I vividly remember reading Mat Honan’s horror story in Wired magazine about being hacked and having his devices, some of which weren’t backed up, wiped out and his social media accounts taken over. I also haven’t forgotten that one of the players in that very complex chain of events that lead to the unraveling of his digital life was Apple They were hit with a social engineering attack that ended up being the last domino to fall, giving the hackers free reign over Mr Honan’s Apple devices, and in turn, all of his information. The fact that Amazon, Google and Apple were ALL involved in this hack in various ways was definitely eye-opening.
Even as “unlimited” data plans are now making a roaring comeback, the majority of iOS users are still on either tiered data plans, or have data thresholds past which they get their speeds throttled. However, with the use a few features built into iOS, and various free data monitoring apps, it is possible to stay on top of your monthly usage, and to know exactly where your hard-earned data is being used.
In the first installment of the iOS 11 Wishlist, I took a look at some ways that Apple can improve its existing Multitasking app selector on the latest iPads. This week, its time to look at a feature that is long overdue, but may finally get the attention it deserves- User Accounts.
Separate User Accounts has been one of the most common unfulfilled requests for the iPad for the last two or three years for a couple of reasons. FIrst off, all of the competition already has some sort of User Account system. In fact, both Android and Amazon’s skinned variation of the same have both had this feature for a while now. Of course, Microsoft’s Windows has had this feature for decades, and since the Surface runs full Windows, it has the advantage of such proven power user features. Whatever the case, it isn’t an exaggeration to say that Apple is very late to the party here.
Just like last week’s tip on controlling the iPad’s cursor for selecting and editing using Trackpad Mode, the iPad’s multi-touch navigation features are easy to miss or forget about. In fact, I hadn’t used this feature in a couple of years myself. Since I use a Bluetooth keyboard so often, I tend to use the available keyboard shortcuts to switch apps and return to the Home menu. Thanks to @skrimaging for the great suggestion via Twitter to highlight this feature.
With the new iPad just released, I expect that we will have some first-time iPad users stopping by looking for help with their new devices. Also, some of you who may be upgrading from an iPad 2 or 3, or an original iPad Mini may find some of the tablet features in the latest version of iOS unfamiliar. With more new iPads likely still on the way, this is a good time to get back to some basics and brush up on some of the handy features of the current iPad lineup and iOS 10. As such, I will be posting a new Tips and Tricks article each week for a bit. For this first installment, I want to take a look at an unsung feature that came to us in iOS 9.
In my opinion, multitasking is the single biggest feature that has been added to the iPad since its more humble beginnings in 2010. While it was certainly possible to use earlier iPads as tools for creation, rather than just consumption, it was this feature that allowed users to take the greatest advantage of tablet’s the screen real estate and increasingly powerful processors. For me personally, this is the feature that makes my 12.9″ iPad Pro more than just an oversized tablet. As much as I love using the Apple Pencil, I use multitasking multiple times a day, every day.
When I saw the news that Apple had acquired the DeskConnect team and their very popular app Workflow last week, I was excited. This seemed like a perfect move, especially as the early battle for supremacy in Home Automation (which for someone like myself who works in Industrial Automation is still kind of a joke, but that’s a topic for another day), begins to really heat up. Workflow is just the kind of app that can string together the functionality of many different iOS apps and connected services in a way that still obeys Apple’s App Store rules. This seems like the perfect engine to both run Apple’s future Home endeavors and help iOS power users achieve greater flexibility. Apple lead off their leadership by making the app free, which prompted plenty of new downloads.
Well, my prediction early last month that the iPad Air line would be retired was half right. The name is now gone, but I thought at the time that Apple would shift to an all Pro iPad lineup this Spring. However, thanks in part to the comments of several users of non-Pro iPads, I came to see how short-sighted that opinion was, and how many potential users it would leave behind.
Thankfully, Apple is a lot smarter than I am. As such, a lower-cost tablet still endures, just with a different name and a little different shape. However, this wasn’t all that went down yesterday. Apple made a few interesting, if low key moves, and changing up the Air 2 was just one of them. Here are a few of the highlights and interesting details from yesterday’s news.
A couple of weeks ago, we looked at the iOS Notes app and all of the improvements made to it over the last few years that brought me back to it. Now its time to turn our attention to the iOS Mail app, which has also gotten some recent love from Apple over the last two years. Looking back, Mail was one of the lynchpin apps in the early iPhone OS, and once it received Exchange email support in year 2, it really was the standard for email on a smartphone. This would continue for a couple of years, until Google finally got its act together and started shipping a good version of Gmail with Android.
At one time, I had pretty much forsaken the iOS Notes app. Other than taking down to-go orders and a few other random thoughts on the iPhone version, I had pretty much stopped using it a few years ago. I hardly ever used it on any of my iPads. I had Evernote and kept almost all notes that I took there, whether for personal or work use. I even had their paid Premium service for over a year so I could upload more content for work notes. Since it was completely platform-agnostic and easy to get data into and out of, I just assumed at the time that I would stick with them long term.
iOS 10 was released this past Tuesday, and although it was a rough start for the earliest of downloaders, the update seems to be going very smoothly now. Many other sites are going to have one of these lists on iOS 10, but there are actually so many little features and changes, that I’m finding most articles worth reading. So I figure that sharing a few of my favourite iOS 10 changes my help some readers re-consider or discover features in this latest major update.