Friday, September 20, 2013

Defeat iOS 7 download, install woes with the proper preparation

Now that iOS 7 is available, lots of iPhone users are anxious to get Apple Inc.'s latest operating system on their older devices, such as the iPhone 5, iPhone 4S and iPhone 4.

While some are having good luck with the iOS 7 download and install process, the Apple discussion forums are filled with users have problems with the install or the behavior of their iPhone after the update.

To ensure a problem-free update,there are some actions to be aware of that might make the process a little smoother.

The No. 1 thing you need to do before attempting to install iOS 7 is to backup your iPhone through iTunes. This will ensure that you don't lose your valuable contacts, photos and other things of importance on your iPhone. Some users are getting a "restore to factory defaults" message during the download process for iOS 7. If you haven't backed up beforehand, that's not a good feeling.

Then you're going to need at least 3.1 gigabytes of free space on your iPhone for the iOS 7 install. You can check your available space by tapping the Settings icon on your home screen, then going into General, About and look for the Capacity and Available tabs. The Available tab will show the amount of space left on the device.

The best way to free up space for the iOS 7 update is to back up your iPhone and then delete some photos. You could delete some apps that you might not need, but it'll take a quite a few of them to be deleted to free up a significant amount of space.

Some users are saying their iPhone 5 is updating to iOS 7 automatically, without any user input. I have not had that experience, but going to Settings, General and Software Update does show that iOS 7.0 is available for me to download.

After getting iOS 7 installed, then you might encounter new issues when trying to use your iPhone for the first time under the new OS.

Lots of users are reporting not being able to connect to Wi-Fi, especially on the iPhone 4 and 4S. The Wi-Fi button might be grayed out. Then the keyboard might be sluggish when typing text messages or emails. Others are reporting charging issues via the same USB cable that worked before the iOS 7 update when plugged into a computer.

The solution that seems to work for some of these problem is a "reset of the device." I would start with tapping the Settings icon on your home screen, then General, Reset and tap the Reset All Settings option. This does does not erase you contacts, music, videos and other media and data, which is very important at this point.

Some of the other issues attracting lots of discussion involves the clock not being automatically set to the correct time zone after you have installed iOS 7. You're either an hour ahead or an hour behind. Hopefully, that can be cleared up with a reset of the device.

If all fails and you're totally frustrated with iOS 7, then you next thought might be to go back to iOS 6, or downgrade to your previous OS. Well, the bottom line is that Apple does not recommend or support this maneuver; most say it can't be done and you stuck with the new OS. But MacWorld has an article on how to accomplish this, if you don't wait too long. But be advised that if you have to jailbreak your iPhone to bring a previous OS back to life, that is not a good choice, especially if you think you'll ever need support from Apple in the future.

To add to the hoopla surrounding iOS 7, the iPhones 5C and 5S are available to today and I imagine this will open up another round of questions and issues for customers that took the leap and brought new devices home after standing in line for a while. But it didn't take long for the new gold iPhone 5S to be out of stock, with an anticipated debut of sometime in October.

I will wait a few days before putting iOS 7 on my iPhone 5. At least that will leave time for some of the downloads and new activations to taper off on Apple's servers. It's also important to point out that not everyone is having problems with iOS 7. But according to the discussion forums, some users are facing some issues when upgrading their existing devices.

As with any new OS or device, there are always a few bugs to be worked out and I'm already hearing rumblings of iOS 7.1 update. But somehow, I hope we'll all get past this and once again become happy "iPhone" campers.

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Monday, September 9, 2013

Apple showcases colorful 5S, 5C iPhones; rolls out iOS 7 update

As expected, the 5S and the 5C iPhones were unveiled on Tuesday, Sept. 10 with a splash of colors.

In the past, a new iPhone announcement was always a magical moment, thanks to all the hype created Apple Inc., the media and Apple fans all around the world. The magic continues with these two devices.

The initial excitement surrounding iPhone announcements started on Jan. 9, 2007, at the Macworld Conference & Expo in San Francisco, when the late Apple CEO Steve Jobs pulled an iPhone 2G out his pocket. The hoopla surrounding Apple smartphones announcement has been gaining traction every since and there seems to be no end in sight. The true Apple fans can probably name them all, starting with the 2G in 2007, the 3G in 2008, followed by the 3GS in 2009 and the 4G in 2010. We're not done. Then we had the 4S in 2011 and the evolutionary, if not revolutionary, iPhone 5 just a year ago.

Now we have the iPhone 5S, a souped-up doozy of a device with fingerprint reader technology and a 64-bit A7 processor with a 8 megapixel camera has set yet another standard for processing power in mobile devices. Gamers will rejoice, especially if the A7 chip finds its was into future iPads. The 5S will be available in new colors – gold, silver and "space gray" – to go with all that processing power.

The 5C, a colorful cheaper device for emerging markets, will be a fashion statement, with five color cases to choose from. Depending on what mood you're in, you can choose from green, blue, yellow, pink and white. It'll have a 4-inch Retina display and Apple's A6 chip.

The fingerprint sensor technology, which Apple is calling "Touch ID," sounds like a winner, because I, for one, have too many passwords to remember anyway. That feature alone would be worth an upgrade from an older iPhone if I had to do was press the home button to wake the phone and get busy.

I find it surprising that there was no mention of the new iPhones having the Near Field Communication technology, now commonly known as NFC. Apple has stayed away from this short-range wireless communication technology, while other manufacturers, such as Samsung, Nokia, HTC and BlackBerry have been incorporating this feature into their devices since early 2012. Now that NFC Tags and mobile payments are becoming more popular, I can't see Apple staying on the sidelines much longer.

As Apple moves past traditional white and black devices, the gold color for the 5S, the flagship device, attracted the most attention, but I'm not likely to rush into the store for a color change. My black iPhone 5 is serving me well. But iOS 7 will be available for download Sept. 18 and I'll be first in line for the update.

We can kick this news of the latest iPhones around for hours and never get tired, so let's talk pricing. The iPhone 5S is $199 under contract for the 16GB, $299 for the 32GB and $399 for the 64GB, while the 5C starts at $99 for the 16 gigabyte model and tops out at $199 for the 32GB model. Both iPhones will be available Sept. 20, so it will be time to start lining up soon.

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