iPhone Web Sites

iOS 11, watchOS 4 to be released today

iPhone J.D. - Tue, 09/19/2017 - 01:11

Today is the day that Apple will release the new iOS 11 and watchOS 4.  Apple typically releases iOS updates between 9am and 10am Pacific, so I typically check for the update around lunchtime here in New Orleans (Central Time Zone).  This year, I won't be trying to update within the first hour — not only because that caused problems last year, but also because I happen to be in trial today.  But I do look forward to updating both my iPad and my iPhone tonight. 

iOS 11 is a major update for the iPad.  With the Files app, the new Dock, multitasking and drag-and-drop, you will be able to get much more work done, much more efficiently.  On the iPhone, I'm looking forward to the improvements to Live Photos, the new Siri, and the new Control Center design seems much more useful. 

On the Apple Watch, there are some nice improvements to the Activity and Workout apps, and the Siri watch face could make the Apple Watch an even better assistant.

Categories: iPhone Web Sites

Why lawyers will love the Apple Watch Series 3

iPhone J.D. - Sun, 09/17/2017 - 23:28

Last week, Apple announced the 2017 version of the Apple Watch, called the Apple Watch Series 3.  Apple started taking pre-orders this past Friday, and it goes on sale this Friday, September 22, 2017.  The latest version of the Apple Watch, like the prior versions, looks like a great device for lawyers.  Lawyers deal with a ton of communications every day from courts, opposing counsel, clients, etc. via emails, text messages, and phone calls.  An Apple Watch can help you to manage (and triage) these communications.  Additionally, an Apple Watch is great for helping you to exercise and stay active — important for those of us who do most of our work sitting at a desk. 

If (like me) you already own an Apple Watch Series 2, then it may not be worth it to upgrade, for the reasons that I discuss below.  But if you have an original Apple Watch or don't have an Apple Watch at all, the Apple Watch Series 3 looks to be a great device for lawyers.

What is new

Let's start with the features that are new as compared to the Apple Watch Series 2 which was introduced one year ago

Cellular.  The main difference between the Apple Watch Series 2 and the new Apple Watch Series 3 is that you can get a cellular version of the Series 3, which supports LTE and 3G UMTS.  You can easily see if an Apple Watch has built-in cellular because there is a red dot on the digital crown.

Previous versions of the Apple Watch need to communicate with the outside world via your iPhone.  If your iPhone and Apple Watch are relatively close to each other, they will use Bluetooth to connect to each other.  If they are not nearby but are on the same WiFi network (for example, your iPhone is upstairs in your house but you are downstairs), the Apple Watch can connect to your iPhone via WiFi.  But if you leave your iPhone at home and go for a run around the neighborhood, your Apple Watch will not give you any notifications until you get back in range of the iPhone.

With the Series 3, even if your iPhone is far away, you can use the Apple Watch to make and receive phone calls (using the same phone number that you use with your iPhone).  You can use the built-in microphone and speaker on the Apple Watch, speaking into your watch as if you were Dick Tracy.  Better yet, you can use Bluetooth headphones such as the Apple AirPods. 

You can also send and receive emails and text messages.  Chat apps like WeChat and Shapchat will also work even when an iPhone is not around. 

The Apple Watch has always been able to control music playback on a nearby iPhone.  You could also play songs that are stored locally on the Apple Watch, but the process of transferring songs to the watch is slow and cumbersome.  If you have a single playlist that you listen to all the time, then perhaps it is not a big deal, but if you want a large, diverse and changing collection of music, this isn't easily possible with older versions of the Apple Watch.  This all changes with the new Series 3 because the watch can directly connect to Apple Music and stream songs.  Apple says that this means that you essentially have 40 million songs right on your wrist — a big step up from the original iPod in 2001 which Apple advertised as giving you 1,000 songs in your pocket.

The built-in cellular radio also means that many other types of apps will work even when you are not near your iPhone. For example, you can see the weather using a weather app, or you can request a vehicle from Uber or Lyft.

This all sounds very cool, and is clearly the way that it was always meant to be for the Apple Watch.  I think that the #1 use case is taking an outdoor run.  It is nice to have access to your music, a phone if there is an emergency, and all of your notifications without having to find a place for your iPhone on your body while running, or deal with the iPhone bouncing around in a pocket.  I can also imagine that it would be nice to be able to go outside and walk your dog without having to find your iPhone first so that you can bring it with you.  On the other hand, if you are like me, and your iPhone is virtually always near you (for example, you work out at home using a treadmill or at a gym with your iPhone nearby), then you may consider cellular to be just an occasional nice perk and mostly unnecessary.

You can also purchase a Series 3 Apple Watch that doesn't have cellular, which saves some money.  But note that the non-cellular Series 3 is only available in the aluminum version.  If you prefer the nicer look of the stainless steel Apple Watch or the ceramic Apple Watch, you need to purchase the cellular version of the Series 3.

Faster.  The original Apple Watch was quite slow.  The Series 1 and Series 2 got faster thanks to updated processors.  The Series 3 uses the new W2 dual-core processor and is 70% faster than last year's model.

Talking Siri.  On older versions of the Apple Watch, you can talk to Siri and see Siri's responses on the screen.  With the Series 3, Siri will respond to your requests more quickly, and you can also hear Siri speak.  Since I have my Apple Watch configured to make no noise at all (it gets my attention for select notifications by tapping my wrist), I don't consider the speaking Siri feature very useful, but I'm sure that having Siri work faster is a nice improvement.

Find my friends.  You can use the Find my Friends feature on an iPhone so that you know where select friends or family are located and they know where you are.  With the Series 3, the Apple Watch will take precedence over your iPhone for telling others where you are located.

Elevation.  The Series 3 includes a barometric altimeter to track your elevation, which can be useful for monitoring certain activities such as skiing. riding your bike up a hill, etc.  With earlier versions of the Apple Watch, if your iPhone was nearby, the iPhone could sense elevation.  With the Series 3, elevation is tracked even if you don't have your iPhone with you.

Size.  The Series 3 is just a tiny bit thicker and heavier, but you probably won't notice it.  Apple says that the Series 3 is two sheets of paper thicker than the Series 2.  And importantly, the Series 3 works with all of the same bands as every other version of the Apple Watch.

Models

Just like before, there are two sizes:  the 42mm size and the 38mm size.  I typically see men using the 42mm version and women using the 38mm version, but you can pick whichever one is best for you best on your personal preferences and wrist size.

Just like before, there are three basic types of body finishes:  the cheaper (and a little lighter) aluminum model, the more expensive stainless steel model (which I think is nicer and more professional, especially when you are wearing nicer clothes such as court attire), and the high-end ceramic model.  When the first Apple Watch was introduced in 2015, Apple also sold a super-expensive gold "Edition" model starting at $10,000, but in 2016 Apple changed the Edition model to ceramic — still more expensive than stainless steel, but much cheaper than gold.

Just like before, you can also buy two special versions of the Apple Watch:  the Nike+ version, and the Hermès version.  The primary difference is that those versions come with special bands, but they also come with special watch faces.

Price

Apple is still selling the Series 1 version of the Apple Watch that it introduced last year, and it now costs only $249 for the 38mm version or $279 for the 42mm version.  But it is so much slower than the Series 3, and lacks so many other features, that I do not recommend it to any attorneys.  

There are many different configurations of the Apple Watch Series 3, which means that there are many different prices.  But in general, the aluminum version of the Apple Watch costs $330 to $430, depending on the size (the 42mm version is $30 more) and whether it has cellular (which is $70 more).  Thus, the Series 3 aluminum 38mm costs $329 without cellular and $399 with cellular.  The larger 42m model costs $359 without cellular and $429 with cellular.

In you want the nicer stainless steel case, it only comes in a cellular version, and the stainless steel cellular costs $200-$220 more than the aluminum cellular.  Specifically, the cost is $599 for 38mm and $649 for 42mm.

If you want the high-end ceramic case, it costs $900-920 more than the aluminum cellular.  Specifically, the cost is $1,299 for 38mm and $1,349 for 42mm.

All of these prices assume that you purchase a model with an entry-level band, such as a sport band, which Apple sells separately for $50.  There are other models with nicer bands which cost more.  For example, I love wearing the Milanese Loop with the stainless steel Apple Watch (that's what I wear to work every day and whenever I am dressed more nicely on the weekend), and that model costs $100 more:  $699 for the 38mm version and $749 for the 42mm version.  And while the versions with the Nike+ bands costs the same as the Apple aluminum models, the versions with the Hermès leather bands range from $1,199 to $1,399. 

Additional bands are also available to purchase separately, including the new Sport Loop band which Apple says features a "soft, breathable nylon weave with an easily adjustable hook-and-loop fastener."

Finally, the cellular costs I noted above are only for the Apple Watch itself.  You also have to purchase a data plan for the Apple Watch.  It looks like the U.S. carriers are adding an additional $10 to your monthly fee if you want to add an Apple Watch, although some carriers have discounts for the first few months.

Should you get one?

I noted at the outset the reasons that the Apple Watch is so incredibly useful for lawyers.  Communication is a major part of our profession, and it is so nice to get a subtle tap on your wrist when you need to be notified of something, and it is so nice to just glance at your watch screen to see what is going on instead of having to pull out your iPhone or iPad.  It is sort of like having a personal assistant.  And the Apple Watch works especially well for tracking activity and motivating you to be more active. 

Last year, I wrote about my first year with the Apple Watch, and most everything that I wrote in the "what I love" section in 2016 remains true today.  I also noted in that post the things that I didn't like, and fortunately many of those things have improved thanks to speed increases in updated hardware and interface improvements in updates to watchOS.

If you don't have an Apple Watch yet, this is a great time to get one.  If you are still using the first generation Apple Watch, this is a great time to upgrade to the Series 3.  The most notable improvement (besides cellular) will be a huge speed increase, but you will also get a much brighter screen, GPS, and you can swim with the watch because it is waterproof. 

If you are like me and you have a Series 2 Apple Watch, I think that the upgrade is really only worth it if you plan to go outside frequently without your iPhone, for the reasons I noted above.  As I think back over the 2+ years that I have been using an Apple Watch, it is hard for me to recall more than one time every month when cellular would have been really useful.  So I'm not going to upgrade this year.  Having said that, I am going to be jealous of the speed increase in the Series 3, and I suspect that I will now start to think of even more situation in which it would have been nice to have cellular on my Apple Watch.  So if you find yourself talking to me and I look a little green with envy, don't take it personally; it's just because I see that red circle on the digital crown of your Apple Watch.

On the other hand, if you are ready to buy your first Apple Watch or upgrade from an older model, I actually do recommend that you get the Series 3 cellular version.  First, if you want the nicer stainless steel (or even nicer ceramic) case, then you have to get a cellular version.  Second, even if you want the aluminum case, the $70 price difference is not that much, and then you will have cellular if you ever decide that you want to start using it.  Indeed, as more Apple Watch apps are designed to take advantage of cellular, cellular may be come an even more essential feature.  There is no requirement that you activate the cellular features when you first buy the watch; you can wait to activate the cellular feature until a later date and then start paying the $10/month.

With the upcoming iPhone X, I cannot help but think of how incredibly far the iPhone has come in ten years.  We are now only about 2.5 years into the Apple Watch, and Apple has been doing a great job with the hardware and software improvements.  The Apple Watch is already an incredibly useful device for me today, both in my law practice and in my personal life.  I hope that Apple continues the pace of improvements, and if so, the Apple Watch is going to amazing when it celebrates its tenth birthday.

Categories: iPhone Web Sites

In the news

iPhone J.D. - Fri, 09/15/2017 - 01:41

Early this morning, Apple started to take pre-orders for the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and Apple Watch Series 3.  I'm not getting one of those iPhones because I am waiting for the iPhone X.  And while I'm sure that one day I'll have an Apple Watch with LTE, I don't yet know how useful it will be for me, so I'll probably wait to the Series 4 before I upgrade from my current Series 2.  If you like to run outside and don't want to have to carry an iPhone with you, or otherwise like to leave an iPhone behind and do things with just an Apple Watch, or if you have an older Apple Watch and want the speed increases that came with the Series 2 and which are even better with the Series 3, then the Series 3 Apple Watch may be perfect for you.  And now, the news of note from the week, all of which relate to Apple's announcements:

Categories: iPhone Web Sites

Why lawyers will love the iPhone 8 and iPhone X

iPhone J.D. - Wed, 09/13/2017 - 02:12

Yesterday, Apple introduced the 2017 versions of the iPhone.  There are three models.  The iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus are incremental but nevertheless nice upgrades from the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.  The iPhone X (pronounced "10") is a radical new design, featuring a gorgeous, edge-to-edge screen that is larger than the screen on an iPhone 8 Plus even though the device itself is closer to the size of an iPhone 8.  If you are a lawyer or other professional who uses an iPhone to get work done, these are amazing devices.  Here are the details of each model that stood out to me.

iPhone 8

I'll start by discussing what is new compared to the iPhone 7, but I know that many of you will be upgrading from older models, so I'll discuss that too.

Like the iPhone 7, the iPhone 8 features a 4.7" screen.  And at 5.45 inches x 2.65 inches x .29 inches deep, the iPhone 8 is virtually the same size as the iPhone 7.  The main improvements in the iPhone 8 are that it is faster and has wireless charging.

Faster.  The iPhone 8 uses Apple's new A11 processor, which can run 30% faster than the A10 in the iPhone 7 — and even faster for apps that use multiple processors at one time.  The A11 will also let the iPhone 8 work better with artificial intelligence applications, such as augmented reality.

Wireless charging. The size of the iPhone 8 is essentially the same as the iPhone 7 — so much so that cases designed for one will work with the other.  But now, the front and back of the iPhone 8 is covered in glass (50% more durable than the iPhone 7), and there is an aluminum band around the side.  The design looks really nice.  With this new glass casing, the iPhone can now be charged by any device that complies with the Qi (pronounced "Chee" and based on the Chinese word for natural energy).  Qi is not an Apple design; it is a standard that has been out for many years now.  Thus, you can already buy many products featuring a flat top; just put the iPhone 8 on top of that surface, and it starts to charge.

Apple itself plans to its own Qi charger next year called the AirPower, which will let you charge an iPhone, Apple Watch and AirPods just by placing them on the AirPower.

I can see it being nice to have a Qi device on your desk at work or on a counter at home.  Just set down your iPhone and the iPhone will charge while it is sitting there.  Having said that, it's not like it is that hard to plug in an iPhone to a Lightning cord or a dock.  Eight years ago, you could purchase a Touchstone for wireless charging of a Palm Pre.  Qi technology has also been around for a while.  And yet, wireless smartphone charging has not been a big thing yet.  Is that just because the iPhone didn't support it?  Or is that because it is only a slight convenience and not work the extra expense?  I honestly don't know, but with wireless charging available as an option for all of the 2017 iPhones, I guess we will find out soon enough.

By the way, I believe that wireless charging will work even if your iPhone is in a case.  Apple says that all of its new iPhone cases work with wireless charging, so I presume that this will also be true for third-party cases.

Faster charging.  Apple hasn't commented on the speed of wireless charging, but I presume it is slower than using a cord.  I've mentioned in the past that you can use a USB-C charger to charge an iPad Pro much faster.  With the iPhone 8, you can use a USB-C charger to get up to a 50% charge in only 30 minutes.  Thus, my guess is that the iPhone 8 gives you easy-and-convenient wireless charging, faster USB-to-Lightning charger, and even faster USB-C-to-Lightning charging.

True Tone display.  Like the iPhone 7, the iPhone 8 features what Apple calls a Retina HD display.  The iPhone 8 adds True Tone, a technology that automatically adjusts the display based on the light around you.  True Tone makes the screen look better and easier to read, whether you are in bright sunlight or in a dark room.  (True Tone is already on the iPad Pro.)

Better camera.  The new A11 processor has an image signal processor which allows the camera to take even better pictures, especially in low light.  And if you want to take 4K video, you can now do so at 60 fps instead of 30 fps on the iPhone 7.  The flash is also better.

Bluetooth 5.0.  While the iPhone 7 included Bluetooth 4.2, the iPhone 8 has the new Bluetooth 5.0 standard.  While Bluetooth 4.2 has a range of up to about 30 feet, Bluetooth 5.0 has a range of up to about 260 feet.  It is also faster, making it possible to send higher quality audio over Bluetooth.  And it can work with two devices at once, which I suspect means that two people could use wireless headphones such as AirPods with a single iPhone, or you could have two wireless speakers connected to one iPhone.

Price.  A year ago, the iPhone 7 came in 32 GB ($649), 128 GB ($749) and 256 GB ($849).  This year, the iPhone 8 comes in 64 GB ($699) and 256 GB ($849).  You can either pay the full price, or you can make monthly payments either with the Apple iPhone Upgrade Program (which gets you a new iPhone every year) or an installment plan with a carrier.

Worth the upgrade?  If you are currently using an iPhone 7, the new features such as the faster processor and wireless charging will certainly make the experience of using an iPhone even better, but it is probably not a major upgrade.  But if your iPhone is two or more years old — such as if you are using an iPhone 6 or iPhone 6s — the iPhone 8 is a major upgrade.  The processor speed increase will be even more dramatic for you, meaning that your new iPhone will seem even more responsive.  The Retina HD screen first introduced with the iPhone 7 looks much better.  Unlike the iPhone 6s and earlier models, the iPhone 8 is rated IP67 for water resistance, which means that you get complete protection against dust, and in theory the iPhone could be up to 1 meter deep in water for up to 30 minutes and it would still work.  I don't encourage you to drop it into water, but if it gets a little wet, it should be fine.  And you will also get much better speakers, a much better camera, and other new features.  It will be a great upgrade for you.

iPhone 8 Plus

The iPhone 8 Plus includes all of the features of the iPhone 8, but it is larger:  6.24 inches x 3.07 inches x .30 inches deep.  (It is also heavier, at 7.13 ounces versus the iPhone 8's 5.22 ounces.)

For me, the larger size of the Plus model has been a disadvantage; I have always found the larger size holder to hold and fit in a pocket.  Thus, I have never purchased a Plus model.

But if you can live with the larger physical size, you get to appreciate the Plus advantages:  (1) a larger 5.5" screen, (2) a second lens for the camera, which not only gives you an optical zoom feature, but also lets you take pictures using Apple's cool portrait mode (which blurs the background much like an SLR camera), and (3) longer battery life.

The camera on the iPhone 8 Plus is better than the iPhone 7 Plus in one way:  you can now use what Apple calls Portrait Lighting to adjust the lighting on a person's face when you take a picture.  This is a digital effect using the more sophisticated A11 processor and the dual-lens system — it's not like there is actual flash producing the different lighting effects — but even so, this feature looks powerful and useful.  Andrew Orr of The Mac Observer did a good job of describing the different Portrait Lighting modes:

One of the highlights of the new cameras is called Portrait Lighting. This emulates professional studio lighting by using facial detection and depth maps. These are combined into Portrait Mode to present five different lighting options: Natural Light, Studio Light, Contour Light, Stage Light, and Stage Light Mono.

Natural Light is what you’d expect. It takes a portrait of your subject with a blurred background and the face in focus. Studio Light brightens up the face more. Contour Light gives your subject’s face more dramatic shadows and highlights. Stage Light gives a chiaroscuro effect that puts an artificial black background behind your subject. The subject’s face is sharply lit as if a light were shining on them. Finally, Stage Light Mono is the same as Stage Light, but in black and white.

The iPhone 8 Plus costs $100 more than the iPhone 8.  Thus, you can get a 64 GB model for $799, or a 256 GB model for $949.

iPhone X

I've always thought that folks like me who have been jealous of the larger screen, better camera and better battery life of the Plus models, but who didn't want a larger phone, had unreasonable expectations.  After all, how you can you get a bigger screen without getting a bigger phone?

Apparently, the answer is that you remove virtually all of the bezel on the phone — including the bottom part of the iPhone which has featured a button since the very first iPhone was introduced ten years ago.  With this beautiful new edge-to-edge screen, you get an iPhone which is only slightly larger than the iPhone 8, but which features an even larger screen than the iPhone 8 Plus.

The new screen is not a complete rectangle.  There is a slight notch at the top center, which Apple uses for a bunch of cameras and other sensors.  (More on that in a moment.)  But you get much more screen space to get your work done.

With the iPhone X, you get all of the features of the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, plus the following additional features:

The screen.  On my goodness, the screen.  I've already mentioned that is larger, so you will be able to see even more of your emails, your documents, your spreadsheets, etc. allowing you get get even more work done even on a small device.  The 5.8" screen is even larger than the 5.5" screen of the iPhone 8 Plus. 

I remember when the original iPhone came out and BlackBerry users worried about the lack of a physical keyboard.  Of course, the reason that the iPhone design was better is that it is wasteful to devote half of the front of the device to a keyboard that you don't need to use all of the time.  Similarly, the iPhone X eliminates the waste of a bezel around the phone, replacing it with an edge-to-edge screen.  It took ten years to get here, but the iPhone X seems like the design that the iPhone has always wanted to be.

The screen also looks better, featuring what Apple calls the new Super Retina HD display.  This is first iPhone to use an OLED HDR screen, which means that blacks look darker and colors look brighter.  The iPhone 8 has a 1400:1 contrast ratio; the iPhone X has a 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio.  The folks who were able to see it in person yesterday said that it looked fantastic.

Face ID.  By replacing the bottom part of the iPhone, which used to have the home button, with more screen, Apple needed to come up with alternatives to the home button.  One change is that instead of pressing the button to see your apps, you swipe up from the bottom of the screen to see your apps.  Another change is that instead of holding down the home button to bring up Siri or double-tapping the home button (on the lock screen) to bring up Apple Pay, now you hold down the (larger) side button to bring up Siri and double-tap that side button to bring up Apple Pay.

But Apple also needed a way to replace the Touch ID fingerprint sensor in the home button, and Apple decided to instead use Face ID, which authenticates that you are really you by recognizing your face.  The TrueDepth camera analyzes more than 30,000 (invisible) dots on your face to create a precise, 3D depth map of your face.  After you teach the iPhone X what you look like, you can simply look at the screen to unlock the phone, or to authenticate yourself to use Apple Pay.

Apple said yesterday that Touch ID had an error rate of 1 in 50,000, whereas Face ID has a error rate of 1 in 1,000,000.  That certainly sounds good, and I look forward to seeing how it works in practice.  Apple says that Face ID is smart enough to keep working if you put on glasses or makeup, grow facial hair, etc.  Apple warns that if you have an identical twin, or even a sibling who looks a lot like you, Face ID may make mistakes.  (So Apple joked yesterday that if you have an evil twin, you might want to use a passcode instead of Face ID.) 

Face ID currently only works with one face.  I have one of my wife's fingerprints stored in my iPhone 7 Touch ID, and she does the same for me, so that we can pick up and quickly use each other's phone when necessary.  With the iPhone X, that won't work.

I think of Face ID as a way to get around the lack of Touch ID so that you can have the bigger screen.  Nevertheless, I'm intrigued to see if Face ID might be even better than Touch ID.  Whenever you pick up your iPhone to use it, of course you are going to look at it.  If the act of looking at it also unlocks your phone, saving you the trouble of using your fingerprint, that sounds great.

The Face ID technology appears to have some other advantages.  For example, if the iPhone senses that you are still looking at the screen, it can be configured to keep the screen lit.  This technology can also improve the camera, so let's turn to that next.

Better camera.  If you have never used a Plus model iPhone, the iPhone X camera will be a big improvement because of the dual lens system on the back, including a telephoto lens.  I'm really looking forward to that.  But the iPhone X is even an improvement over the iPhone 8 Plus because the telephoto lens has an f/2.4 aperture instead of an f/2.8 aperture, which should allow you to take sharper pictures with less blur even with less light.  And unlike the iPhone 8 Plus, both lenses on the iPhone X have optical image stabilization, resulting in sharper pictures and less shaky videos.

Not only is the camera on the back better, but the front-facing camera is also better — I presume in part because this camera needs to be good for Face ID to work.  As a result, you can now take portrait pictures using the front camera.  Now only does this mean that you can have better selfies, but it also allows for some new technologies.  For example, Apple showed off a demo of impressive Snapchat filters which can digitally change your face in real time.  And Apple is also updating its Clips app so that the new front-facing camera can immerse you in 360º animated landscapes.  And you can now create an animated emoji which apple calls an animoji; the iPhone analyzes more than 50 muscle movements in your face and then mirrors your expressions on panda bear, cat, alien, unicorn, rabbit, or even the poop emoji.

Better battery.  Even though the iPhone X is close to the size of the iPhone 8, Apple says that the battery lasts about two hours longer.  Thus, you can enjoy additional battery life without having to use the much larger Plus model.

Price.  The iPhone X costs $300 more than the iPhone 8 and $200 more than the iPhone 8 Plus.  Thus, you can get the 64 GB model for $999, or a 256 GB model for $1149.

Availability

You can place pre-orders for the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus as soon as Friday, September 15, with the first devices shipping a week later on September 22.  But Apple needs a little more time to finish the iPhone X, so pre-orders don't start until Friday, October 27, with the first units shipping a week later on November 3, 2017.

My guess is that Apple will have far more demand than supply for the iPhone X, and that very few folks will get an iPhone X on or close to November 3.  I hope that I am wrong, but I predict that getting an iPhone X during the 2017 holiday season will be almost as hard as getting a Cabbage Patch doll during the 1983 holiday season.

Conclusion

One of the reasons that I love using a 12.9" iPad Pro is that I love using a high-quality large screen to read and annotate documents, look at exhibits, or even just surf the Internet or look at photos and videos.  Having a larger and better screen helps me to be more productive, and have more fun, with my iPad.

Using that same logic, I've always understood the appeal of the Plus model of the iPhone, starting with the iPhone 6 Plus introduced three years ago.  But in practice, that Plus-size iPhone just felt too big in my hand and against my face when on the phone — making me feel like Maxwell Smart using a shoe phone to place a call. 

Thus, for me, the iPhone X seems like the perfect solution:  all of the advantages of a larger Plus model, but in a size that is much closer to a non-Plus model, which I have been using for many years.  Add to that the best screen that Apple has ever shipped with an iPhone — and I suspect that best screen that has ever shipped with any smartphone — and this device seems fantastic.  Yes, it costs $300 more than the iPhone 8 (or $200 more than the Plus model), but it seems very much worth it to me to have the best possible screen for a device that I am going to look at every single day, multiple times a day, both to get work done and also for entertainment.

Categories: iPhone Web Sites

New iPhone (and more) to be announced today

iPhone J.D. - Tue, 09/12/2017 - 01:25

Today at 10am Pacific / 1pm Eastern, Apple will give a keynote presentation at the brand new Steve Jobs Theater, part of Apple's brand new Apple Park campus in Cupertino, CA.  We will definitely see the 2017 versions of the iPhone, and we may also see a new Apple Watch, new Apple TV, and more.  Apple loves to make surprise announcements, so anything is possible today.

It appears that, a few days ago, a rogue Apple employee tried to ruin some of the surprise by intentionally leaking some of the details of today's announcements.  I cannot comment on the content of those leaks because I decided not to read the stories this past weekend.  I think that it is more fun to see how Apple itself decides to announce its new hardware and software.

You can visit this page on Apple's website to watch a live stream of the event.  If you cannot watch it live, Apple typically posts a recording of the video a few hours after the event.

Categories: iPhone Web Sites

iPractice on an iPad -- excellent online course on doing more with an iPad in your law practice

iPhone J.D. - Mon, 09/11/2017 - 01:08

I'm often asked if I can recommend a good introductory course for using an iPad in a law practice, and for a while now, I haven't had a great answer.  For example, the book iPad in One Hour for Lawyers by Tom Mighell was very good when it came out in 2011, but it is now outdated.  Fortunately, now I have an excellent recommendation:  a new online course created by Brett Burney called iPractice on an iPad.  Brett Burney started out as a practicing attorney, but then shifted his career towards helping other lawyers use technology.  Brett really knows his stuff, and is a past chair of the ABA TECHSHOW.  He also publishes the excellent Apps in Law website and podcast.  Better yet, Brett is an excellent presenter; I have been impressed both when I have seen him give presentations, and also when he and I have co-presented.

The online course that Brett created has numerous video lessons and associated materials.  In total, there is about three hours of video.  In the videos, Brett uses both slides and live presentations of iPad software to make it easy to follow all of his advice.  And you can pause the video or go back and watch a section again so that you can learn at your own pace. 

Brett gave me a sneak peak of his entire course, and the parts that I watched were incredibly informative. The focus of this course is on file management & PDF annotation, and Brett tells you everything that you need to know to store and annotate tons of documents on your iPad.  He recommends great apps, and shows you how to use them in your law practice.

You can get a good sense of what the course is like by viewing this video preview of the course:

You can also get much more information about the course on the main website for the course

The cost is $197, and that includes the ability to watch the course as much as you want and watch any updated sections in the future.  Brett offers a 30 day money back guarantee (see his website for details) so you can be sure that you are going to find value in this program.

Brett was also nice enough to offer a discount for a limited number of iPhone J.D. readers.  If you are one of the first 10 people to use the coupon code "20iphonejd" when you sign up, you will receive a $20 discount.

Categories: iPhone Web Sites

In the news

iPhone J.D. - Fri, 09/08/2017 - 01:00

Next week, on Tuesday, we will find out what the 2017 version of the iPhone looks like.  Rumors are that we will see a traditional upgrade to the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, plus a third model with an edge-to-edge OLED screen and authentication by scanning your face instead of Touch ID.  My prediction is that Apple will call the new model the "Pro" and will use a naming scheme like iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone 8 Pro.  (California attorney David Sparks is thinking the same thing.)  But whatever they call it, I cannot wait to learn about the new features, especially new features that have not yet leaked or been guessed by the press.  And now, the news of note from the past week:

  • Florida attorney Katie Floyd provides technology tips for preparing for a big storm.  Good luck to everyone in Florida who is preparing for Hurricane Irma right now.  As an attorney in New Orleans, I know first-hand what you are going through.  Be prepared, and be safe.
  • In an article for Above the Law, Washington, DC attorney Matt Kaiser gives some advice for what attorneys should do with their smartphones when they cross international borders.
  • Time magazine has a fantastic series of articles called Firsts, about amazing women who were the first to do something in their field.  The articles and videos are inspiring, but I mention them today because the cover photographs were shot by photographer Luisa Dörr using an iPhone.  In this interview by Kira Pollack, Dörr discusses the advantages of using an iPhone to take her incredible pictures.
  • If you are a member of Costco, John Levite of iMore reports on some great savings on iTunes gift cards.  For example, you can get a $100 card for only $84.49, and a $200 card for only $164.99.  You only get this discount on the online Costco store.
  • In the the process of (slowly) going through the catalog of James Bond movies with my kids.  (We are currently in the Roger Moore years.)  The older movies are dated, but still have some really fun moments in them.  Tatiana Siegel and Borys Kit of The Hollywood Reporter say that both Apple and Amazon are bidding for the rights to James Bond so that they can develop future TV shows, movies, etc. based on the character — not unlike what Disney is in the process of doing with the Star Wars franchise.  I look forward to seeing Q give 007 a tricked-out iPhone along with other gadgets to use to save the day.
  • Michael Potuck of 9to5Mac discusses the new ElevationDock 4, an adjustable dock for iPhone and iPad that looks really nice.
  • HomeKitty is a new crowdsourced website that seeks to list every accessory that supports Apple's HomeKit protocol.
  • Christian Zibreg of the iDownloadBlog discusses some nice improvements to Readdle's apps such as Spark, PDF Expert and Scanner Pro coming with iOS 11.
  • David Pierce of Wired writes about the new, more human-like Siri voice in iOS 11.
  • And finally, although what Apple announces on Tuesday is sure to be interesting, where Apple is doing so is just as interesting:  the new Steve Jobs Theater at the Apple Park campus.  Dancan Sinfield recently took some drone footage of the Steve Jobs Theater and it is in this video.  Of course, you cannot see much because only the entrance to the theater is above ground level, but it is still neat to get a peak:

Categories: iPhone Web Sites

Review: Canopy by Studio Neat -- case and stand for the Apple Magic Keyboard

iPhone J.D. - Tue, 09/05/2017 - 22:59

I don't use a keyboard with my iPad all the time, so for me, it is overkill to have an iPad case with a keyboard built-in.  There is no reason to add extra weight to my iPad all of the time.  But when I do use a keyboard, I want it to be a good keyboard so that I can type just as easily as if I was using the PC in my office or my Mac at home.  For a long time now, Apple has made one of the best Bluetooth keyboards for the iPad.  First, Apple made the Apple Wireless Keyboard.  On October 15, 2015, Apple retired the Apple Wireless Keyboard and replaced it with the thinner and lighter Apple Magic Keyboard.  Perhaps one of the reasons that these keyboards are so good is that they are not designed to just be iPad keyboards; these are the same keyboards that Apple has sold with its desktop computers such as the iMac. 

Apple's keyboards don't come with any sort of a case.  If you are carrying them around in a purse or briefcase, this means that it is possible for something to get under a key cap and break off a key.  It has never happened to me, but I know other attorneys who have met this fate.  Thus, it makes sense to have a case for the keyboard.

Back in 2012, I reviewed a great keyboard case called the Origami Workstation for iPad by Incase.  That product provided a cover for the Apple Wireless Keyboard, and as a bonus also folded into a stand so that you could prop up an iPad while you used the keyboard.  But Incase did not update that product in 2015 when Apple released the Apple Magic Keyboard.

Studio Neat filled that void by creating the Canopy, a product that works with the Apple Wireless Keyboard and is even better than that old Origami Workstation.  Studio Neat sent me a free review unit of this $40 product, and I have been trying it out for the last few weeks.  It works really well.

A case

The Canopy works great as a case.  It uses micro-suction pads – not glue.  They keep the Apple Magic Keyboard firmly in place.  But you can remove the keyboard from the Canopy without leaving a mark, and these suction pads don't lose their stickiness when you remove the keyboard.

To protect the keyboard, just fold up the Canopy around it, and snap the button.  It would be virtually impossible for something in your briefcase or purse to damage the Apple Magic Keyboard when it is inside of the Canopy.

One of the nice features of the Apple Magic Keyboard is that it is thin and light.  Fortunately, the Canopy is as well.  The exterior is a synthetic canvas which is strong but light.  And it has a nice professional look to it as well.  I will often walk around my office to go to a meeting room with my Apple Pencil in a shirt or coat pocket and my iPad Pro and the Canopy (with keyboard) in one hand.  With that combination, I can use my keyboard to type notes as if I want to type, or I can use my Apple Pencil to write or annotate whenever that makes more sense for whatever work I am doing.

Moreover, because the Canopy and keyboard are so thin and light, you can just keep them in a briefcase, purse, messenger bag, etc. all of the time.  That way, you have the keyboard for whenever you need it, but it is out of the way if you don't need it.

The interior of the Canopy is a soft microfiber, so it won't scratch the keyboard when you fold the Canopy around it.

A stand

When typing with an external keyboard, you will usually want the iPad screen to be propped up.  I use an Apple Smart Cover for my iPad, and it folds up into a stand that props up my iPad at a nice angle.  But with enough pressure, the Smart Cover-as-stand will collapse.

In contrast, the Canopy is very strong when it is being used as a stand.  You simply unfold the Canopy and use the leather strap and stainless steel snap to create a sort of a tent to act as the stand.  The snap is very secure, so the stand is very secure as well.  I have been using the Canopy with my iPad Pro 12.9" and even though this larger version of the iPad Pro is wider than the Canopy itself, the Canopy has no trouble holding this larger and wider iPad. 

And by the way, if — like me — you used to use the Incase Origami Workstation, the Canopy is much better.  Unlike the Origami Workstation which used Velcro straps which wore down over time, the snap is very strong.

I've used the Canopy with my iPad Pro over the last few weeks both when I have been in a meeting in a conference room in my office, and also when I was traveling and relying on my iPad to get all of my work done.  Whether I was in my office, at a meeting outside of the office, or in a hotel room catching up on work at the end of the day, the Canopy worked really well.

I didn't try smaller iPads with the Canopy, but I'm sure that they would work just as well.  I did try an iPhone, and that also worked — although I only rarely have a need to use an external keyboard with an iPhone.  The Canopy is specifically designed for the Apple Magic Keyboard, so I doubt it would work with any other keyboard.  But you can put any size iOS device in the stand, so even if you currently use an older 9.7" iPad and you plan to update to a 12.9" iPad Pro, the Canopy will continue to work great with different iPad sizes.

An iPad (or iPhone) just sits right behind the keyboard on the Canopy when it is in its stand mode.  It works really great on a table.  But if you are planning to put the Canopy on your lap, I didn't find that very stable with my iPad Pro 12.9".  It works just OK if you are laying back on a couch or bed.  Thus, the Canopy works best when you are at a table.

Although my second-generation iPad Pro 12.9" is still running iOS 10, I also have a first-generation iPad Pro 12.9" which is running the beta version if iOS 11.  In iOS 11, you need to swipe up from the bottom to make the dock appear when you are in another app, and you need to swipe up from the bottom to make the Control Center appear.  Those functions worked great on an iPad Pro 12.9" even when the iPad was sitting in the Canopy stand.

I don't have access to a new 10.5" iPad Pro running iOS 11, but I know that the 10.5" iPad Pro has an even thinner bezel.  I mention this because I don't know if the thinner bezel will make it harder to swipe from the bottom of the screen in iOS 11 while it is sitting in the Canopy being used as a case.  I'll update this post whenever I have a chance to test that out.

Conclusion

This is the third product I have reviewed from the folks at Studio Neat, and every single one of them has been excellent — featuring a clever design, high-quality materials and nice construction.  (I previously reviewed the Material Dock and the Glif + Hand Grip.)  These guys know what they are doing.

The Apple Magic Keyboard is a great external Bluetooth keyboard for the iPad, but the Canopy by Studio Neat turns it into a much better and more useful product.  The Incase Origami Workstation was a pretty good product for its time, but the Canopy + Apple Magic Keyboard combination is better in every way:  smaller, lighter, more stable, and longer-lasting thanks to the use of a snap instead of Velcro.  Indeed, the Canopy works so well that it makes me want to use an external keyboard with my iPad even more, and this is good timing for that because iOS 11 will have even better keyboard support when it comes out this month.

Click here to the Canopy from Studio Neat ($40).

Categories: iPhone Web Sites

[Sponsor] Lit Software -- TrialPad, TranscriptPad and DocReviewPad apps for the iPad

iPhone J.D. - Mon, 09/04/2017 - 21:19

Thank you to Lit Software for sponsoring iPhone J.D. this month.  This company produces three of the very best iPad apps designed for attorneys:  TrialPad, TranscriptPad and DocReviewPad.  TrialPad (my review) was first released in 2010 — the same year that the iPad itself debuted — and has seen numerous major updates over the years.  If you want to present evidence to a jury, judge, or other audience, the app gives you powerful tools for displaying and annotating documents, including the Callout tool that most jurors expect to see nowadays.  There is a recent post on the Lit Software blog explaining how Arlington, TX attorney Chase Ware uses TrialPad.

In my own litigation practice, I spend a lot of time working with deposition transcripts, such as preparing for a motion for summary judgment.  Thus, TranscriptPad (my review) is the Lit Software app that I use the most.  Whether I am drafting a motion, or I am in a subsequent deposition and I want to quickly see all of the relevant testimony on a subject during prior depositions, TranscriptPad does exactly what I need.  On several occasions, other attorneys have watched me use TranscriptPad and then remarked that they need to get an iPad.  When an app is so useful that it is a reason for attorneys to buy an iPad, you know it is a good app.  There is a recent post on the Lit Software blog explaining how Virginia attorney Brandon Osterbind uses TranscriptPad (and TrialPad).

DocReviewApp (my review) is the newest app from Lit Software.  This is an app that you can use to review and annotate documents on your iPad, so this app is especially useful during the request for production of documents process.

Thanks to Lit Software for sponsoring iPhone J.D. this month, and more importantly, a big thank you to Lit Software for doing more than any other company when it comes to designing fantastic iPad apps specifically for attorneys. 

Click here to get TrialPad ($129.99): 

Click here to get TranscriptPad ($89.99): 

Click here for DocReviewPad ($89.99): 

Click here for the Ultimate Litigation Package (all three apps) ($299.99): 

Categories: iPhone Web Sites

In the news

iPhone J.D. - Sat, 09/02/2017 - 00:06

If you are an iPhone enthusiast like I am, then September is the most magical time of the year.  Since 2012, September has been the month that Apple announces all of the new features of the next generation of the iPhone.  This year, ten years after Apple introduced the first iPhone in 2007, there is even more anticipation than normal because of rumors that Apple is introducing not only a normal and plus (larger) version of the iPhone, but also a higher-end model that I suspect Apple will call the iPhone Pro.  Yesterday, Apple announced that its September event will take place on Tuesday, September 12 at 10 Pacific / 1 Eastern.  The invitation says "Let's meet at our place."  For the first time, the event will take place at the brand new Steve Jobs Theater on Apple's brand new Apple Park campus — which also features a circle-shaped, 2.8 million-square-foot main building surrounded by the world’s largest panels of curved glass.  I'm very excited to see what Apple will show us in less than two weeks.  And now, the news of note from the past week:

  • Dorothy Atkins of Law360 reports that a California trial court judge dismissed with prejudice a lawsuit against Apple claiming it had some liability for the death of a college student who was killed when another driver was texting on his iPhone instead of paying attention to the road.  The judge ruled:  "The chain of causation alleged by the plaintiffs in this case is far too attenuated for a reasonable person to conclude that Apple’s conduct is or was a substantial factor in causing plaintiff’s harm."
  • California attorney David Sparks says that augmented reality may be one of the biggest improvements in iOS 11.
  • According to Ben Arnold of The NPD Group, 900,000 totally wireless headphone units have been sold in 2017, and Apple's AirPods account for an astounding 85% of those sales.  Even though AirPods have been on sale since December of 2016, there is still a backlog when you purchase them.  (They are currently shown as shipping in 2-3 weeks on Apple's website.)  I can understand why; I use mine every day, and they are one of my all-time favorite Apple products.
  • Andrew Ross Sorkin of the New York Times interviewed Apple CEO Tim Cook to discuss Apple and its role in the world.
  • Lauren Lyons Cole of Business Insider recommends using Apple's iPhone Upgrade program when you buy a new iPhone.
  • Jeff Benjamin of 9to5Mac compares and contrasts Apple's two iPad keyboards — the Smart Keyboard and the Magic Keyboard.
  • Ben Court and Spencer Lowell of Men's Health got an inside look at the Apple lab that tests people exercising with an Apple Watch to improve the fitness features.
  • Dan Moren of Six Colors discusses the new additions to Pedometer++, now in version 3.0.
  • If you liked the Sphero version of BB-8 that you could control with your iPhone, you're going to love Sphero's new Star Wars droids.
  • And finally, Nicole Lee of Engadget discusses an upcoming product from Lenovo that works with the iPhone called Star Wars: Jedi Challenges.  It uses your iPhone, an AR headset, and a Bluetooth lightsaber to make you feel like you are Rey fighting Kylo Ren, or even play Holochess.  It will cost $199, and I suspect that it will be on many of Santa's lists this year.  That Engadget post includes a video that gives you a sense of what it will look like when you wear the device.  Here is the official video preview for the product:

Categories: iPhone Web Sites

In the news

iPhone J.D. - Fri, 08/25/2017 - 01:31

Way back on April 10, 2009, I decided to round up some interesting stories from the past week and link to them in a post called In the news.  Today's post is the 400th edition of In the news.  So much has changed in the iPhone universe in the 8+ years since that first post.  Here is one example that was in the news this week:  Siri.  Apple introduced Siri in October 2011 with the iPhone 4S and iOS 5.  Since then, Siri has gotten a lot smarter, but Siri also sounds different as Apple has improved the voice.  Apple now publishes an online publication called the Machine Learning Journal, which features academic articles on artificial intelligence.  The latest edition features an article from the Siri Team.  Most of the article is rather technical, but I encourage you to look at the article and scroll down to the very end to the section called "A New Voice."  That part of the article features phrases with multiple play buttons so that you can hear what Siri sounds like in iOS 9, in iOS 10, and in the upcoming iOS 11 that Apple is expected to release in just a few weeks.  One thing that you cannot help but miss is that the new female voice in iOS is a very different voice from iOS 10.  The original Siri voice was in iOS 5, based on voice recordings by Susan Bennett.  (Here is a TEDx presentation by Bennett giving some details on that.)  Starting with iOS 7, Apple stopped using Bennett's voice recordings, but every Siri voice up to iOS 10 sounded to me like an incremental change from iOS 5.  That's changing now.  As the article states:  "For iOS 11, we chose a new female voice talent with the goal of improving the naturalness, personality, and expressivity of Siri’s voice.  We evaluated hundreds of candidates before choosing the best one.  Then, we recorded over 20 hours of speech and built a new TTS [text-to-speech] voice using the new deep learning based TTS technology.  As a result, the new US English Siri voice sounds better than ever."  It will take some time to get used to this new Siri, but such is the price of progress.  And now, here is the news of note from the past week:

  • California attorney David Sparks and Florida attorney Katie Floyd released one of my all-time favorite episodes of their long-running Mac Power Users podcast this week.  In episode 392, the topic is must-have iOS utilities, and they discuss a ton of useful apps.  All of the apps are listed in the show notes, but you need to listen to the episode to hear about what these apps can do.  There are some real gems in there.
  • Speaking of podcasts, the latest episode of Brett Burney's Apps in Law podcast includes an interview with St. Louis attorney Todd Hendrickson who talks about the fantastic Trial Pad app. 
  • On Brett Burney's Apps in Law website, he discusses Timeline 3D for iOS, an app that you can use to create timelines that you can use in court.
  • Chicago attorney John Voorhees of MacStories discusses Luna Display, a hardware accessory that turns your iPad into a second display for your Mac.
  • Speaking of John Voorhees, on August 22, the aforementioned David Sparks recommended TextTool 2, an $4.99 iOS app with lots of tools for manipulating text.  On David's recommendation, I bought the app that same day.  I barely had a chance to use the app before David posted on August 23 that the developer had discontinued the app, and I see that it is no longer on the App Store.  Well, so much for that five dollars.  David then recommended a $2.99 app called Clean Text, which was recommended to David by John Voorhees.  I purchased Clean Text, and I actually like it much better then the recently deceased TextTool 2.  It does a great job of cleaning up text.  Plus it has the added advantage of still being alive on the App Store — always a useful feature for an app.
  • Brian X. Chen of the New York Times discusses some of the features that have made the iPhone great for the past 10 years.  He also says that sources tell him that Apple will soon announce a premium version of the iPhone that will start at $999.  (Since Apple already uses "Pro" to designate premium versions of other products such as the iPad, my guess is that this will be called the iPhone Pro.)
  • What do you do when you, or your client, needs to access data on an iPhone of someone who is deceased?  Joseph Keller of iMore has a few tips that might work.
  • John Gruber of Daring Fireball discusses AccuWeather's response to the discovery that its app was sending locating-identifying information to a company that makes money from that information, even if you turned-off location tracking in the app.
  • Joseph Keller of iMore discusses some of the best apps for writing text on an iPad.
  • I've been trying out the beta version of iOS 11 on an old iPad.  I love it, but there is a learning curve associated with the new features.  Realizing this, Apple produced six short, informative, and entertaining videos called How to do even more with iPad Pro and iOS 11.  I strongly recommend that you look at them to get a sense of how things will change on the iPad in just a few weeks.
  • David Chartier also created a good video showing how you can use one hand to do multitasking on an iPad in iOS 11.
  • It was fun to experience the partial eclipse in New Orleans earlier this week.  But after reading this fantastic report by David Pogue of Yahoo who saw the full total eclipse in Tennessee, I can't help but consider traveling to the path of totality in 2024.
  • And finally, Joanna Stern of the Wall Street Journal offers some good advice for managing notifications on the iPhone in this video:

Categories: iPhone Web Sites

Professionalism and Technology CLE -- online CLE from the LADB

iPhone J.D. - Mon, 08/21/2017 - 23:27

Every year, attorneys in Louisiana need to take a one-hour CLE on professionalism.  I've been to some good professionalism CLEs, but I've also been to many that seem to repeat everything you have heard before.  The Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board made the smart decision to try to do something different in the realm of professionalism, and has released a Professionalism and Technology one-hour online CLE.  I was pleased to be a part of it.  The CLE is s lively panel discussion moderated by Loyola Law School Professor Dane Ciolino, a leading authority on Louisiana legal ethics.  The participants were me, Abid Hussain, Rajan Pandit, and Brandi McNeil.  The four of us have very different practices (for example, Brandi is a public defender) so we all had different perspectives on technology and professionalism.  We recorded this three months ago at the WLAE studio in Jefferson, LA, and the CLE became available just a few days ago.

LADB is only charging $20 for this CLE, and since it is an online CLE you can just watch it at your desk over your lunch hour, making this a cheap and easy way to get your professionalism credit.  And if you are trying to decide whether to watch this CLE, LADB even produced a trailer for the CLE, thus making this the first time that I have ever appeared in a trailer.  (I think it would have been better if they had added a Don LaFontaine-style "In a world" voice-over.)  Here is the trailer:

If you are a Louisiana attorney looking to get your professionalism credit before the end of this year, I think that you would enjoy this one.  Click here to sign up.  (Scroll down to the "E-Learning Courses" section.)

Categories: iPhone Web Sites

In the news

iPhone J.D. - Thu, 08/17/2017 - 23:38

I was supposed to be in trial on Monday, but my trial was continued, which means that I won't be stuck in a courtroom when the solar eclipse happens between Noon and 3pm Central.  Unfortunately, I didn't buy solar eclipse glasses, and it now seems impossible to buy them for a reasonable price — although the current weather report in New Orleans is cloudy on Monday anyway, so perhaps it won't make a difference for me.  If you plan to take a picture of the eclipse with your iPhone, Ben Lovejoy of 9to5Mac has some helpful tips for doing so.  My law firm actually has offices in two of the cities that will be lucky enough to experience a total eclipse (Nashville, TN and Columbia, SC), and thus for about three minutes on Monday, I'll be jealous of my partners in those offices.  But of course, in only 61 years, they will all be jealous of me when the May 11, 2078 total solar eclipse occurs in New Orleans — and I suspect that the 2078 version of the iPhone is going to have a really awesome camera.  And now, the news of note from the past week:

Categories: iPhone Web Sites

Tim Cook statement on Charlottesville and Trump

iPhone J.D. - Thu, 08/17/2017 - 00:31

Over the last few days, in response to President Trump's remarks regarding the tragedy in Charlottesville, a number of business leaders resigned from White House councils which President Trump had formed.  As more and more CEOs did so, I kept waiting to see what Apple CEO Tim Cook would do with regards to the American Technology Council — and other attorneys who know that I follow Apple news have asked me about this too.  After all, at the American Technology Council meeting two months ago, Cook was pictured sitting right next to President Trump (although many thought that Cook didn't look too happy about that).  However, last night I saw this article from Kif Leswing of Business Insider in which he explained that Cook and other tech CEOs are not actually on the American Technology Council; they were simply invited to speak at the June event.  Jackie Wattles of CNN reported the same thing.  Because Cook isn't even a member, there was nothing from him to resign from.

President Trump has had a very rocky relationship with Apple over the past year.  Last night, Tony Romm and Kara Swisher of Recode wrote about some of the details of that history.  They also shared an articulate letter that Cook wrote to Apple employees yesterday regarding the horrible events in Charlottesville and the disgraceful response of President Trump.  Like many of Cook's statements on issues relating to equality and fairness, it is well-written and I think it is worth reading:

Team,

Like so many of you, equality is at the core of my beliefs and values. The events of the past several days have been deeply troubling for me, and I’ve heard from many people at Apple who are saddened, outraged or confused.

What occurred in Charlottesville has no place in our country. Hate is a cancer, and left unchecked it destroys everything in its path. Its scars last generations. History has taught us this time and time again, both in the United States and countries around the world.

We must not witness or permit such hate and bigotry in our country, and we must be unequivocal about it. This is not about the left or the right, conservative or liberal. It is about human decency and morality. I disagree with the president and others who believe that there is a moral equivalence between white supremacists and Nazis, and those who oppose them by standing up for human rights. Equating the two runs counter to our ideals as Americans.

Regardless of your political views, we must all stand together on this one point — that we are all equal. As a company, through our actions, our products and our voice, we will always work to ensure that everyone is treated equally and with respect.

I believe Apple has led by example, and we’re going to keep doing that. We have always welcomed people from every walk of life to our stores around the world and showed them that Apple is inclusive of everyone. We empower people to share their views and express themselves through our products.

In the wake of the tragic and repulsive events in Charlottesville, we are stepping up to help organizations who work to rid our country of hate. Apple will be making contributions of $1 million each to the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League. We will also match two-for-one our employees’ donations to these and several other human rights groups, between now and September 30.

In the coming days, iTunes will offer users an easy way to join us in directly supporting the work of the SPLC.

Dr. Martin Luther King said, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter.” So, we will continue to speak up. These have been dark days, but I remain as optimistic as ever that the future is bright. Apple can and will play an important role in bringing about positive change.

Best,
Tim

Categories: iPhone Web Sites

Review: iTimeKeep -- time entry on an iPhone, iPad and more

iPhone J.D. - Sun, 08/13/2017 - 00:58

One of the least glamorous aspects of practicing law is doing time entry every day.  We know that we need to do it to get paid, but it can be such a chore.  Worst of all, sometimes you forget to record time for an activity, perhaps because you are out of the office when you work on a project, which means that you are essentially working for free.  iTimeKeep from Bellefield Systems is an app which lets you enter time using your iPhone or iPad and have the time go straight into your law firm's billing system.  I've been using the app for the last two months at my firm, and it works great.

I wasn't involved with setting up the back-end software for iTimeKeep at my firm — our IT folks did that — but I know that iTimeKeep works with many popular time and billing systems.  We use Elite at my law firm, but I see that it also works with Aderant, Equinox, Juris LexisNexis, Omega, LawBase, Tabs3, Amicus, PCLaw, TimeMatters, and many other systems.

One the software on the server-side is installed, users get an email with an account name and password.  They activate an account, and then that's it.  The free iTimeKeep app can be downloaded from the App Store.

Entering time

When you start the iTimeKeep app, you see a list of your latest time entries — the past seven days by default, but you can load more days if you need to do so.  The app shows time entries regardless of whether you entered the time in iTimeKeep or if you (or your secretary) entered the time directly in your firm's billing system using a computer.  You can edit prior time entries (as long as they have not been finalized in your billing system) or tap the plus at the top right to enter new time.

On the time entry screen, at the top you indicate the client and matter.  The app can default to the last matter on which you entered time, and if that isn't correct you can easily select the right matter by just tapping the matter area at the top.  This brings up a list of your recent matters, plus a search field so that you can do a full text search of client and matter names on your billing systems.  I was amazed how quickly the full text search works.

The app defaults to "today" for the time entry date but you can change that if you are entering time for another day.  To record hours, you can either press start to begin a timer or you can just directly enter the time by tapping on the 0.00.

 

I usually just enter my time directly, but the timer feature is pretty sophisticated.  If you need to switch to another matter, you can pause time on one matter and then start a timer for another time entry.  If you need to adjust the time (for example, if you forgot to press the START button when you started working) you can use the NUDGE button to add or subtract 1, 5 or 10 minutes.  Tap END to stop the timer.  Even when you use the timer to initially record time, you can still tap on the time to manually change the time entry as needed.

There is a description field where you enter your time description.  You can use the iPhone/iPad built in Siri dictation to speak your time entry if you prefer.  You can also use the iPhone's keyboard shortcut feature to speed up time entry.  (In the Settings app, go to General -> Keyboard -> Text Replacement.)  For example, if I type "tcw" on my iPhone, it automatically changes that to "Telephone conference with " so I just need to type the name and the "re" information.

If your matter requires a task code, iTimeKeep will know that and will prompt you to select one from a list (or search for one).  I encourage you to enter your description first, because iTimeKeep is smart enough to read what you wrote and will suggest, at the top of the task code list, the likely applicable task code. 

When you are finished with your entry you can tap Submit to send it to your time entry system.  If you are not yet finished with the entry, you can also flip the switch for Save as Draft.  This is helpful if you want to just enter part of the information now and fill in the rest later; when an entry is a draft, iTimeKeep won't yet validate it against your time entry system.  Turn off the Save as Draft function and tap Submit when you are finished.

Review your time

When you are on the main iTimeKeep screen, the word Calendar is at the bottom right.  Tap that word to see a summary of all of your time for the month.  At the top you see your total hours month-to-date, including an indication of how many were billable hours and how many were non-billable.  Then you will see specific daily totals.

You can tell iTimeKeep your daily hourly goal, such as 8.0 hours a day.  That way, if you tap the Missing Time tap at the top of the calendar screen, the app will show you any days in the current month when you didn't record 8.0 hours.  For example, when I took the below screenshot, I had not yet entered my time for the day, so iTimeKeep showed me that "today" was the only day so far in the month when I had not yet recorded at least 8 hours:

Apple Watch

If you own an Apple Watch, you can even use your watch to do at least some of the work of recording your time.  Start the iTimeKeep app and press the plus sign to start a timer.  Then do your work.  If you need to pause at any point, just tap the pause button on the watch, and then tap resume when you are ready to start again.

 

When you are finished with your task, tap the End button.  This will cause iTimeKeep to convert the time into .1 increments and will show you the total.  Then tap Next and iTimeKeep will start Siri dictation on the watch for you to dictate your time description.  Tap Done when you are finished.

 

The Apple Watch app will then send this time entry to your iPhone.  The entry will be incomplete — there won't be a client / matter assigned yet — so you'll need to tap the entry to fix the details.  But the most important parts will be there:  what you did, and how long it took you to do it.

Other ways to enter time

iTimeKeep also has a web browser interface, so if you are at your home computer you can enter time using your full size keyboard.  There is also an Android app, which is nice if some of the folks in your law firm don't use an iPhone. 

Security

Your time entries obviously contain lots of confidential and privileged information.  As you would expect, Bellefield takes security very seriously, and has a page of its website devoted to all of the security features.  For example, all data communication is encrypted using SSL.

Conclusion

iTimeKeep has been around since 2011, and I've been watching it from afar over the years as the product has improved.  Now that I've been able to use iTimeKeep at my law firm for the last few months, I'm really impressed.  iTimeKeep is fast, simple and intuitive to use.  I can enter time on my iPhone (or iPad) just as easily as I can on my computer, and sometimes even faster because of keyboard shortcuts and the ability to use Siri.  I know that iTimeKeep is communicating with my law firm's servers to work, but the whole thing works so incredibly quickly that it feels like everything is just running on the device.  And best of all, iTimeKeep makes it easy to enter time, and is a far better option than just jotting down time on a piece of paper that you might lose.  This is not only a convenience, but it can also help you to enter your time at the time that you are working — even when you are out of the office — so that you don't forget to enter the time.  In this way, iTimeKeep can actually help you to make more money.

The cost of iTimeKeep varies depending upon the number of lawyers at your firm, and I wasn't involved with the price discussions at my law firm.  But the product is incredibly useful, so I encourage you to check it out.

Click here for more information on iTimeKeep.

Categories: iPhone Web Sites

In the news

iPhone J.D. - Fri, 08/11/2017 - 02:26

I've become a big fan of the TripIt app combined with TripIt Pro (which I reviewed earlier this year) whenever I travel.  It is nice to have all of my travel info in one spot, and the TripIt Pro service has saved my bacon in the past by altering me immediately when flights are cancelled are delayed.  This week, the app was updated this week to add searchable airport maps.  The feature looks quite useful.  The airport maps are detailed, and make it easy to see what is around you.  I don't think you can get a full list of restaurants at a terminal, like you can in the Gate Guru app I reviewed way back in 2010, but Gate Guru doesn't seem to be as up-to-date as it used to be so I'm glad to see that TripIt is adding this feature.  Not only can you look around the map to see what is at a terminal, you can also search for just about anything at an airport such as "restaurant" or "burger".  And the app can give you step-by-step walking directions in an airport.  I'm sure that I will be using this the next time that I travel.  Click here for more information from the TriptIt website.  And now, the news of note from the past week:

  • In the latest episode of the Apps in Law podcast, Brett Burney interviews Columbus attorney Sean Harris to discuss the Notability app for the iPad.
  • Burney also released a video with three tips for using an iPad in a law practice.
  • California attorney David Sparks discusses changes to the Timeline 3D app, an app which creates exactly what its name says.  I know of many attorneys who have used this app to create 3D timelines used at trial.
  • I always use Microsoft Word when I draft anything in my law practice, but I know that some attorneys have various reasons for preferring to draft in a plain text editor.  If that describes you, Jason Snell of Six Colors explains why Editorial is his favorite iPad app for writing text.
  • David Pierce has tips on improving the Wi-Fi at your home or office in an article for Wired.
  • I recently discussed how the Apple Watch is in some ways a successor to the iPod nano.  Jason Snell had a similar thought this week, and wrote about it in an article for Macworld.
  • Marco Arment, developer of the great Overcast podcast app, explains why he is removing the feature to send a podcast to an Apple Watch to allow you to listen to a podcast even if your iPhone isn't around.  This feature didn't always work for me, but when it did work, it was incredibly useful.  I hope that the feature returns in the future.
  • Dropbox now lets you use the Dropbox app on your iPhone for two-step verification.  More details are available on the Dropbox blog.
  • Ben Lovejoy of 9to5Mac reports that the Uber app is being updated so that if a driver needs to contract you, there is a chat function within the app.  Thus, you and the driver don't have to use text messages to communicate.
  • If you subscribe to Apple Music, you can now watch the first episode of Apple's new "TV" series, Carpool Karaoke.  It features James Corden and Will Smith. Sonia Saraiya of Variety wasn't very impressed with the episode, but I thought it was pretty good, and it made me want to watch other episodes that feature folks I'm interested in.  I believe that there are 20 episodes in the first season, and starting next week there will be two episodes released each week.
  • And finally, I didn't run across any interesting Apple-related videos this week, so instead I'll share this teaser trailer for Ready Player One, a Steven Spielberg movie coming out March 30, 2018.  I absolutely loved the book by Ernest Cline, which I listened to in audiobook format (read by Wil Wheaton).  It is a futuristic sci-fi thriller involving virtual reality and a huge number of references to the 1980s, which is a lot of fun if you are around my age and were also a teenager in the 1980s.  I hope that this movie is as good as the book, and based on this video, maybe it will be:

Categories: iPhone Web Sites

Review: Glif + Hand Grip + Wrist Strap by Studio neat -- hold your iPhone steady for video and photos

iPhone J.D. - Mon, 08/07/2017 - 23:46

I often use my nice Nikon DSLR camera to take photos because the telephoto lens and add-on flash allow it to take fantastic pictures, typically (although not always) better than my iPhone.  But I don't use my Nikon camera to take video anymore because as the quality of video on the iPhone has improved over the years, it now usually does a better job than my more expensive SLR camera.  The videos are bright and always in focus, and I can even shoot in 4K or 60 fps.  But holding up an iPhone in my hand to take videos of more than a few minutes makes my hand tired, which makes my hand shake, which reduces the quality of the video.  The Glif by Studio Neat is a clip that attaches to the iPhone, making it possible to keep the iPhone steady by mounting it on a tripod.  The Glif has been around for a while, but it was significantly improved this year, and can now be purchased with a hand grip accessory.  Studio Neat sent me a free review unit and I've been testing it out for the last few weeks.  It works incredibly well.

Glif

I've tried lots of different devices over the years that purport to hold an iPhone for taking pictures or videos.  The only ones that really felt secure were iPhone cases, but those stop working whenever Apple releases a new iPhone model with a different shape.

The Glif has an ingenious solution to this problem — one of those solutions that once you see it, you wonder why everyone hasn't been doing it this way all along.  The Glif has a lever on the back.  With the lever pulled back, you can freely move the clamps on the Glif up and down to accommodate any size iPhone, even when in a case.  It can open wide to about four inches, big enough to even accommodate the huge SnowLizard SLXtreme case I reviewed a few weeks ago

Once the clamp of the Glif is around your iPhone, you push the lever in.  This makes the clamp go down just a little more, enough for the rubber inside of the clamps to hold the iPhone snug.

And I do mean snug.  The Glif has a fantastic grip on an iPhone, and the iPhone feels very safe and secure in the Glif.

With the iPhone in the Glif, you can use screw holes to attach the Glif to any standard tripod.  There are holes on the top, bottom, and the side so you can easily mount the iPhone in either portrait or landscape orientation.  And if you are really into iPhone photography and want to attach other accessories like an external light or flash and external microphone, you might have a reason to use all three holes at once. 

Here is the Glif attached to a Joby GorillaPad tripod — which is useful because you can use it as a normal small tripod, or you can wrap the feet around most any object to mount your iPhone in a location.

With the iPhone in Glif on a tripod, it will stay very still.  This is nice for shooting videos when you can have a stationary camera.  It is also nice for taking photos when you don't want the camera to move, especially when taking time-lapse photos or photos in low light.  Of course, pressing the button on the iPhone to take the picture can make the iPhone move, but you can instead use the timer function on the Camera app.  Or better yet, if you have an Apple Watch, use the Camera app on the watch as a remote shutter for the iPhone, which is a great way to make an iPhone take a picture without touching the iPhone.

Hand Grip + Wrist Strap

Studio Neat also sells a great accessory for the Glif called the Hand Grip — another one of those devices that seems so obvious once you start using it.  One of the things that I dislike about taking video with my iPhone is that my hand and forearm get tired when I am holding it up for an extended period of time.  But holding the Hand Grip feels much more natural, making it easier to keep the iPhone steady, easier to pan the iPhone, and, most importantly, easier to hold the iPhone for much longer.

The Hand Grip is made of cherry wood, and it looks great and feels really nice in the hand. It has a short screw at the top which is perfect for attaching the Glif to it.

The Wrist Strap attaches to the bottom of the Hand Grip and allows you to place your hand through the strap for added protection.  Even if you were to drop the Hand Grip, the strap should prevent your iPhone from falling on the ground.

The Hand Grip is not a gimbal so don't expect to keep your iPhone perfectly steady, but it does make it much easier to keep the iPhone steady.  And even if you are walking, and thus you are going to naturally have some up-and-down motion in your video, the Hand Grip keeps the iPhone more steady.  Here is a short 90 second video that I shot this past weekend in a park with my kids.  In the first part of the video, I am staying in one spot and panning my iPhone.  In the second part of the video, I am walking and trying to keep up with my kids on scooters.  The video is not perfectly steady, but it is far better than it would have been if I was just holding my iPhone only using a hand.

I look forward to trying out the Glif and Hand Grip the next time that I am on vacation taking video.  Both are small enough to easily put in a pocket, and they will make it much easier to take videos.  I can also imagine using the Hand Grip to hold up an iPhone over a crowd — although this might annoy the folks in the crowd behind you.

And again, the best part is that even after a long time of shooting video in the park, my hand was very comfortable holding the Hand Grip and the Glif.  When not filming, you can let your hand drop as you hold the Hand Grip, and the Glif has such a secure hold on the iPhone that the iPhone remains very safe.

I've been talking about taking video because that is where the Hand Grip works incredibly well.  My kids at first called this a "selfie stick" but that isn't accurate.  I don't find that the Hand Grip works well for taking photos because you have to manually reach up and push the button to take each photo.  If I am going to have to do that anyway, I think it is just as easy to just hold the iPhone in my hand.

Conclusion

Studio Neat, the same company that makes the great Material Dock stand, has come up with another clever and useful product.  If you want to take better photos with your iPhone, keeping the camera perfectly still, the Glif is a fantastic device.  It is inexpensive at $28, and it is future-proof because it can adjust to any size iPhone.  Thus, you can purchase this device and use it for years.  If you want to take video, the Hand Grip and Wrist Strap are great accessories.  The next time you need to film your kids at a piano recital, film a birthday party, or just take some great nature videos. the Hand Grip will make it much easier to take video and the quality of the video will vastly improved.  And with just a simple pull of the lever, you can release your iPhone and use it normally.  The quality of these two products is top notch, and I highly recommend them to anyone who wants to use an iPhone on a tripod or with a grip.

Click here to get Glif on Amazon ($27.99).

Click here to get Glif + Hand Grip + Wrist Strap on Amazon ($54.99)

Categories: iPhone Web Sites

In the news

iPhone J.D. - Fri, 08/04/2017 - 01:09

Remember back in March of 2010 when an Apple employee left an iPhone 4 prototype in a bar, and it was subsequently purchased by Gizmodo and revealed to the world?  It looks like an Apple employee goofed again, but instead of leaving an iPhone in a bar, this time the employee posted software for the unreleased HomePod on a public server.  Not only did that firmware software contain previously unknown details about the HomePod, but it also contains details about an unannounced iPhone — presumably a higher-priced version of the iPhone (iPhone Pro?) that Apple is rumored to release later this year.  Jason Snell of Six Colors has more details on what was revealed including the lack of a home button, a bezel-less design, and an infrared face unlock feature.  I presume that some Apple employee just made a mistake, but as they say, you cannot unring the bell.  Of course, the new revelations raise far more questions than they do answers, so now I'm just anticipating even more the announcement of the next iPhone, which I'm guessing will occur on Sept. 6 or Sept. 12, 2017.  And now, the rest of the news of note from the past week:

  • California attorney David Sparks discusses the recent leak from Apple about the upcoming iPhone.
  • Sparks also compares and contrasts the 10.5" iPad Pro with the 12.9" iPad Pro and gives advice for deciding which one to buy.  I love my 12.9" iPad Pro and cannot imagine going back to a smaller size, even though I understand the appeal of a smaller and lighter device.
  • A few weeks ago, I discussed the risks of your iPhone being searched when you cross the border to return to the United States.  We now have the first ethics opinion to discuss this issue, as reported by Debra Cassens Weiss of the ABA Journal.  There's a lot of interest in this opinion — Formal Opinion 2017-5 of the New York City Bar.  For example, the opinion says that if a border agent asks to search an iPhone which contains privileged information, "the attorney first must take reasonable measures to prevent disclosure of confidential information, which would include informing the border agent that the device or files in question contain privileged or confidential materials, requesting that such materials not be searched or copied, asking to speak to a superior officer and making any other lawful requests to protect the confidential information from disclosure.  To demonstrate that the device contains attorney-client materials, the attorney should carry proof of bar membership, such as an attorney ID card, when crossing a U.S. border.  Finally, if the attorney discloses clients’ confidential information to a third party during a border search, the attorney must inform affected clients about such disclosures pursuant to Rule 1.4."  The opinion also recommends that, in certain cases, a lawyer consider not keeping confidential information locally on the device and instead use secure remote access technology to access confidential information when abroad.
  • In an article for Backchannel on Wired, Steven Levy discusses Apple's efforts to make Cochlear implants (which allow some deaf people to hear for the first time) work with the iPhone.
  • If you use the Uber app, I see that you now have an option to tip your driver, and then when the app sends you an email receipt, the tip is indicated on the receipt.
  • Rene Ritchie of iMore reports that the Find My Friends app was used to save the life of an injured climber.
  • And finally, Apple is about to release the new Carpool Karaoke series.  I've always enjoyed these segments on the Late Late Show with James Corden, and it is possible that Apple may have a hit on its hands.  We'll see.  The first show in the series will feature James Corden and Will Smith, and here is a preview of that episode, and here is a longer preview of the entire series:

Categories: iPhone Web Sites

Apple 2017 fiscal third quarter -- the iPhone and iPad angle

iPhone J.D. - Tue, 08/01/2017 - 23:38

Yesterday, Apple released the results for its 2017 fiscal third quarter (which ran from April 2, 2017 to July 1, 2017) and held a call with analysts to discuss the results.  This is typically not a big fiscal quarter for Apple; the important quarter for Apple every year is the first fiscal quarter containing the holiday sales season, and during the fiscal third quarter, most potential Apple customers are waiting to see what new products Apple will introduce in the Fall.  Apple reported revenue of $45.4 billion, which is better than the $42.4 billion that Apple saw one year ago (but not as good as the $49.6 billion of two years ago).  If you want to get all of the nitty gritty details, you can download the audio of the conference call from iTunes, or you can read a rough transcript of the call prepared by Seeking Alpha.  Jason Snell of Six Colors also prepared a transcript.  Apple's official press release is here.  As always, I'm not as interested in the financial details as I am the statements of Apple executives during the call that are of interest to iPhone and iPad users.  Here are the items that stood out to me:

iPhone:

  • During the past quarter, Apple sold  just over 41 million iPhones. That's up just a tiny bit from the 40.4 million iPhones that Apple sold a year ago, but not as good as Apple's record-breaking 2015 fiscal third quarter when it sold 47.5 million iPhones.
  • Apple CEO Tim Cook said that the Plus model of the iPhone was especially popular this past quarter.  Although Apple did not release specific numbers on the Plus model, Cook did say that Apple sold "dramatically" more iPhone 7 Plus models this past quarter than it sold iPhone 6s Plus models in the 2016 fiscal third quarter.
  • Cook announced that Apple has now sold more than 1.2 billion iPhones.  By my math, from June 29, 2007 when the iPhone first went on sale until July 1, 2017, Apple has sold around 1,203,555,000 iPhones.  Not a bad run for the first ten years.
  • So many folks already have an iPhone, is there room for sales growth over the next few years?  Cook thinks so, saying that while he wouldn't make a specific prediction, he does "think that we can grow in both units and market share," especially because of developing markets like China and India.

iPad:

  • Apple sold over 11 million iPads in the last fiscal quarter.  That's up from the almost 10 million that Apple sold in the 2016 fiscal third quarter.
  • The increase in year-to-year sales is noteworthy because it is the first time in three and a half years that iPad sales have started to increase.  I think that the best way to see this is to look at a chart that shows the average of four quarters of iPad sales over time.  In the following chart, the blue line shows the actual iPad sales each quarter (in millions), and you can see the peaks every year in Apple's fiscal first quarter — the holiday quarter, when folks buy lots of iPads as presents.  The green bars show the average of the current quarter and the prior three quarters, which gives you a better sense of iPad sales over time.  As this chart shows, the iPad was introduced in 2010 and saw a sharp rise in sales until the end of calendar year 2013 (the beginning of Apple's fiscal year 2014), followed by a decrease in iPad sales over time, and then finally a slight increase in this past quarter.  It will be interesting to see over the next few quarters whether this past quarter was just a short-term increase due to the new 10.5" iPad, or whether iPad sales are back on the upswing again.

  • By my count, Apple has sold over 370 million iPads from April 3, 2010 to July 1, 2017.
  • Apple CFO Luca Maestri cited a report finding that the iPad had a 55% share of the U.S. tablet market in the month of June, the month that Apple introduced the new 10.5" iPad Pro and an updated version of the 12.9" iPad Pro.  What else are folks buying?  Cheap tablets.  If you just look at tablets costing over $200, the iPad had an 89% market share in June.

Other:

  • Apple doesn't release specific sales numbers for the Apple Watch, but Cook did say that sales were up 50% in the past quarter, and said that the Apple Watch is the top selling smartwatch in the world by a "very wide margin." 
  • Cook said that Apple is increasing production of the AirPods to try to catch up with demand, and cited a survey showing 98% customer satisfaction with AirPods.
  • Last week, President Trump revealed in an interview with Tripp Mickle and Peter Nicholas of the Wall Street Journal that "Tim Cook has committed to build three big manufacturing plants in the U.S."  When asked to comment on that, Cook didn't directly respond, instead simply noting that Apple had directly and indirectly created a lot of jobs in the United States and had plans to do more.
  • You can use VPN software on an iOS device to make it appear to the outside world that you are in a different location than you really are.  Many iOS users in China have used VPN software to evade China's strict restrictions on what websites can be viewed.  But recently, China started to require that all VPN software be licensed — which many believe means that the Chinese government can still spy on what you are doing even if you use VPN, plus can continue to restrict the websites that you access — and this resulted in lots of VPN apps being pulled from Apple's App Store in China.  Here is what Cook had to say about that.  This is a long quote, but I think it is interesting:

"The central government in China, back in 2015, started tightening the regulations associated with VPN apps, and we have a number of those on our store.  Essentially, as a requirement for someone to operate a VPN, they have to have a license from the government there.  Earlier this year, they began a renewed effort to enforce that policy, and we were required by the government to remove some of the VPN apps from the App Store that don't meet these new regulations.  We understand that those same requirements are on other app stores, and as we checked through that, that is the case.

Today there's actually still hundreds of VPN apps on the App Store, including hundreds by developers that are outside China, and so there continues to be VPN apps available.  We would obviously rather not remove the apps, but like we do in other countries, we follow the law wherever we do business.  And we strongly believe that participating in markets and bringing benefits to customers is in the best interest of the folks there and in other countries as well.  And so we believe in engaging with governments even when we disagree.  And in this particular case, now back to commenting on this one, we're hopeful that over time the restrictions that we're seeing are loosened, because innovation really requires freedom to collaborate and communicate, and I know that that is a major focus there.  And so, that's sort of what we're seeing from that point of view.

Some folks have tried to link it to the U.S. situation last year, and they're very different.  In the case of the U.S., the law in the U.S. supported us.  It was very clear.  In the case of China, the law is also very clear there.  And like we would if the U.S. changed the law here, we'd have to abide by them in both cases.  That doesn't mean that we don't state our point of view in the appropriate way; we always do that.  And so hopefully that's a little bit, probably more than you wanted to know, but I wanted to tell you."

  • When asked to comment on what Apple is doing in the field of autonomous automobiles, Cook replied:  "In terms of autonomous systems, what we've said is that we are very focused on autonomous systems from a core technology point of view.  We do have a large project going and are making a big investment in this.  From our point of view, autonomy is the mother of all AI projects.  And the autonomous systems can be used in a variety of ways and a vehicle is only one.  But there are many different areas of it and I don't want to go any further with that."  It was interesting that Cook volunteered that the autonomous artificial intelligence work that Apple is doing has applications other than self-driving cars.
Categories: iPhone Web Sites

From iPod to Apple Watch

iPhone J.D. - Mon, 07/31/2017 - 00:09

As reported by Chris Welch of The Verge and many others, last week Apple announced that it was finished selling the iPod.  There is one exception — the iPod touch — but that has always been just an iPhone without the phone.  As for the iPods that were truly iPods, Apple is no longer selling them, and all iPod models are now destined to appear on Apple's webpage for vintage and obsolete products

Many folks have been talking about how the iPod was the precursor to the iPhone, and that is certainly true.  But this past weekend I was looking at my old iPod nano 6th edition — the penultimate version of the iPod nano — and thinking about how it was a precursor to the Apple Watch.  That version of the iPod nano was introduced on September 1, 2010, and I used it for many years.  One of the things that I liked about it was the ability to have something very small — much smaller than a traditional iPod or iPhone — that you could clip to your shirt and just have earphones coming out.  It was so light that you barely noticed it when it was clipped to your clothes.  You could walk around and do chores, exercise, etc. without carrying anything heavy.  But unlike the iPod shuffle which, in its second through fourth generation, could also be clipped to your clothes, the iPod nano had a screen so you could actually see what you were doing with it.

There were many folks who looked at the iPod nano (6th edition) and thought that this would make a good watch.  Indeed, Apple included a clock as one of the built-in apps (even one with Mickey Mouse).  Just two months after the iPod nano (6th edition) was introduced, attorney Nilay Patel (who was then with Engadget) wrote a review of the iPod nano as a watch in light of the numerous iPod nano wristbands on the market.

Thanks to the Apple AirPods and similar Bluetooth earphones, you can now achieve much of the advantage of the iPod nano watch, as long as your iPhone is in the same room.  But the real replacement for the iPod nano watch is to use an Apple Watch with music loaded on it along with AirPods.  That way, you can walk around and do your chores, exercise, etc. even when far away from your much larger and heavier iPhone, and without any wires getting in your way.

Having said that, the technology is not quite yet where I want it to be.  Loading songs onto an Apple Watch is slow and clumsy.  Playing songs with just an Apple Watch and AirPods usually works OK, but isn't nearly as reliable as using an iPhone with AirPods.  And loading podcasts onto an Apple Watch is even less convenient.  You can use apps like Overcast and Watch Player to transfer podcasts, but playback is not always smooth.  And the developer of Overcast, Marco Arment, recently announced on Twitter that syncing to an Apple Watch will probably not work once watchOS 4 comes out later this year so the feature is likely to be removed.  Surely Apple will get this all working well at some point; hopefully, that point is sooner rather than later.

Let's all raise a glass to the iPod.  It was the device that many credit with saving Apple in the 2000s.  It helped to bring about the iPhone, which is one of the most useful and amazing items in the history of technology.  And it also played an important role in inspiring the Apple Watch.  As Steven Levy wrote in his fantastic book chronicling the history of the iPod, the iPod truly was The Perfect Thing.

Categories: iPhone Web Sites

Pages

Subscribe to www.hdgonline.net aggregator - iPhone Web Sites