at some point in the near future, make sure you prepare yourself, and your device, for the move. Doing so will help you avoid headaches.

If you don’t know where to start, have a look at our pre-installation guide. It will take you step-by-step through the process we use before we install new iOS software on our iPhones.

If you don’t have a lot of time to devote to the pre-installation process, you’ll want to at least spend time making sure all of your data is backed up properly.

iPhone 8 iOS 14 Problems & Fixes

iOS 14 is treating our iPhone 8 well, but others have run into problems. Some of these issues are brand new, others have carried over from iOS 13.

The current list of iOS 14 problems includes weird battery drain, crashes, various issues with first and third-party apps, Touch ID issues, Exchange issues, Wi-Fi issues, UI lag, and more.

This is an early list and we expect it to grow as more people download iOS 14. If you’re feeling leery, it might be a good idea to wait for Apple’s first batch of fixes.

If you run into an issue with the software there’s a very good chance you’ll be able to solve the problem on your own.

We’ve released a list of fixes for the most common iOS 14 problems and it’s a great place to start if you don’t have an encyclopedia of fixes stored inside your head.

If your iPhone 8’s battery life takes a major hit after the move to iOS 14, we have a list of tips that should help you improve battery life going forward.

And if you’re running into bad performance (lag, slow download speeds, etc), have a look at our guide to fixing bad iOS 14 performance.

iOS 13 Downgrade Open

If you’ve moved your iPhone 8or iPhone 8 Plus to iOS 14, and you’re dealing with issues, you could try moving your phone back to iOS 13.

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

The company won’t sign on iOS 13 forever. So if you really want to get your phone off iOS 14, you’ll need to move back soon. Once Apple stops signing on iOS 13.7, there won’t be a way back to iOS 13.

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

iPhone 8 iOS 14 Update: What’s New

The iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus get most of iOS 14 has to offer. The two devices do miss out on a few features which you can learn more about over on Apple’s website.

All of the core upgrades are there though. The list includes Widgets on the home screen, improvements to Messages and Maps, the new Translate app, and a whole lot more.

We’ve released 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 any time digging into the software.

If you’re moving your phone from an older version of iOS 13 to iOS 14 you’ll, again, get the features and fixes from the updates you skipped.

We’ve also released a guide that goes over the latest iOS 13 features so make sure you check it out if you’re curious about the most recent versions of iOS 13.

What’s Next for the iPhone 8 & iPhone 8 Plus

If your iPhone is having a hard time on iOS 14, or you’re feeling a bit nervous about the move, you won’t have to wait long for fixes.

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.”

The company recently confirmed an iOS 14.2 update and we’ve also heard that Apple might release iOS 14.1 alongside the iPhone 12 series in October. We could also see a fast iOS 14.0.1 release.

We should see a new version of iOS 14 roll out sooner rather than later so those of you dealing with issues should keep an eye out as we push through the month.

iPhone 8 iOS 14 Jailbreak

Don’t upgrade your iPhone 8 or iPhone 8 Plus to iOS 14 if you’re jailbroken or want to jailbreak.

The developer team behind the Checkra1n jailbreaking tool for iOS has released version 0.11.0 which adds support for iOS 14. The tool works with the following devices:

  • iPhone 6s, 6s Plus, and SE
  • iPad (5th generation)
  • ‌iPad‌ Air 2
  • ‌iPad‌ mini 4
  • iPad Pro (1st generation)
  • Apple TV 4 and 4K

The team says it hopes to bring support to newer models like the iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X in the future, but we don’t have a timeline right now. If you want to jailbreak, you need to stay on iOS 13.

Earlier this year the developers behind the “unc0ver” jailbreaking tool released version 5.0.0. It’s compatible with iOS 13.5 and most versions of iOS that fall between iOS 13.5 and iOS 11.0. That said, it doesn’t work with iOS 12.3-12.3.2, iOS 12.4.2-12.4.5, or iOS 13.7-iOS 13.5.1.

For more on the iOS 13 jailbreak, head here.

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.

Last update on 2020-09-22. This post may contain affiliate links. Click here to read our disclosure policy for more details. Images via Amazon API

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This article may contain affiliate links. Click here for more details.

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