The Great Comcast Saga

This is not the saga of an Apple product. But it is the story of my trials and tribulations to connect my beloved iOS devices. I’m pretty sure there’s a Silicon Valley commandment (for those who worship tech as our religion) that THOU SHALT NOT DENY ME MY INTERWEBS.

“Moving has never been easier!” screams Comcast’s website.

“Moving can be stressful, but setting up your XFINITY services in your new home doesn’t have to be. We’re here to help make your service transfer as smooth as possible.”

Someone should share that with the nice people at Comcast.

We recently moved. Shockingly, even with the two TechTots creating chaos in their stead, the change of address was relatively seamless – we’ve even dug out from 99% of boxes. Our technological transition, however, was a mockery of modern day capabilities – a muck up composed of a large number of clusters.

App Updates for iOS 8 – Make Sure You Have Them

We are just a day away from the release of iOS 8 and the developer community is hard at work in preparation for it.  App Update for iOS 8 are already starting in the App Store and it is a trend that will continue over the next few weeks as developers check and double-check their apps against the latest release.  A PSA for all of you:  Make sure you check the App Store for updates early and often.  Chances are virtually every app on your iPhone or iPad will get some sort of update in the next few weeks.

Developers have been working with iOS 8 since June and have been running their applications against this beta code.  Now that the GM version of iOS 8 has been released to developers (happened late last week), many of them are in the final throws of these checks to assure that their app will work as smoothly as it did on iOS 7.  There are a lot of changes for them to contend in this release which they will want to make sure they account for in their code.  So in addition to looking for those app updates for iOS 8, please also have a bit of patience.  That favourite app may not work exactly as it should come tomorrow on iOS 8 but that doesn’t mean the developer of that app doesn’t care.  It is often a matter of just finding the time.  Remember, most developers are not big production houses.  They are small, 1 to 3 member teams doing the work and often have a day job in addition to their app writing.

OS X Yosemite Public Beta 3 Released

OS X Yosemite Public Beta 3 has been released by Apple today along with the latest developer version for those in the Developer Program.  The update is available to everyone who is already in the beta program as an update through the App Store.

What is exactly addressed in OS X Yosemite Public Beta 3 is somewhat of a mystery as these things tend to be will Apple.  I can say in the testing that I’ve been doing with it so far this evening here in London, it feels much faster in Safari and Mail seems a bit more stable.  I haven’t noticed any new icons or other graphical changes.

OS X Yosemite is expected to be released to the public in October as a free upgrade to everyone.  It will bring things like Continuity between your iOS 8 compatible devices and your Mac, allowing you to do things like answer your iPhone calls through your Mac, work on files on your iPad and changes instantly appear on your Mac thanks to iCloud Drive and of course iCloud Drive.

iOS 8 Wallpapers to Download

With the release of iOS 8 coming on Wednesday, there will be a whole new set of wallpapers that Apple includes in the update.  If you don’t want to wait or have no plans to upgrade, we have all of the iOS 8 wallpapers available for you here on AlliOSNews for you to download.

All of the wallpapers, which can be found in the Wallpapers section of the site, are available for both iPhone and iPad so you don’t have to do any rescaling or sizing to get them to work on your devices.  I’ve also put all of the iOS 8 wallpapers on this post after the break so you can view them and download them from here.

To download the images, just right-click and Save Image As to save them to your Mac or PC.  If you are viewing a wallpaper from your iPhone or iPad, tap-and-hold until you are prompted to either Set as Wallpaper or Save to Camera Roll.

iOS 8 Install Guide

The release of iOS 8 is fast approaching this week.  On Wednesday the 17th of September it will be made available by Apple to install on your existing iPhone and iPad.  To help make the upgrade go smoothly, we’ve put together this iOS 8 Install Guide.  The guide is designed to give you tips and tricks from our years of experiencing in upgrading iOS versions to assure it goes as quickly and as pain-free as possible.

To remind everyone, iOS 8 will be available for the following existing iOS devices.  Remember that the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus will come already loaded with iOS 8.

  • iPhone 4S
  • iPhone 5
  • iPhone 5s
  • iPhone 5c
  • iPad 2
  • iPad 3rd Generation
  • iPad 4th Generation
  • iPad Air
  • iPad Mini
  • iPad Mini with Retina Display
  • iPod Touch 5th Generation

Before I start the iOS 8 Install Guide a word of patience.  Generally an iOS upgrade is made available on launch day at 10:00 PST.  That’s 13:00 EST and 18:00 BST.  When the release happens there will quite literally be millions of people trying to upgrade at the same time.  It could take you several tries and several hours to actually get the upgrade onto your device.  Be patient.  You’ve lived this long without it, a few more hours won’t hurt. :-)  For Tricia, she isn’t even going to try to attempt to install iOS 8 on her existing iPhone 5, iPad Mini and iPad 3rd Generation until Wednesday night even though she is in California.  For me here in London, I probably won’t be installing it until Thursday morning my time, around midnight Wednesday in California.  If you can wait, do it.  It will be a lot less frustrating.

The iPhone 6 Buying Challenge Game

Today is the day that you can start your iPhone 6 buying.  Well, that’s what we thought anyway, including our very own Tricia [clarifications from Tricia in red].  As we discussed in our How We Make AlliOSNews work, Tricia lives in California and in fact in Silicon Valley.  So for her, “Shiny Toy” day meant staying up until Midnight to get her pre-ordered iPhone 6 (not plus because of challenges with ladies pants pockets).  As you can imagine, I’ve heard about this for days in Messenger.  I’m reasonably confident the term “Shiny Toy!” or “Squeeee” came in every conversation over the past 72 hours. [For the record, I don't think I've ever "squeeeed."]

So dutifully, Tricia stayed up way past bedtime to get her Silver iPhone 6 ordered.  [To be fair, I didn't stay up. I fell asleep after making sure I had an alarm set.] And that’s kinda where it all went wrong.

Yahoo News Digest App Goes Universal

The Yahoo News Digest App has been updated this week and it is now a universal app for both iPhone and iPad.  The news curation app brings you 7 news stories in various categories twice a day to keep you up to date with events in the world.  It is the end product of Summly, the summary artificial intelligence developed by Australian teen Nick D’Aloisio.  D’Aloisio reportedly sold Summly to Yahoo for $30m in March of last year, making him one of the youngest self made millionaires.  The app, which until now has been for iPhone only, has now added a beautiful iPad version, bringing the multi-sourced news stories to your tablet in a touch friendly and easy to use format.

Yahoo News Digest (Universal App) – Free – Download Now

Expedia App Goes Universal

The popular Expedia Hotels & Flights app for iOS has been updated this week and it now comes in a universal build for both iPhone and a new, beautiful iPad version.  The Expedia app leverages the Expedia service you are likely familiar with and makes finding hotels and flights to destinations around the world quick and easy.

The new version has a completely revamped interface for both iPhone and iPad but it is the latter that is really eye popping.  Now you can simply tap and swipe your way to finding hotels and flights and you don’t even necessarily have to put in travel dates.

Expedia (Universal App) – Free – Download Now

AppleWatch – Apple’s Riskiest Product Since Newton

On Tuesday Apple launched AppleWatch, their first player into an increasingly crowded SmartWatch field.  The AppleWatch features the Digital Crown which, along with taps and swipes of the AppleWatch face, help you navigate the device.  Apple proclaims that the Digital Crown is the most revolutionary navigation tool since the Click Wheel while Tim Cook has stated that the AppleWatch is the Apple’s most personal device to date.

Despite the standing ovation that the AppleWatch received during the keynote on Tuesday, make no mistake.  This is a risky product for Apple.  It’s not a “bet the company” risky but it is risky.  One analyst this week said it was the riskiest product since Apple launched the Newton back in 1987 and I tend to agree.  The AppleWatch, like the Newton, faces a fundamental question from consumers:  Do I really need this?

New iCloud Drive Pricing Plans Go Live

With a week to go before iOS 8 is available to current iPhone and iPad users, Apple has launched the new iCloud Drive pricing plans today.  iCloud Drive is the latest iteration of iCloud, the cloud storage solution that is deeply integrated into iOS and OS X.  With iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite, the limitations of iCloud have largely gone away with the ability to store all of your photos and data regardless if it is an Apple formatted file (think Keynote, Numbers, Pages, etc) or not.  iCloud Drive is also available for Windows PCs running Windows 7 or later.