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How to Download and Install iOS 8 for Your iPhone, iPad, iPod

Apple has released the latest version of their mobile operating system for the iPhone and iPad.  It promises significant enhancements and added features.

iOS 8 will work with the iPhone 4s and newer and is already included on the new iPhone 6 devices.  Additionally it works with all iPads with the exception of the first model iPad.  So the full sized iPad 2 and newer as well as all iPad minis are compatible.

You have two ways to get it; either download it directly to your device, or use iTunes via your PC or Mac computer.

Downloading iOS to your device – iPhone or iPad

To download iOS directly to your phone or tablet, first it is recommended that you plug in your device.  If you are not plugging in, it will only download and install if your device has more than a 50% charge.  It is also highly recommend to connect your device to Wi-Fi as well since the download is large and will use a significant amount of your mobile data otherwise.

To initiate the download on the iPhone or iPad, go to Settings > General > Software Update and hit the download button. You will need at least 5.7 GB of storage of available memory to complete the download.  You can check your device’s available storage space by clicking Settings > General > Usage.

You can also install iOS via your computer. Simply plug your device into your Mac or PC and open the iTunes software (www.apple.com/itunes to download it if you don’t already have it installed).  You then will select your device and receive a prompt to check for and download updates.

Since millions of users typically rush to get these new iOS updates Apple’s servers are often busy and bogged down by the traffic. You could very well experience slow download speeds and even an error message if the traffic is too high at the time you are trying to download it.

Important things to note

If you are typically an early adopter and like having the latest technology, then getting iOS will likely be fine for you.  Bear in mind however that it is not uncommon for newly released software to have some bugs or quirks.  None are likely major, but if you would like to avoid any potential hassles, you should probably wait at least a few weeks to ensure that the software is stable and Apple has had the chance to fix any potential issues that may arise.

Additionally, it is always best to back-up your device prior to installing such a significant software update.  In the event of a catastrophic failure during the install, you will at least rest easy knowing that your data is safely backed up and can be easily reloaded.  There are many ways to perform a back-up.  The most common and most automatic and easy way is to ensure that iCloud is properly configured to back up your devices data.  You can also back up via iTunes on a computer as well.

What is new in iOS 8

In addition to an updated interface and enhancements to it’s look, there are other new features iOS adds.  We cannot possibly go into all of them, but some of the major changes include an updated photos app, changes to the way the messaging app works for text messaging, keyboard enhancements, new family sharing options, health features, and the new iCloud Drive.

For more details on major new features of iOS 8, visit www.apple.com/ios/whats-new

Apple Wrapup.. Apple makes magic again..

Apple's press event for the iPhone 6 concluded a few hours ago, and it was a whirlwind event, There has been SO MUCH said before this event about what it would be, could be, should be, so much speculation and rumor, and months of talk. That said, I don't want to wax on about every detail. Instead, I figure the real data, raw and concise is the best way to summarize. 

What was announced:

iPhone 6 - 4.7"

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16GB for $199, 64GB for $299, 128GB $399

Space Gray, Silver, Gold

AT&T, Sprint, Verizon

T-Mobile Contract Free $649

iPhone 6 Plus - 5.5"

16GB for $299, 64GB for $399, 128GB $499

Space Gray, Silver, Gold

AT&T, Sprint, Verizon

T-Mobile Contract Free $749

 

 

 

 

 


Apple Watch

It’s not called the iWatch, it’s called Apple Watch. Apple is positioning its first new major product since 2010 as a fashion accessory, a communication tool, a fitness tracker, and a method of payment, among other things. As rumored, it’s going to come in a lot of different models: There are two sizes, and six different straps created by Apple itself. There’s a sports band, a leather loop that uses magnets for fastening, and a second leather model that uses a metal clasp, among others. 

"Apple Watch is the most personal device we’ve ever created," Tim Cook says. It’s a precise, customizable timepiece accurate to within 50 milliseconds. It lets you communicate directly from your wrist, monitors your health and fitness, and is designed to work seamlessly with the iPhone. It has a touchscreen that can tell the difference between a tap and a long press, which access contextual menus. Apple Watch also has health monitoring features: it measures your daily activity, including steps taken and heart rate. And it charges inductively. But it’s not a standalone device: you need an iPhone to make it work. Cook says it has lots of features that weren’t even covered in detail today, including controlling your Apple TV, serving as a viewfinder for your iPhone camera, and acting as a walkie-talkie. One feature we know nothing about: battery life. Cook didn’t say anything about it. 

That said, there is SO MUCH to this watch and what is can do, you almost can't put it all in words. The Verge has an amazing breakdown: 

 

The Digital Crown interface

The key to the interface is the watch’s side-mounted dial, or "crown," which you might want imagine as a reimagined iPod clickwheel. Turning the crown does things like zoom in and out of maps and scroll through messages. Pushing it returns you to the device’s home screen. The interface is designed to minimize the hassle of using a small screen – the included messaging app lets you respond using canned replies or spoken ones that you dictate, and the communication system gets its own little dedicated button under the crown. Beyond that, the interface will also differentiate between taps and hard presses, giving users more options for interaction but departing from Apple’s normal touch system.


The communication button

Prepare to feel like Dick Tracy, because Apple wants you talking on its watch. The app lets you access a list of favorite people, and you can tap on their faces to communicate with them via a phone call or a new messaging app that lets you send drawings back and forth. It’s separate from the messages app, which has some bold new features of its own: one lets you send animated emoji to your friends, and you can change the emoji’s faces by moving them with your fingers.


A true health and fitness device

Apple Watch includes a fitness app that monitors your activity throughout your day, and a workout app that lets you set specific goals for workouts like cycling and running. The apps show you summaries of your fitness and workout data and shares it with the iPhone’s Health app, where it can be accessed by third-party fitness apps.


Two sizes and a lot of bands

While Google is shopping out Android Wear to different manufacturers, Apple is trying to build a whole line of smartwatches on its own. The Apple Watch comes in two sizes, both rounded metal squares, and three finishes, including the "Apple Watch Edition" in 18-karat gold. Beyond that, it’s got six different kinds of swappable band, made of everything from leather to plastic to stainless steel. If it’s like other popular Apple products, the watch will also create a thriving market for third-party accessories, so get ready for a lot of customization.


$349, available early next year

Apple Watch goes on sale early next year for $349 at the low end. "And it is worth the wait," Cook said. Until then, we’re also waiting for any details on battery life and potential wireless connectivity, as well as a full list of prices.




Apple Pay

From Apple:

Gone are the days of searching for your wallet. The wasted moments finding the right card. The swiping and waiting. Now payments happen with a single touch.

Apple Pay will change how you pay with breakthrough contactless payment technology and unique security features built right into the devices you have with you every day. So you can use your iPhone 6 or Apple Watch to pay in an easy, secure, and private way.

From the iPhone,One touch to pay with Touch ID. Now paying in stores happens in one natural motion — there’s no need to open an app or even wake your display thanks to the innovative Near Field Communication antenna in iPhone 6. To pay, just hold your iPhone near the contactless reader with your finger on Touch ID. You don’t even have to look at the screen to know your payment information was successfully sent. A subtle vibration and beep lets you know. From the Apple Watch, Double-click to pay and go.You can pay with Apple Watch — just double-click the button below the Digital Crown and hold the face of your Apple Watch near the contactless reader. A gentle pulse and beep confirm that your payment information was sent. 

What to expect from Apple's iPhone launch..

We are rounding the corner to the Apple iPhone event, and with all the buzz surrounding the launch, details, rumors and speculation abound. While wild rumors have flown around for months, the closer we get to the actual launch, details become more clear. So we figured we would round up the things we know and are almost positive of.

- Apple will release a new iPhone, that is a given. Possibly 2 of them. While we can only speculate on the units, industry reports from manufacturers, fabricators and suppliers, pictures, patent filings, and videos provide almost concrete evidence their will be a 4.7" and a 5.5" iPhone. A Chinese leaker released photos and video that reportedly show off a fully functional 4.7-inch iPhone, and while this may just be pre-production hardware, but we feel that it is regardless the genuine product.

- Sapphire Glass: This is a given. For the home button and the camera lens at least. Apple has been using the material in these components since the iPhone 4. However, speculation that the the iPhone 6 will use sapphire for the screen appears to have been highly exaggerated according to a very well informed and historically accurate analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

- Mobile Payments: Apple has made it clear over the last year that they want in on the mobile payments business, and they steps they have been taking certainly make that abundantly clear. Apple is reportedly in talks with Amex to partner for a next generation reliable and secure mobile payments system. The fact that this partnership is with Amex suggests the seriousness of their intent, as Amex is famed for their reputation for high security, high standards, and uncompromising attention to detail. They are not the kind of card services provider that would make this sort of play without a real, tangible long term plan for making something revolutionary. In addition, Apple has established an agreement with CVS and Walgreens pharmacies, giving Apple several high volume retail partners to start their new system with.

- iWatch: The consensus is that Apple will be showing off their smartwatch at the very special event, even if nobody can agree on the street date for the wearable. The focus appears to be on using the technology as a wellness and fitness tracker; although with talk of wireless chargingflexible OLED screens, and NFC support for Apple’s potential mobile payments system, the smartwatch could be packing in a lot of technology into a small space.


Apple's newest iMac great for apple, bad for consumers..

Apple unveiled their latest iMac today, a 21.5 inch model. The new 21.5 inch model is proceed at $1,099.00, $200 less than the previous entry level iMac. The new lower priced unit comes equipped with  a 1.4 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor with Turbo Boost Speeds up to 2.7 GHz, Intel HD 5000 graphics, 8GB of memory and a 500GB hard drive. At first look, this might seem that Apple is attempting to lower the price of entry into the cool kids club, trying to make Mac's more accessible. At closer look though, the picture is far from rosy. Last years model, priced at $1,299, offered consumers a 2.7 GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i5 processor with Turbo Boost Speeds up to 3.2 GHz, Iris Pro 5200 graphics, 8GB of memory and a 1TB hard drive. Looking at them side by side, last years model makes the new iMac look almost anemic. With only a $200 price break, but only half the power of the previous model,  the new iMac isn't a bargain, it's a disservice.

Adding insult to injury, Other World Hardware tore down the new iMac, and found that the new unit has cheap embedded RAM, which is soldered to the board. This development sheds even more light on Apples train of though and objective. Apple actually has to engineer the system differently to solder the RAM to the board, meaning they went out of their way to inconvenience the customer and prevent them from being able to upgrade their machines. Many consumers on limited budgets, buy a system that is in their price range, with the intention of upgrading it over time to the power and speed they could not afford in an up front purchase. Between the anemic specs of the new iMac and soldering the RAM to the board, Apple is pushing consumers into the higher end model. It's a slap in the face of consumers wanting to get into a Mac product, but needing a slight price break. Apple is effectively telling customers they will give them a minute discount, but they will be stuck with a low powered system that can't be upgraded.

While all of this is disappointing, we are aware that Apple is a publicly traded company, and many would argue they have an obligation to their shareholders first and foremost. And this machine will definitely help with that. Far cheaper to produce, the profit margins are much higher for Apple.  

iOS 7.1 Update fixes flaws and brings CarPlay

Monday, Apple released version 7.1 of iOS 7. The much anticipated update includes a number of iOS UI updates, several bug fixes, and some feature additions. Here are a couple of the notable ones:

What’s New?

  • Updates to the visual interface, switches to rounded elements in the phone dialer and power off features
  • Improvements to keyboard interface
  • Notification Center now allows you to clear notifications more accurately
  • Fix for random reboots for iPhone 5s, iPad mini with Retina display, and iPad Air
  • Improved Touch ID fingerprint recognition
  • New, more natural sounding voices for Siri in Mandarin Chinese, UK English, Australian English, and Japanese
  • CarPlay support (respond to incoming calls, dictate text messages, and access music library from a vehicle)
  • New month view in Calendar
  • iTunes Radio allows you to search within Featured Stations

To update: Navigate to Settings > General > Software Update. Let it load. You’ll see details about the iOS 7.1 update and a Download and Install button. Tap it, follow the onscreen instructions, and you should be good to go.

For a detailed look into the changes check out this article by The Verge: Apple Releases iOS 7.1 with Rebooth Fix, UI Tweaks, and CarPlay.

Bad Apples are everywhere...

Last night, security researchers over at FireEye released a security bulletin identifying a flaw in iOS 7. This hack, which monitors all touches the user makes, enables tracking of TouchID presses, all key presses, home button presses and volume control presses. This exploit identifies yet another vulnerability in Apple software, as another exploit identified a few days ago enable hackers to bypass the encryption in many browsers and apps, allowing eavesdropping of passwords and other critical data. While this previous flaw has been patched for mobile, as there are infinitely more mobile users of Apple's products than OS X device users, the OS X flaw is STILL UNFIXED. 

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FireEye explains the flaw in detail: "We have created a proof-of-concept "monitoring" app on non-jailbroken iOS 7.0.x devices. This “monitoring” app can record all the user touch/press events in the background, including, touches on the screen, home button press, volume button press and TouchID press, and then this app can send all user events to any remote server, as shown in Fig.1. Potential attackers can use such information to reconstruct every character the victim inputs.

Note that the demo exploits the latest 7.0.4 version of iOS system on a non-jailbroken iPhone 5s device successfully. We have verified that the same vulnerability also exists in iOS versions 7.0.5, 7.0.6 and 6.1.x. Based on the findings, potential attackers can either use phishing to mislead the victim to install a malicious/vulnerable app or exploit another remote vulnerability of some app, and then conduct background monitoring. 

iOS7 provides settings for "background app refresh". Disabling unnecessary app's background refreshing contributes to preventing the potential background monitoring. However, it can be bypassed. For example, an app can play music in the background without turning on its "background app refresh" switch. Thus a malicious app can disguise itself as a music app to conduct background monitoring.

Before Apple fixes this issue, the only way for iOS users to avoid this security risk is to use the iOS task manager to stop the apps from running in the background to prevent potential background monitoring. iOS7 users can press the Home button twice to enter the task manager and see preview screens of apps opened, and then swipe an app up and out of preview to disable unnecessary or suspicious applications running on the background, as shown in Fig.3.

We conducted this research independently before we were aware of this recent report. We hope this blog could help users understand and mitigate this threat further."

This series of exploits of flaws in Apple software has sent the Apple user community in an uproar, as Apple, with it's minute user marketshare in the computer market, was though by many of it's users to be impervious to hacks. Now that it's user base is growing, we are seeing more opportunity for hackers to create problems. It is important that Apple get ahead of these problems quickly to maintain user confidence.