iPhone Web Sites

In the news

iPhone J.D. - 8 hours 44 min ago

Many of Apple's newest products go on sale today, including the iPhone XS, the iPhone XS Max, and the Apple Watch Series 4.  (The iPhone XR will be available in stores starting October 26.)  Using the Deliveries app on my current iPhone, I've been monitoring my iPhone Xs this week as it went from Shenzhen, China to Anchorage, Alaska to Louisville, Kentucky, and as I type this it should soon be on an early Friday morning plane to New Orleans.  My own travel over the last few days has been far less interesting because my days have mostly been consumed with drafting appellate briefs.  This has been a crazy busy week in the world of iOS-related stories, thanks to the new version of iOS and watchOS that came out earlier this week, the numerous reviews written by folks who got early looks at the new iPhones and new Apple Watch, and tons of app updates to take advantage of the new features in iOS 12.  I've tried to select some of the most interesting items to feature in this collection of the news of note from the past week:

  • California attorney David Sparks posted a video review of the Elevation Labs Draft Table, a strong and sturdy stand that can tilt your iPad to various angles.  I like that it can be adjusted to different angles.  In my law practice, I mostly use my iPad Pro in two different angles.  First, when I taking handwritten notes, and sometimes when I am annotating documents, I prefer a slight tilt, and the Apple Smart Cover is perfect for that.  Second, when I am mostly reading things on the screen and doing some light annotation, I prefer a more upright position, and for that, I love the strong and sturdy Simplex Tablet iPad Stand by Thought Out (my review).  The Simplex only has one viewing angle, but I find that it is the only angle that I need other than the one I get with my Apple Smart Cover.  Whatever product you use, I think that getting your iPad in the right angle for the work you are doing is a key part of being more productive with an iPad in a law practice.
  • Suzanne Barlyn of Reuters reported this week that John Hancock, one of the oldest life insurers in North America, will stop underwriting traditional life insurance policies and instead will only offer policies that adjust the life insurance premiums based upon how much you exercise, as measured by a wearable device such as the Apple Watch.
  • To get you ready for your new insurance policy, let's start with some news items about the Apple Watch.  I wasn't surprised to see reviews of the new Series 4 Apple Watch this week by traditional media outlets, but I was surprised to see a review by Jon Hamm — yes, that Jon Hamm, of Mad Men — who talked to John Lonsdale of Men's Journal about his thoughts on the new device.  Hamm says:  "It’s not as chunky on your wrist, but the face is bigger, so if you have fat fingers like me, you can press those little buttons and it all works well."
  • Stephen Pulvirent of Hodinkee, who specializes in reviewing expensive watches, wrote a great review of the Series 4 Apple Watch.  The video which accompanies the review is beautifully-produced and informative.  Given his job, it is no surprise that he concludes by saying that he still plans to wear his Rolex most days, but he admits that he is going to keep a Series 4 charged and ready to go for certain days, and says that "Apple is on a trajectory where each new version of the Apple Watch gets more useful, cooler, more fun to wear, and we're on a path where at some point, it's just going to become indispensable.  And with the Apple Watch Series 4, Apple is showing us that that future is closer than we thought."  I've never owned a Rolex or other super-expensive traditional watch, and because I love wearing an Apple Watch so much, I'm quite certain that I never will.
  • Liz Plosser of Women's Health says that the new Apple Watch is a "powerful health and fitness accessory."
  • The new Series 4 Apple Watch looks amazing, but almost every Apple Watch model got better this week thanks to watchOS 5.  Alex Guyot wrote a comprehensive review of watchOS 5 for MacStories.
  • The other new Apple hardware in the news this week was the iPhone XS.  Rene Ritchie of iMore wrote a comprehensive review of the iPhone XS.
  • David Pogue of Yahoo reviews the new iPhone XS and, as always, includes one of his funny and goofy videos to go along with it.
  • Travel photographer Austin Mann shows that the new iPhone XS does a great job of capturing what people actually see with their eyes, thanks to the HDR improvements.
  • Former White House photographer Pete Souza took some amazing pictures for DailyMail with the new iPhone XS in Washington, D.C.
  • Almost every model of the iPhone got better this week thanks to iOS 12.  Jason Snell of Six Colors explains the improved search feature in Photos in iOS 12 which allows you to, for example, see pictures you have taken of dogs, and then refine that to just see pictures of dogs in the snow.
  • I love, love, love, love, love the deep integration of 1Password into iOS 12.  Ryan Christoffel of MacStories shows off how it works.  If you still don't use a password manager, now that iOS 12 is out, you really don't have an excuse.
  • Overcast was already my favorite podcast app, but it is now so much better with iOS 12 and watchOS 5.  I particularly love the ability to listen to podcasts using just my Apple Watch and my AirPods, which is great for doing tasks around the house without having to carry around an iPhone.  I haven't yet used this combination when walking or jogging outside, but I look forward to trying that out soon.  Zac Hall of 9to5Mac wrote a good review of what is new in Overcast on the iPhone and Apple Watch.
  • It's going to take me months to get my arms around the new automation that is now possible thanks to Siri Shortcuts and the Shortcuts app in iOS 12.  But as if that wasn't enough, Federico Viticci of MacStories figured out how to trigger IFTTT applets using Siri and the Shortcuts app, which gives you the ability to trigger hundreds of additional services and devices such as a Sonos, a Roomba, an online document, and more.
  • Steven Levy wrote a great article for Wired about the history of Apple's Infinite Loop campus, based on interviews with tons of folks connected with Apple.
  • And finally, here is a video produced by Apple which shows off the major new features of the iPhone XS in just one minute:

Categories: iPhone Web Sites

Initial reviews of the new iPhone XS

iPhone J.D. - Wed, 09/19/2018 - 02:12

A few days ago, Apple provided select members of the press with an iPhone XS and an iPhone XS Max so that they could post a review yesterday, shortly before the 2018 versions of the iPhone officially go on sale this Friday.  Review units were given to John Gruber of Daring Fireball (review), Matthew Panzarino of TechCrunch (review), Joanna Stern of the Wall Street Journal (review), Nilay Patel (a former practicing attorney) at The Verge (review), Raymond Wong of Mashable (review), John Paczkowski of BuzzFeed (review), Brian X. Chen of the New York Times (review), Lauren Goode of Wired (review), Todd Haselton of CNBC (review), and Scott Stein of CNET (review).  Here are my major takeaways from what these folks wrote after using the new iPhones for the last few days:

  • Many people found the camera to be much better than the iPhone X.  John Gruber was particularly impressed, and the photos that he provided as examples show that the iPhone XS produces noticeably better pictures than the iPhone X in situations in which HDR makes a difference — pictures in which you have both light and dark spots.  If you are taking pictures outside on a nice day, this may not matter very much.  But if you are inside with less light, this can make a big difference.  Similarly, Matthew Panzarino provided some stunning sample pictures and said that he thinks Apple "dramatically undersold how much improved photos are from the iPhone X to the iPhone XS.  It’s extreme, and it has to do with a technique Apple calls Smart HDR."  And Nilay Patel says that the "camera upgrades on the XS over the X are significant. The XS makes the X camera look terrible most of the time."  (Patel still prefers the pictures taken by the Google Pixel 2, but when I looked at his sample pictures, I preferred the iPhone XS picture over the Google Pixel 2 picture every time.  Just goes to show you that there is certainly a subjective element to an art like photography.)
  • On the other hand, some of the other reviewers were less impressed with the camera.  For example, John Paczkowski said that the iPhone XS pictures were better than ones he took with the iPhone X, and yet it was still "pretty hard to tell" the difference.  And Lauren Goode said that pictures taken with the iPhone XS were only "slightly improved from the iPhone X photos," although she did see a more noticeable improvement in portrait mode photos.
  • Considering that you can actually see how much better the pictures are in the reviews posted by folks like Gruber and Panzarino, I find myself believing that the iPhone XS camera really is a big improvement over the iPhone X, but only some of the time, and perhaps other reviewers were taking pictures in conditions in which the improvement was less noticeable.  As Joanna Stern noted:  "The smart HDR feature and new sensors did make for a more even and clear photo when shooting almost directly into brighter lights—plus crisper, more colorful low-light shots—but overall my photos looked similar to the ones I’ve taken with the X."  But she also found that autofocus and launching the camera is much faster.
  • If you like the idea of a bigger phone, the iPhone XS Max is a very nice bigger phone.  If you previously used a Plus model of an iPhone, then you know whether that type of size is too large for your hands.  But many reviewers, such as Brian X. Chen, said that after trying both, they preferred the iPhone XS size.  If you want an interesting perspective, check out the video at the top of the review by Joanna Stern in which she shows what an iPhone XS Max looks like in the hands of basketball player Gheorghe Muresan.
  • Only one reviewer, Todd Haselton, tested the improved water resistance of the iPhone XS.  He said that he put the iPhone XS "in a fountain about 1 foot deep for five minutes and it was totally fine after I took it out."
  • The screen on the iPhone XS supposed to be more durable.  Nevertheless, Joanna Stern reported that the screen on her iPhone XS Max cracked after “a minor fall onto wood."
  • The built-in speakers are noticeably better.  Raymond Wong says that there is more separation between the left and right channels.  And many reviewers noted that the sound is noticeably louder.
  • The iPhone XS is noticeably faster.  Raymond Wong notes that complicated games like Fortnite play better on the iPhone XS.  And Joanna Stern noted that even "[e]veryday actions are faster too — even just pressing the reply button in the Gmail app."  Several folks noted that Face ID is also faster and thus works better.
  • If you use a wireless charger, it will work better with the iPhone XS because the iPhone XS is more forgiving about where you place the iPhone on the charger.

My iPhone XS is supposed to be delivered this Friday.  In light of these initial reviews, I'll definitely be taking lots of pictures this weekend to see what I think about the improvements.  And I hope that I notice the speed increases in everyday actions, as Joanna Stern pointed out.

Categories: iPhone Web Sites

iOS 12 will be released today, along with watchOS 5

iPhone J.D. - Mon, 09/17/2018 - 01:05

Today, Apple will release as a software update the latest version of the operating system for the iPhone and iPad, iOS 12.  Apple previewed the features of iOS 12 three months ago, and you can click here to read what is new.  Note that I discussed the new version of FaceTime in that post, but Apple has decided to wait a little bit longer before rolling out the group FaceTime feature.

The feature that I am most looking forward to is Siri Shortcuts.  I like the Workflow app, and now that it is built-in to the operating system it will be so much more powerful.  I like that iOS 12 will recommend shortcuts to you, making this feature accessible to everyone.  But I'm especially interested to see all of the great shortcuts that power users will be able to dream up and share.

Moreover, when apps are updated to support shortcuts, they can become much more powerful.  Here's a great example.  I often wear my AirPods to listen to a podcast or music as I am walking through an airport to catch a flight.  Wit the TripIt app installed on my iPhone, I can say "Hey Siri, upcoming flight" and TripIt will (1) tell my my next flight number such as Delta 123, (2) tell me how long I have before the flight departs, (3) tell me the gate number, and (4) tell me the flight's status.  (Note that #4, flight status, is only available if you pay for the TripIt Pro service, but the other features work for everyone.)  That is precisely the information that I want as I'm walking through the airport, and if I'm wearing my AirPods, Siri can just talk to me without me needing to look down at my iPhone screen.  And this is just one example of what the TripIt app can do with shortcuts.  And TripIt is just one of countless apps that will be updated to support shortcuts.  This is cool stuff.

I'm also looking forward to the improvements to notifications.  In iOS 12, they are even easier to manage and organize.

It's always a good idea to backup your device before you install a major new update such as iOS 12.  Last night, I backed up my iPhone and my iPad to my iMac so that I would be ready.  The update is typically available around 10am Pacific / 1pm Eastern, and I always recommend that you wait a few hours before updating because there have been a few times in the past when Apple had to pull an update shortly after release because a bug was discovered. 

watchOS 5

In addition to iOS 12, Apple is also releasing watchOS 5 today.  I discussed the major new features in this post.  There are fitness improvements, the new Walkie-Talkie feature, support for Siri Shortcuts, podcast support, improved notifications, and more.  Thus, if you already have an Apple Watch on your wrist, today it gets better.

Categories: iPhone Web Sites

In the news

iPhone J.D. - Fri, 09/14/2018 - 03:29

Early this morning, Apple started taking orders for the iPhone XS, the iPhone XS Max, and the newly redesigned Series 4 version of the Apple Watch.  I placed orders for an iPhone XS and the Series 4 Apple Watch.  At the time that I placed my orders, the delivery date for the iPhone XS and the aluminum version of the Series 4 Apple Watch was September 21.  However, I ordered the Stainless Steel version of the Apple Watch, and even though I placed my order immediately when the Apple Store opened, my Stainless Steel model has a delivery date of September 28 to October 2.  For folks looking to get the iPhone XS Max, I see that it did not take very long for delivery dates to go past September 21 for many of the configurations.  It will be interesting to see what kind of demand there is for all of the new products announced this week and how far back the delivery dates start to slip.  And now, the news of note from this busy week in the iPhone and Apple Watch world:

  • One of the notable new features in the Series 4 Apple Watch is the the ability to perform an EKG.  Christina Farr of CNBC has an excellent explanation of this new feature and what it can do.
  • In addition to selling AppleCare+ for the iPhone, Apple has started a new insurance program called AppleCare+ with Theft and Loss.  As the name implies, this program will cover two incidents of accidental damage, theft, or loss, although there is a deductible.  Get more information on the Apple website.
  • Christina Passariello of the Washington Post talked to Apple's design chief, Jony Ive, about the new Apple Watch.
  • Last year, Apple announced the AirPower charging pad, but it still hasn't been released, and most references to it were removed from the Apple website this week.  Mike Wuerthele of AppleInsider has some theories on why.
  • Readdle makes some of the most useful apps for attorneys including Scanner Pro (which I use on my iPhone every week, and sometimes every day) and PDF Expert.  Killian Bell of Cult of Mac reports that the company's apps have now been downloaded 100 million times.  Congrats, Readdle!
  • You can now use ApplePay at nearly all 7-Eleven stores, as reported by Juli Clover of MacRumors.
  • It is widely known that Apple is planning to open its own video streaming service in the future.  Ben Lovejoy of 9to5Mac reports that Apple just won its first Emmy award for Apple-produced content, this one for Carpool Karaoke.  I suspect that this won't be Apple's last Emmy for a TV show.
  • If you own an Apple HomePod, it's going to get better next week.  As Ryan Christoffel of MacStories reports, the device will gain support for multiple timers, phone calls, and the ability to play a song if you don't know the name but you do know a line of the lyrics.
  • Geoffrey Fowler of the Washington Post discusses the challenges with recycling consumer electronics such as iPhones and iPads containing lithium-ion batteries.
  • In what almost seemed like a response to that article by Fowler, Apple's keynote featured a presentation by Lisa Jackson, Apple's Vice President in charge of environment, policy and social initiatives.  (She is also the former administrator of the EPA.)  Horace Dediu of Asymco discusses the most interesting aspects of Jackson's presentation.
  • And finally, Apple released lots of videos in connection with this week announcements, but today I'm just picking one that is silly and fun.  The opening video for this week's keynote address features someone running across Apple's new campus in Mission: Impossible style.  (As Roger Fingas of AppleInsider points out, Apple took some liberties for the path used by this runner.)  The video is entertaining, and also gives you some good views of Apple's new campus:

Categories: iPhone Web Sites

Why lawyers will love the iPhone Xs

iPhone J.D. - Thu, 09/13/2018 - 02:41

There have been four times in the past when Apple has debuted a major new iPhone with a new hardware design, and then the next year has debuted an "s" model:  the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5s, and iPhone 6s.  These "s" models contain new features, sometimes even new hardware features, but the main emphasis seems to be on deeply improving the prior year's model.  Many lawyers have told me that they buy a new iPhone every two years and prefer to buy on the "s" year because that is when Apple really perfects each generation of iPhone.  Yesterday, Apple debuted the new iPhone XS (pronounced "ten ess"), and it fits this model perfectly.  The iPhone XS answers the question of what can we do if we take the basic hardware of the iPhone X, with that beautiful OLED edge-to-edge screen, and then deeply improve it.

One of the most notable ways that Apple has improved upon the iPhone X model is by releasing three different versions of the iPhone XS.  The main model adds the typical types of improvements that we would expect for an "s" model.  But Apple also introduced two other versions of the iPhone XS:  one for people who want an even bigger screen called the iPhone XS Max, and one for people who to save some money but still get most of the good stuff called the iPhone XR.  Add to this that many of the older iPhone models are still available for sale at cheaper prices, and there is truly an iPhone for everyone.

I'll start by discussing the improvements over the iPhone X that exist in both the main model and the larger Max model — and most of these improvements also exist in the cheaper iPhone XR model.

Performance

For a while now, Apple has been designing its own CPUs, allowing the company to create amazing processors which make the iPhone more powerful every year.  For the 2018 iPhone, Apple has added the new A12 Bionic chip.  As you would expect, this new CPU is faster and more energy efficient than prior models.  But to give the A12 an additional boost, Apple added a the Neural Engine, a part of the CPU dedicated to the task of machine learning. 

Thanks to the Neural Engine, the iPhone XS can recognize patterns, make predictions, and learn from experience, and do all of this while performing five trillion operations per second.  In other words, the iPhone is smarter and faster.  The Neural Engine is especially useful for the camera (more on that below), but also allows the iPhone XS to perform more sophisticated computations.  Augmented Reality should be significantly better on the iPhone XS. 

Obviously this makes the iPhone better for CPU-intensive apps like sophisticated games.  But even if you are just drafting an email to a client, surfing the web, or looking at photos, a faster iPhone is a more responsive iPhone, which always makes an iPhone more pleasant to use.

Speaking of making the iPhone faster, the iPhone XS also adds support for Gigabit-class LTE, a faster version of 4G as 5G is still being developed.  My carrier, AT&T, currently has Gigabit LTE in 141 markets.  Gigabit LTE should be about twice as fast as 4G, up to 400 Mbps.  In the real world, I typically see LTE download speeds of around 150 Mbps where I live in New Orleans, whereas if I am close to the Wi-Fi router in my house I see wireless download speeds from my cable modem of around 330 Mbps.  I'll be curious to see if Gigabit LTE is just as fast as Wi-Fi at my house — and significantly faster when I'm not close to the Wi-Fi router — after I upgrade to the iPhone XS.

Camera

It is truly amazing how far the camera on the iPhone has come in the last decade.  Apple says that the newest iPhone has the best camera yet.  It looks like there are only minor improvements in the camera hardware.  Just like the iPhone X, the iPhone XS has two 12 megapixel cameras on the rear, one of which is a wide-angle f/1.8 lens and one of which is a telephone f/2.4 lens.  I love having that telephoto lens on my iPhone X, and if you haven't used an iPhone with this feature before, you'll love it.  There are so many times that I am taking a picture with my iPhone and I want to get closer — such as when I'm taking a picture of my daughter kicking the soccer ball when she is across a soccer field from me.  For both pictures and video, that telephoto lens is a nice feature.

The main thing that is new for the iPhone XS in terms of taking pictures is that the CPU features an improved image signal processor which does a heck of a lot more   As Apple noted yesterday, what really makes the iPhone camera better is the computational photography.  The new the iPhone XS performs up to a trillion operations on every photo you take.  For example, the iPhone XS adds a feature that Apple calls Smart HDR, an improved version of HDR photography.  Apple VP Phil Schiller describes it this way: 

So let's say you're taking a picture and the camera recognizes you're shooting a subject and the subject is moving.  You go to press down on the shutter and you get a picture instantly.  It's called zero shutter lag.  What the A12 Bionic is actually doing is shooting a four-frame buffer so it can capture that critical moment.  But the A12 Bionic is doing even more than that.  It's also capturing secondary inter-frames at the same time.  And those inter-frames are shot at a different exposure level to bring out highlight details.  And it's doing more than that.  It's shooting a long exposure so it can get better shadow detail as well.  And when you're taking that picture it's analyzing all of those, finding out how to match up the best parts of each and merge them into one perfect photo.  That's Smart HDR.  It is a breakthrough, and it makes taking photos easier than ever to get beautiful results.

Apple also showed off a cool new feature when taking Portrait Mode photos — photos in which the subject of your picture is in focus but the background is blurred, similar to the bokeh effect you get with a high-end SLR camera.  There is now a slider to adjust the amount of blurring in the background, so you can decide if you want to see some of the background details, or if you want your subject to really stand out.

Although I normally think of using the camera to take pictures, the front-facing camera is also critical for Face ID.  Apple says that thanks to the advanced A12 Bionic CPU, Face ID is faster and works better on the iPhone XS.  It would be great if this was a noticeable improvement, and I can't wait to find out for myself.

Dual SIM

If you travel internationally with your iPhone, it is sometimes useful to get a different SIM card when you are in another country so that you can avoid expensive roaming charges.  The iPhone XS has a traditional SIM card but also supports a second eSIM.  When carriers support it — and Apple announced that many are on board — you'll be able to use two SIMs at the same time, and the iPhone will intelligently switch between them depending upon the circumstances.  Thus, you should be able to use a cheaper data plan in another country while still receiving phone calls when people call your normal phone number.

More waterproof

I'm sure that Apple would prefer that you not dunk your iPhone into the ocean.  But over time the iPhone has become more resistant to water, and this year the improvement is enough for Apple to increase the IP Code from IP67 to IP68.  The first number refers to how dust-proof the device is, and the iPhone X was already at 6, which is the highest.  But the increase from 7 to 8 is a noticeable increase in liquid ingress protection, to use the technical words.  With 7, a device can go up to 1 meter deep for up to 30 minutes.  With the 8 rating, Apple says that the iPhone XS can go up to 2 meters deep for up to 30 minutes.

Apple isn't advertising the iPhone XS as something you are going to use on your next snorkeling trip as an underwater camera.  Having said that, there are plenty of IP68 cameras being sold on Amazon which specifically advertise themselves as being waterproof and designed for underwater photography.  In part, this is because there is a wide range of ingress protection which all falls under IP68, but I suspect that if you wanted to be daring and take an underwater picture with an iPhone XS, you may not damage your phone at all.

More importantly, if you accidentally drop your iPhone XS in liquid, there is a good chance that you can just let the phone dry out and then it will be fine.  Yesterday, Apple VP Phil Schiller said that the iPhone XS was tested in many liquids, including orange juice, tea, wine, and even beer.

iPhone XS Max

Before the iPhone X, I felt like I had an impossible desire.  I wanted a larger screen, but I didn't want the iPhone to be any larger so that I could continue to use it without stretching my hand too much.  The solution, as the iPhone X showed us, was to reduce the bezels so that you get more screen space than a Plus model inside of hardware that is the same size as a non-Plus model.

But there are some folks out there who don't mind the larger size of the Plus model, and for those folks, Apple has created the iPhone XS Max.  The iPhone XS Max is about the same size as an iPhone 8 Plus, but because of the edge-to-edge design, you get a larger screen.  While the iPhone XS has a 5.8" screen, the iPhone XS Max has a 6.5" screen.  That's not that far off from an iPad mini, which has a 7.9" screen.  While the iPhone XS has a 2436-by-1125-pixel resolution, the iPhone XS Max has a  2688-by-1242-pixel resolution.  (Both are at 458 ppi.)

In terms of physical size, the iPhone XS is 5.65" x 2.79" while the iPhone XS Max is 6.20" x 3.05".

iPhones with a Plus-size screen have been around for a while now, so I suspect that you already know whether or not you are someone who minds the larger hardware size.  If the larger size isn't too big for your pocket or purse, then spending an extra $100 for the iPhone XS Max might be perfect for you.

iPhone XR

If you like the idea of the iPhone XS but you don't want to spend $999 and up for the iPhone XS or $1099 and up for the iPhone XS Max, you'll want to consider the iPhone XR.  Apple didn't say what the "R" stands for, but I presume the idea is that it is one step below "S" and that sounds about right.  The iPhone XR has almost all of the new features that I mentioned above, plus almost all of the features which have made the iPhone X so great.  However, the starting price is $250 less than the iPhone XS:  $749.

Here is what you lose by saving that $250 over the iPhone XS:

  • Display.  Instead of the beautiful high-resolution OLED display with its rich colors and deep blacks, you get an LCD screen, which is the type of screen which Apple used to always offer before the iPhone X.  Apple says that the LCD screen in the iPhone XR is particularly good, but it still won't look as good as an OLED screen.  And while the iPhone XS can show HDR video, much like newer high-end TVs, the iPhone XR cannot.
  • 3D Touch.  You cannot push harder on the screen to bring up different options.  As a workaround, Apple says that you can tap and hold down on the screen for a certain amount of time to trigger the same options — not unlike the way it works on an iPad — and Apple even adds some haptic feedback to reinforce that you are using the substitute for true 3D Touch.
  • Size.  The iPhone XR is actually slightly larger than the iPhone XS with a 6.1" screen, but it is definitely smaller than the iPhone XS Max with its 6.5" screen.
  • Camera.  You only get one camera on the back, so you don't get the telephoto lens.
  • Less waterproof.  The IP rating is IP67, similar to the iPhone X.
  • LTE.  You just get regular LTE, not Gigabit-class LTE.

Having said that, it is not all compromises with the iPhone XR.  You also get one feature that you don't get with the iPhone XS (or the iPhone XS Max):  more colors.  While the iPhone XS comes in silver, space gray, or gold, the iPhone XR comes in blue, white, black, yellow, coral, and red.  And I understand from folks who saw the new iPhone XR in person yesterday that the colors are quite vibrant.  Keep in mind that if you are going to keep your iPhone in a case the whole time, you might not notice the color very much.

Conclusion

The new 2018 iPhones look to be great for any lawyer, or anyone else who is looking to get work done with an iPhone.  With the large, edge-to-edge screen, you can see even more of your documents, your email, etc., and the faster speed allows your iPhone to help you get your work done without getting in the way.  And thanks to the three different models, you can now decide whether you want to pay $250 less to give up a few features that might not even matter to you, or pay $100 more for an even larger screen. With all models offered in 64 GB, 256 GB or 512 GB capacities, you can decide how much space you want. (The 256 GB model is $150 more than the base price 64 GB model, and then 512 GB model is $350 more than the 64 GB model.)  And since I presume that you will also use your iPhone for non-work purposes, such as taking pictures of the kids, playing games, or using the latest Augmented Reality app, the new 2018 models are even better at those tasks.

If you currently use an iPhone X, you probably won't want to upgrade unless you enjoy having the latest and greatest.  But if you currently use an older iPhone, then you'll love using the iPhone X form factor, and as a bonus for waiting an extra year for the "s" model, you can get an iPhone which is significantly improved over the iPhone X with more options on size and price.

What am I going to get?  My current iPhone X typically has about 150 GB in use, so I know that the 64 GB model is not enough for me, and the 256 GB sounds just right.  I don't like a larger phone, but I do want that amazing OLED display.  Thus, I plan to get the iPhone XS in the 256 GB capacity, probably in space gray.

Apple starts taking orders tomorrow, September 14th, and devices will begin shipping on September 21st, for the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max models.  If you want the iPhone XR, you can order starting October 19, and devices ship a week later.

Categories: iPhone Web Sites

New iPhone (and more) to be announced today

iPhone J.D. - Wed, 09/12/2018 - 00:31

Today at 10am Pacific / 1pm Eastern, Apple will give a keynote presentation at the Steve Jobs Theater, part of Apple's new Apple Park campus in Cupertino, CA.  We will definitely see the 2018 versions of the iPhone, and I expect to see a new Apple Watch.  I'm sure that Apple will also say something about iOS 12, which Apple first previewed this past June and which I suspect will be released in the next week or so.

Other than that, I'm not sure what Apple will announce.  For example, I expect to see a new iPad Pro this year, but I don't know if we will see it today.  Sometimes Apple announced a new iPad and new iPhone at the same time, other times Apple holds back the iPad announcement until the next month.

Finally, it is always fun when there are surprise announcements, so I hope that something interesting is announced today that I wasn't expecting at all.

If you want to see the announcements live as they happen, click here to watch a live stream from the Apple website.

 

Categories: iPhone Web Sites

In the news

iPhone J.D. - Thu, 09/06/2018 - 23:47

Earlier this year, Apple announced a new iPad with support for the new Logitech Crayon, a stylus this is almost as good as the Apple Pencil for half the price.  Although the Crayon was only available for the education market, I said at the time that I hoped it would give rise to many new stylus options with the precision of the Apple Pencil.  The jury is still out on whether additional styluses are coming, but in a baby step towards that future, attorney John Voorhees of MacStories reports that Apple announced this week that the Logitech Crayon will be available for everyone to purchase, even if you are not in the education sector, starting September 12.  Of course, that is also the day next week when Apple has scheduled a big event at its campus to show off the new iPhones and who knows what else. The Crayon announcement makes me think that we may see a new iPad next week, and if Apple wants to show off even more new stylus options next week, I would certainly love that.  And now, the news of note from the past week:

  • The Lit Software blog features Arizona attorney Brian Snyder and explains how he uses his iPad in his law practice.
  • What will the new iPhones being unveiled next week be called?  John Gruber of Daring Fireball has some theories.
  • Earlier this year, I discussed a service called TeenSafe which restricts the ability of your kids to use your iPhone, but does so at great risk because you have to give the service access to your iCloud backup, which is a problem if the site is hacked — and sure enough, TeenSafe was hacked.  Ben Lovejoy of 9to5Mac reports that a similar product called mSpy accidentally exposed millions of passwords, text messages, contacts, call logs, notes and location data, etc. to the Internet.  I remain very suspicious of services like this.  Be careful out there.
  • Cella Lao Rousseau of iMore discusses some of the best watch stands for the Apple Watch.
  • Recently, a 15-year-old student tried to share with her mother a photo of a mock crime scene from a medical biology class.  She tried to do so using AirDrop, when she was on a plane, and instead she shared the photo with 15 other random passengers, as the plane was taken off.  The chaos that ensued resulted in grounding the Hawaiian Airlines flight for 90 minutes.  Michael Potuck of 9to5Mac has more details (including the picture).  Hopefully something like this will never happen to you.
  • I cannot tell you what features the new iPhones will have next week, but one thing that they surely won't have is support for the upcoming 5G standard.  I see iPhone 5G support in 2019 or 2020.  But that's not that far away, so it isn't too early to think about what 5G means.  I discussed the transition to 5G earlier this year.  This week, David Pogue of Yahoo wrote a good overview of what 5G means, and also created a nice video overview.
  • The Sweet Setup recommends photo editing apps for iOS.
  • Phishing attacks are increasingly common, and are especially dangerous for law firms because of the confidential information stored on law firm networks.  Many law firms have had to deal with major hacking attacks over the last few years.  Yesterday, the Apple Support account on Twitter posted a good, short video explaining how to look out for phishing attacks on your Apple devices:

Got a suspicious email or text? Don't click on any links or open any attachments. It could be a phishing scam.

Watch our video below to see more ways to avoid phishing. pic.twitter.com/YjIHCXbqxH

— Apple Support (@AppleSupport) September 6, 2018

Categories: iPhone Web Sites

Review: Dark Sky -- fantastic weather app, now with improved interface

iPhone J.D. - Wed, 09/05/2018 - 01:23

Schools in New Orleans were closed yesterday, and many are still closed today, because for a while it looked like Tropical Storm Gordon was headed this way.  That storm instead headed towards the Mississippi/Alabama border, but it had me using my weather apps even more than normal.  Dark Sky has long been one of the best iOS weather apps because of its incredibly accurate to-the-minute forecasts for the next hour — so much so that many other apps rely on Dark Sky for their own data.  But the app was recently updated to version 6.0 with a new interface, plus it is even faster under the hood.  Especially with these improvements, there is no doubt that Dark Sky is one of the very best weather apps for the iPhone and iPad.

Accurate, minute-by-minute predictions for the next hour

One of the best features of the Dark Sky app is that it tells you whether you need to grab your umbrella as you walk out the door.  Dark Sky can figure out whether it is going to rain during the next hour at your precise location.  When you start the app, if there is rain in the next hour, you will see a graph similar to this one:

If the app tells you it will start raining in 8 minutes, you might as well start opening up your umbrella in 7 minutes.

This information is also useful if it is currently raining and you are trying to decide whether to wait for a gap in the rain, or if you should just go now because it isn't getting better any time soon. 

Great forecasts, with an improved unified interface

Many apps do a nice job of giving you forecasts for the new few hours and the next few days.  Dark Sky has always had accurate data, but thanks to the recent version 6 update, I really like the way that this data is displayed all in one place.

When you start the app, the app gives you a forecast for your specific current location, but you can quickly search for another location (and you can save up to six locations, allowing you to swipe left and right to switch between locations).  Clear icons and numbers tell you the current conditions.

Next, you see a map with rain indicated.  Dark Sky has always used an interesting style for showing radar information on a map; instead of the blocky tiny squares, the colors are smoothed out. 

Next you see the hourly forecast, provided in a fantastic interface thanks to the recent update.  A bar along the left side gives you a visual indication of rain (the color changes to blue).  Next you see the hour, the forecast information, and the temperature in a circle which moves left or right to show relative increases and decreases in temperature.  I love the way that Dark Sky now shows all of this information at once, making it incredibly easy to see when rain will start and stop over the next few hours and how the temperature will increase or decrease over the next 24 hours.

  
If you scroll down, you will see the forecast for the next week.  Again, the graphics are clean and the information is easy to understand.

If you tap on any day, you get hourly forecasts for that specific day in the same format that the app normally gives you for the next 24 hours.

Maps with radar

If you tap the Map button at the bottom of the app (or if you tap on the radar map at the top of the main screen of the app), you are brought into a map view.  You can zoom in or out to see precipitation, and you can tap a play button at the bottom to see an animation of the last three hours and the predicted next hour.  Again, the nice smooth animations which are unique to Dark Sky make it easy to see what is going on.

 

Time Machine

I usually use a weather app when I want to look to the future.  But if you need historical weather information for a particular location, Dark Sky can give you that too.

 

Apple Watch

If you use an Apple Watch, Dark Sky has a nice app which shows you much of the same information for your current location that you see in the iPhone app, except for the maps.

 

Conclusion

Dark Sky has long been the leader in accurate forecasts on the iPhone and other devices, and thanks to the recent interface update, it is now one of the best apps for presenting this information in a clean interface which quickly tells you what you need to know.  If you ever use an iPhone to pay attention to the weather, this is an app that you should own.

Click here to get Dark Sky ($3.99): 

Categories: iPhone Web Sites

In the news

iPhone J.D. - Fri, 08/31/2018 - 02:09

Yesterday, Apple announced that it will hold an product announcement event on its campus in Cupertino, California on Wednesday, September 12 at 10 Pacific.  Jason Snell of Six Colors posted a picture of the invitation.  If you don't mind spoiling the surprise of learning all of the details on September 12, Guilherme Rambo and Zac Hall of 9to5Mac seem to have obtained some marketing images from Apple showing off the new iPhone and the new Apple Watch.  John Gruber of Daring Fireball speculates that those images may have been posted to a public Apple server by mistake, leading to the leak.  If that's true, there are some very unhappy people in Cupertino today.  And now, the news of note from the past week:

  • Two factor authentication is a fantastic security method which I think will become even more prevalent in the future.  At my law firm, we use Microsoft Authenticator as a second authentication method for many of our firm's resources, such as remote access.  It works really well; using either an iPhone app — or easier still, a notification on my Apple Watch — I can confirm that yes, it really is me logging in.  This week, Alex Simons, Vice President of Program Management, Microsoft Identity Division, announced that Microsoft is rolling out Microsoft Authenticator as an Apple Watch app.  This means that even if you receive a push notification which requires a PIN or biometric, you can approve access with an Apple Watch.
  • Attorney John Voorhees of MacStories reviews the new version 3.0 0f Due, a task manager app.
  • Lisa Vaas of Naked Security reports that a U.S. citizen who is Muslim is suing US Customs and Border Protection for seizing her iPhone in an airport, copying all of the data on it, and keeping the iPhone for 130 days.  (via Ride the Lightning).
  • Zac Hall of 9to5Mac discusses using the HomeKit-compatible Lutron Serena Motorized Shades.
  • Michael Rockwell of The Sweet Setup explains how to use your iPhone and HomeKit devices to turn on the lights in your home whenever you or your spouse come home at night.
  • Jonny Evans of Computerworld has some productivity tips for the iPhone.
  • Kaitlyn Wells of Wirecutter recommends the best bag organizers to store all of your USB-to-Lightning cords, power adapters, and everything else you might want to carry around in a bag.
  • And finally, tomorrow, September 1, Apple is celebrating national parks around the world by giving you the opportunity to earn an award in the Activity app.  The graphic that you can earn was inspired by Redwood National Park's 50th anniversary.  If you do a walk, run, or wheelchair workout of 50 minutes or more, you get to add the below award to your digital collection.  I like these awards because they serve as motivators, even though we all know it is just a simple image.  If you own an Apple Watch, try to find an hour to walk tomorrow!

Categories: iPhone Web Sites

Review: Weego Jump Starter 22 -- jump start your car battery and recharge your iPhone battery

iPhone J.D. - Sun, 08/26/2018 - 22:28

Many of us keep handy an external battery that can be used to recharge an iPhone.  However, occasionally you need to charge another mobile device:  a car.  If you ever find yourself with a dead car battery, sometimes it is possible to find a friend with another car and jumping cables, but that is a huge aggravation and may not even be possible depending upon where your car is located.  The simple solution is to keep a portable jump starter in your trunk.  The Weego Jump Starter 22 is an amazing device that makes it incredibly simple to jump start your car, and as an added bonus you can use it to charge an iPhone or iPad.  This device recently saved my bacon, and I enthusiastically recommend that you get this device now so that you have it when you need it.

My story

Virtually all of us have had to deal with a dead car battery at some point.  Here is my recent story.  I own a relatively new car — a 2017 Honda Accord.  (Last year I wrote about how much I love the CarPlay in my new car.)  About two weeks ago, I drove my car to a store, but then when I left the store a few minutes later, my car battery was dead.  Fortunately, my wife was not too far away so she could drive to me so we could jump my car, but I knew that I wouldn't always be so lucky.  It seemed strange that this would happen to a relatively new car.  Did I maybe leave on a light overnight without realizing it?  For a while I had been thinking of buying a portable jump starter, and after this occurrence I decided to play it safe and buy the Weego Jump Starter 22 on Amazon that same day. 

A week later I had to fly to Florida for business for a few days.  When I returned to the New Orleans airport and went to start my car, once again it was dead.  This time, getting a friend to drive to me to jump my car would have been a huge nightmare.  They would have had to drive all the way to the airport, go into a pay parking lot, and even then I'm not sure how it would have worked because there were cars in all of the spots around me so I wouldn't have been able to get another car close enough to the battery in my car.  And to make matters worse, I could see that it was about to start raining in 15 minutes.

But I didn't have to worry about any of this.  I took the Weego Jump Starter 22 out of my trunk, hooked it up, started my car, and then I was on my way.  The whole experience took me less than two minutes and could not have been easier.  What normally would have been a disaster was instead incredibly quick and easy.

A few days later, I brought my car to the dealer, which confirmed that my battery had to be replaced, fortunately at no charge to me because it was under warranty.  Hopefully that is the end of this story, but if for some reason there is some other electrical issue in my car and I encounter a dead battery again, I'm not worried because I have the the Weego Jump Starter 22 with me.

How it works

Before I explain how it works, let me emphasize again how simple this thing is to use.  I am about as far as one can be from a car mechanic, and even for me, using this device was a breeze.

For example, the clamps on this thing are better than any other clamps I have ever seen.  Traditional clamps can be hard to fully open, and they open like a crocodile's mouth and can be difficult to attach to a terminal and sometimes slip off.  Weego has a patented innovation the company calls Smarty Clamps.  They open ultra-wide so it is simple to attach them to a terminal, and you don't have to squeeze very hard to get them to open fully.  Last year, Wirecutter rated the Weego Jump Starter 22s the best portable jump starter, in part because the "strong, easy-to-use clamps make a good connection on a variety of battery posts."  (The Weego Jump Starter 22 that I purchased has the same clamps; it is slightly more expensive than the 22s because it adds the ability to charge a cellphone, adds a 250 lumen flashlight, and it is rated IP65 so it is water, dust and dirt resistant.)

The Weego Jump Starter 22 comes in a metal box which looks like a lunch box and holds all of the parts.  It is nice to have something sturdy to hold it all together, and I just put the lunch box in my trunk.  It also comes with a holding bag if you want something even more compact to hold it all together.

The Jump Starter 22 delivers 1700 peak amps and 300 true cranking amps, which Weego says is sufficient for motorcycles, boats and 95% of cars & trucks on the road today — anything with up to a 5L gas or a 2.5L diesel engine.  (Weego also sells a Jump Starter 44 and a Jump Starter 66 which will work with muscle cars and big trucks — the types of cars which might laugh at my Honda Accord.)

The top of the Jump Starter 22 has a protective cover, to keep out water or dust.  To jump start a car, flip open that lid to expose a connector where you pug in the clamps.

Next, turn the Jump Starter 22 on, using the power button located on the bottom right side.

Next, you attach the black clamp to your negative terminal and the red clamp to your positive terminal.  If for some reason you get that mixed up and attach to the wrong terminals, the device will not send power and instead it beeps and lights next to the word "reverse" will flash.  So it is idiot-proof.

Next wait a second or two until you see a green ready light.  That means everything is good to go.  Start your car. 

Finally, you disconnect the clamps from the Jump Starter 22.  Once you do so, a charge is no longer flowing to the clamps, so you can disconnect the clamps from the terminals in whatever order you want.

All of the lights make it super easy to understand what is going on.  Also, four lights on the body of the device tell you how much power you have left.  I had all four lights before I jumped my car, and afterwards I still had all four lights.  It takes about 2.5 hours to fully charge the Weego Jump Starter 22, and Weego says that the device will hold a charge for at least a year, and it has 1,000 charge cycles. 

Unlike traditional jumping cables, you don't need to worry about the two clamps on the Jump Starter 22 touching each other.  The Weego only sends power when it detects that it is connected to a battery.  That, along with the reverse polarity detection, means that you don't need to worry about doing something wrong and creating sparks.

It was easy for me to find a place to put the device when I was charging my car, but if for some reason you don't have a good space, the device comes with a hook and lanyard that you could use to attach the device to the underside of your car hood.  You can also use the hook and lanyard in connection with the built-in flashlight to create a work light that lasts up to 14 hours.

The Jump Starter 22 comes with a USB-to-Micro USB charging cord.  It also comes with a USB car charger that goes into a car's power port / cigarette lighter, so you can charge this device while you are driving and when your battery is strong, and then it will be ready when necessary.

Charge your phone

Carrying a Weego Jump Starter in your car means that you never have to worry about a dead battery again.  But hopefully you won't need to use the device very often to start a car, and since the core of the device is a powerful battery, Weego also lets you use this device to charge your phone.  So if you drive somewhere only to realize that your phone is dead or low on power, just take the Weego Jump Starter 22 from your trunk, add a USB-to-Lightning cable, and you are ready to go.  (Consider storing a USB-to-Lightning cable, such as an inexpensive Anker PowerLinke cable, in the Weego lunch box so you have it if you need it.)

If the Weego is at full charge, you have 1700 Amps, which depending upon your iPhone model should give you somewhere from almost a full charge to multiple charges.  Weego advertises "up to 3 full charges" but obviously that depends upon which device you are using.  Weego also says that the Jump Starter 22 detects what kind of device you are using and "automatically provides [the] fastest charge to your phones, tablets & other USB devices," 5V or 9V at 2.4A output.

The Jump Starter 22 (without the clamps) has dimensions of 3.25" x 6.25" x .75" and weighs about 10 ounces.  You can certainly buy smaller external batteries to charge your iPhone, but the Jump Starter 22 is not intended to be the portable charger that you carry around and use every day.  It works great for the rare situation when you are away from the home or office and you need something to charge your iPhone or iPad right away — and then you are glad that the device is in your trunk so you can grab it and walk wherever you are going with something handy to charge your phone.

Conclusion

Having a portable jump starter in your car gives you peace of mind.  Everyone has a car battery die at some point, and with this device in your trunk, you'll never have to worry about being stranded or dealing with inconveniences when it happens to you.  And because of the excellent design of the Weego Jump Starter 22, it is fast and easy to jump start a car.  As an added bonus, you have a battery in your car that you can always use to charge an iPhone or iPad — which gives you even more peace of mind.

If you decide that you don't need an iPhone charger, and if you don't care about the flashlight and the IP65 rating, then get the Weego Jump Starter 22s.  It is cheaper, but the basic design is the same as the Jump Starter 22, including those fantastic clamps and useful status lights that walk you through using the device to jump a car battery.

Whichever model you get, this is a good product to get now, while you are thinking about it, so you have it later when you really need it.  You might need it for yourself, but even if you are helping a friend jump a car, it is going to be much, much easier to use a portable device like this versus getting your own car in the right position so that you can jump your friend's car using your own car.

Click here to get the Weego Jump Starter 22 from Amazon ($94.71)

Click here to get the Weego Jump Starter 22s from Amazon ($62.99)

Categories: iPhone Web Sites

In the news

iPhone J.D. - Fri, 08/24/2018 - 00:26

Rene Ritchie of iMore explains why he believes that Apple's September product announcement will take place on Wednesday, September 12, just over two weeks from now, and says that we could see a larger version of the iPhone X, perhaps with Apple Pencil support, an iPhone 9 with a design similar to the iPhone X but with an LCD screen, an Apple Watch Series 4 with smaller bezels so that the physical size is the same but the screen is larger, an iPad Pro 3, new Macs, and more.  That's a whole lot of new Apple products that could be just around the corner.  Clear some space on your credit card.  And now, the news of note from the past week:

  • Attorney John Voorhees of MacStories discusses an update to the Dark Sky app which I think greatly improves the interface of that weather app.  For a long time now, CARROT Weather has been my favorite weather app, but with this update, I've started to use Dark Sky even more.
  • Elizabeth Sullivan of PCMag reviews the Logitech Crayon — the $50 version of the Apple Pencil — and names it an Editors' Choice.  The Crayon is currently only being sold to schools, but I hope that will change in the future.  In fact, it would be fantastic to have lots of different stylus choices that all work as well as the Apple Pencil.
  • VPN software is used to keep your Internet use private, especially if you are using public Wi-Fi.  But according to Chance Miller of 9to5Mac, Apple has asked Facebook to remove its Onavo VPN app from the App Store.  While that app may keep your Internet use private from other people on the same network, apparently Facebook tracks everything that you do while using the app, making it a privacy nightmare.  Kudos to Apple for continuing to make privacy a priority.
  • Speaking of privacy, John Gruber of Daring Fireball links to a Digital Content Next story about a report from Vanderbilt Professor Douglas Schmidt which finds that while Google doesn't collect any of your personal data from the Safari web browser when you are not actively using it, a dormant Android phone running the Chrome browser sends information to Google 340 times in a 24-hour period.
  • Gruber also discusses the shake-to-undo feature of the iPhone, and notes that many people don't even know that the feature is there.  I don't use it often, but when I do, I'm glad it there.  Hopefully, you already know that it is there, but if not, you do now.
  • Zac Hall of 9to5Mac recommends HomeKit devices that you can use to monitor the temperature at your house.
  • Peter Cao of 9to5Mac shows off how 1Password is integrated into the operating system in iOS 12.  Juli Clover of MacRumors also wrote a good explanation with lots of pictures.  This feature looks fantastic.
  • Roger Fingas of AppleInsider reports that, from today through August 31, Apple will donate $1 to the National Park Foundation for every Apple Pay purchase made at an Apple store or on the Apple website.  And on September 1, there will be a special Activity Challenge on the Apple Watch.
  • Steven Musil of CNet reports that you can now use Apple Pay when you shop at Costco.
  • Ian Fuchs of Cult of Mac says that the free Highball app is an essential iOS app.  I agree; it is what I use to store all of my cocktail recipes. 
  • And finally, here is an ad for Face ID on the iPhone X that Apple debuted a few weeks ago which features a game show theme.  It is called Memory:

Categories: iPhone Web Sites

Mac Power Users #444 -- using an iPhone, iPad, and Mac in my law practice and more

iPhone J.D. - Mon, 08/20/2018 - 00:29

This week, I was the guest on one of my favorite podcasts, Mac Power Users.  It was episode 444 of that podcast, a number which has a nice ring to it.  The co-hosts are California attorney David Sparks and Florida attorney Katie Floyd.  The three of us have known each other for a long time, and that camaraderie made for a fun podcast.  Although the three of us are attorneys, this is a general interest podcast, so I didn't discuss legal-specific apps I love such as TranscriptPad or iTimeKeep, but I did discuss just about everything else.  The topics included using a Mac at home when you have a PC at work, lots of different ways to get your work done using an iPhone and iPad, home automation using Apple's HomeKit platform, and CarPlay.  If you are interested in the things I write about on iPhone J.D., then I am sure that you will enjoy this podcast episode.

Thank you, David and Katie, for asking me to be a guest on the show.  When you click this episode link, you will see links to download this specific episode in your podcast player of choice on your iPhone, including my personal favorite, Overcast:

Click here to listen to Mac Power Users Episode 444:  Workflows with iPhone JD Jeff Richardson.

Categories: iPhone Web Sites

In the news

iPhone J.D. - Fri, 08/17/2018 - 00:32

For the past six years, Apple has introduced a new iPhone in the first or second week of September:  September 12, 2017; September 7, 2016; September 9, 2015; September 9, 2014; September 10, 2013; and September 11, 2012.  There is, of course, no guarantee that Apple will do the same thing again in 2018, but if I had to bet money, I'd say that we are just a few weeks from seeing the 2018 versions of the iPhone.  If you are in the market for a new iPhone, I recommend that you wait if you can.  New iPads are released at lots of different times of the year, but I think that there is also a very good chance that we will also see a new iPad Pro in September or maybe October.  And now, the news of note from the past week:

  • As a reminder, I am presenting a one hour CLE in New Orleans one week from today with tips for using an iPad in your law practice.  The CLE is free if you are a member of the New Orleans Bar Association.  Click here for more information.
  • California attorney David Sparks discusses giving up his laptop to use just his iPad when he is away from his desktop computer.
  • Speaking of David Sparks, on August 9, 2017, he gave a presentation at the CMD-D conference about using the Workflow app on iOS to automate tasks on your iPhone or iPad.  Apple purchased the Workflow app and it will be a part of iOS 12 this year, renamed to Shortcuts.  A video of that presentation was recently released, and even though it is a year old, virtually everything in there is just as relevant and useful today.  Plus, David has a great presentation style.  This is worth watching.
  • Chicago attorney John Voorhees of MacStories explains how third-party Twitter apps had to change this week because Twitter took away some of their features.
  • Speaking of Twitter, Virginia attorney Sharon Nelson discusses a rare example of using Twitter to serve a defendant with a lawsuit.  In this case, the defendant is WikiLeaks.
  • New York attorney Nicole Black recommends podcasts for lawyers.
  • iOS 12, which I expect to be released soon, was going to add a group videochat feature to FaceTime.  However, Apple announced this week that it this feature will be delayed.  Jason Snell discusses this in an article for Macworld.
  • John Gruber of Daring Fireball discusses a report by Kif Leswing for Business Insider that Apple is encouraging app developers to move from a pay-up-front model to a subscription model.
  • Matthew Cassinelli of The Sweet Setup discusses using 1Password on an Apple Watch.
  • And finally, Throwboy has a Kickstarter campaign to produce throw pillows shaped like iconic Apple hardware:  the Apple II, the Mac, the iMac, the iPod, and of course, the iPhone.  The goal was to raise $10,000, and they are already at $30,000.  Although the iPhone is my favorite Apple device of all time, I'm not sure which of these pillows I like the most.  They are all great:

Categories: iPhone Web Sites

Move ring on Apple Watch barely moving? Check your weight.

iPhone J.D. - Wed, 08/15/2018 - 00:22

Here's a quick tip for all of you Apple Watch owners who keep track of your circles, just in case you make the same mistake that I did.  I noticed a few days ago that the red circle (the Move ring) on my Apple Watch was increasing far slower than normal.  Even after 30 minutes on a treadmill, it was logging less than half of the calories that I normally see, and my overall red circle activity at the end of the day was substantially lower than normal.  It took a long time for me to find the solution, but ultimately I discovered that I needed to check my weight in the Health app on my iPhone, which was far lower than it should have been.  Once I adjusted my weight up to the correct number, my Move ring started to count calories at the same rate that it usually does.

How did this happen in the first place?  The Health app on the iPhone has a place to store your weight.  if your weight doesn't change often, just manually enter the number once and then forget about it.  However, if you are manually tracking your weight as it changes over time, it can be a pain to manually enter it in the Health app every day.  For a long time now, my faster solution has been to use the Workflow app — which will soon be renamed the Shortcuts app in iOS 12.  I have a very short workflow that simply asks me to enter my weight and then puts that data into the Health app:

Because it is one of the first four workflows in my Workflow app, I can just 3D Touch on the Workflow app icon on my iPhone's home screen, select Log My Weight, type the number, and then I'm done.  The whole process takes maybe three seconds.  In iOS 12, I'll be able to assign a voice command to start this workflow, making it even faster to trigger.

Last week, however, I suppose I should have spent more than three seconds to avoid being careless.  It turns out that I had somehow tapped the wrong buttons and entered the wrong weight, and apparently my iPhone had no trouble accepting that I suddenly weighed half as much.  (Um, thanks?)  My Apple Watch also noticed, and as a result it decided that I must be burning far less calories for the same amount of activity.

Fortunately, this is an easy problem to fix.  When you are looking at any health data source in the Health app, you can always tap Show All Data to see a list of every single entry.  If you see an entry that is wrong, you can delete that entry.  So to fix my problem, I just removed the incorrect weight, and the problem was solved.

Categories: iPhone Web Sites

Lawyer iPad stories: Paul Kiesel

iPhone J.D. - Sun, 08/12/2018 - 21:48

I love to hear how other attorneys are using an iPhone or iPad in their law practice, so I always appreciate it when one of you is willing to share what you are using with the rest of the readers of iPhone J.D.  Today I am happy to share a submission from Paul Kiesel of Kiesel Law LLP, a plaintiff trial attorney in Beverly Hills, California.  Paul is a co-author of two legal treatises:  California Pretrial Civil Procedure and California Civil Discovery.

Paul loves to use technology in his law practice, and the ABA Journal even named him one of the Techiest Lawyers.  Paul has had a number of paperless jury trials over the last few years thanks to his iPad.  In just a few days on August 16, 2018, Paul will be teaching a CLE Webinar hosted by the Federal Bar Association called How the iPad Can Be a Litigator's Best Friend.  It is a two-hour CLE and starts at 2:00 Eastern. 

Here is what Paul told me about some of the ways that he uses his iPad Pro in his law practice::

- - - - -

Ten years ago, as files began to overwhelm our firm's working space and as our offsite archive service costs exceeded thousands of dollars each month, I thought there has to be a better way.  Necessity being the mother of invention, our firm began its journey to being paperless.  We started to scan each and every correspondence, pleading, medical record and other piece of paper entering our front door.

Five years ago, as our building office space became limited, a decision was made to eliminate our file "room" and actually remove the paper files.  I was able to recapture 20% of our building’s usable space by removing file cabinets.  At the same time, each attorney at the firm was provided an iPad in lieu of case files.

Now, five years later, the iPad is the single vehicle, with the exception of one partner who is partial to his Surface Pro, we use to review and annotate all materials.  For years I traveled with both a laptop and an iPad but with the advent of the iPad Pro 12.0" and the Apple Pencil, this is the single device I use and travel with.  Whether it be at my home reading the morning NY Times, LA Times, Wall Street Journal, or reviewing pleadings, the iPad is the single device.

In order to use the iPad for this purpose, I originally used PDF Expert to review and annotate documents.  Today, my go-to annotation program is Liquid Text.  Prior to using the iPad Pro 12.9", my go-to tablet was the original 9.7" version of the iPad, but for using Liquid Text the 12.9" size is a must.  Why?  Liquid Text splits the screen in two sections, one for the document and the other for notes.  Using the split screen really requires the additional real estate (screen size) the 12.9" iPad Pro provides.  I tested the 10.5" iPad Pro but still found it wasn’t a big enough screen to do the job.  So, my first recommendation is Liquid Text.

My second recommendation is to purchase a virtual private network (VPN) application.  A VPN provides a secure "pipe" for you to access the internet when on a public WiFi without fear that bad guys or gals are hacking into your communications.  The VPN app that I use is called Encrypt.Me, and it works magically.  [Jeff notes:  I reviewed this app back when it was called Cloak, and I agree that it is a fantastic app.]  The cost is minimal and the benefits, potentially massive.  The only caveat is that several public WiFi networks will not allow you to use a VPN when accessing.  An example is the GoGo WiFi network on commercial flights.  The GoGo network will not allow you to access their system if you have the VPN active.  It took me hours to figure out why I couldn’t log on to the network until I tried disabling the VPN and then I was able to get on.  So, you need to make a trade, at times, between access and security.

The next app I would recommend is TripIt.  This is a fantastic program that allows you to aggregate all of your travel plans in one spot.  [Jeff adds:  I reviewed the free version of TripIt in 2013 and I reviewed TripIt Pro in 2017.  I continue to pay for TripIt Pro because I find it so valuable when I travel.]

My final use of the iPad, although a bit unconventional and a wee bit pricey, is to send each of my settlement demand packages by way of an iPad.  My firm creates, for about 90 percent of my cases, a settlement "brochure" including a video depicting our liability analysis, the client’s injuries and damages, along with attached medical records and other documentary evidence.  I typically send between one and six iPads depending on the number of counsel, adjusters, and decision makers involved.  I have been doing that since the iPad was first introduced. 

There are dozens of other applications and uses that I don’t have time to share here, but feel free to view my webinar on "using your iPad" in trial.  Here’s the link.  Enjoy.

- - - - -

Thanks again, Paul, for taking the time to share with us some of the ways that you use your iPad.  Sending an iPad as a digital settlement brochure is a very interesting approach!

If any of you are willing to share your own experiences using an iPhone or iPad in your law practice with other iPhone J.D. readers, I'd love to hear from you.  In case you missed any of them, here are stories that I previously shared from other attorneys:

Categories: iPhone Web Sites

In the news

iPhone J.D. - Thu, 08/09/2018 - 23:55

If you will be in the New Orleans area two weeks from today, I will be presenting a one hour CLE at Noon on Friday, August 24 with tips for using an iPad in your law practice.  The CLE is free if you are a member of the New Orleans Bar Association.  Click here for more information.  We still have about a month to go before mid-September, when I expect Apple to announce the 2018 versions of the iPhone and iPad Pro, and considering that it is also the end of Summer, things are pretty slow in the land of iOS right now.  But there have been a few interesting developments, and here is the news of note from the past week:

Categories: iPhone Web Sites

Lawyer iPhone stories: Jay Brinker

iPhone J.D. - Sun, 08/05/2018 - 19:42

I love to hear how other attorneys are using an iPhone or iPad in their law practice, so I always appreciate it when one of you is willing to share what you are using with the rest of the readers of iPhone J.D.  Today I am happy to share a submission from Jay Brinker, an estate planning attorney in Cincinnati, OH.  Jay also has a blog, which he uses to share interesting estate planning-related stories.  When I first started talking to Jay about the apps that he uses, he told me that he didn't use anything special, and said that because he is not a litigator, he doesn't use many of the well-known legal apps.  But I find that I always learn something no matter what kind of law practice someone has, and I am sure that most of you would agree.  So with no further ado, take it away, Jay:

- - - - -

When Jeff asked me if I could share my iPhone experiences with his readers, I was hesitant to do so because my use of iOS apps is limited compared to the litigators who use apps in trial and for trial prep.  Jeff persuaded me that my more non-power user approach could be useful nonetheless.  So here goes.

Background

I am a solo estate planning attorney who just passed the five year anniversary of my first iPhone purchase.  I was slow to adopt because my prior cell phone provider offered a stupidly low rate ($100 or so for three lines) but did not sell iPhones nor support them, so I suffered through with a BlackBerry until the limitations became untenable.  Expectedly, that carrier is now out of business.

I view my iPhone as a life convenience device rather than a work tool, although it does assist with the large part of my life that is my law practice.

Some Apps for Work

SugarSync is my preferred file syncing and file sharing service because it plays well with my file organization.  It has a nice app for iOS which allows me to easily access any document on my office PC from my phone.  Twice in a six month period, I was out of the office (Marco Island and Prague) when I received an email requesting a client’s living will.  I was able to send the document to the requesting person almost immediately from my phone.

Square is my credit card processing app.  I appreciate its simplicity and relatively low cost.  The customer satisfaction of a client paying with a credit card and getting airline miles is worth the 2.75% or haircut I take.  A quote from a client:  “You take credit cards?  This gets better all of the time.”  That is worth $50 in reduced fees.

Office Lens from Microsoft is a free scanning app that I have been using recently to scan documents on the go.  I can scan and send the document to a myriad of cloud based services.

OneDrive by Microsoft is my cloud storage provider of choice for miscellaneous documents like travel itineraries, tickets, reservations, and other personal documents I want to access quickly.  The iOS app is easy to use.

Apple Pay Cash.  I love Apple Pay.  If Kroger accepted Apple Pay, my grocery shopping experience would be sublime.  Apple Pay Cash allows you to transfer funds to friends and others via text without the privacy concerns of Venmo nor transaction costs of other methods.  A younger out of town client wished to pay an invoice expeditiously last year, so I gave her my cell phone number and she paid via Apple Pay Cash.  I then transferred the funds to my office checking account.

Other Apps I Like

Overcast is my preferred podcast app thanks to Jeff.  I can build playlists and skip ahead or rewind in time allotments of my choice.  You can use the app for free.

Spotify is my music streaming app of choice.  The $240 annual family plan allows my children and me to access nearly any album ever released, build playlists of favorites, and listen to new CDs the day they are released.  I can download playlists onto my phone for offline playback in my car while also controlling music on my PC from the phone.  I am not sure how sustainable this business model is long term, but I love it.  There is also a free version if you do not mind commercials every fourth song.

Key Ring allows me to keep my loyalty cards on my phone and avoid having to carry a “Costanza wallet."  This app is free.

Banking app.  I love the convenience of mobile banking.  I have greatly reduced the number of bank trips for personal check deposits due to the app for my bank.  If my business bank had a larger monthly mobile deposit limit, life would be really sweet.

I also use the Zelle app to send money directly to a family member’s bank account which easily beats writing a check. 

Most Indispensable App

Starbucks Mobile App with its order ahead feature saves me between five and ten minutes every time I visit Starbucks.  I also accumulate rewards points for free drinks.  The app is free.

Deleted Apps

To save space, I recently deleted all of the free Microsoft Office apps.  I never use my phone to edit documents so there was no point in having them.

Apps Never On My Phone (or iPad)

Any social media app.  Pox on all of their houses.

iPads

I have a home iPad and an office iPad.  The home iPad is primarily for newspaper and blog reading.  I take the office iPad into meetings so I can quickly answer a question such as how a house is titled or the status of an estate.  I also use it to schedule the follow up meeting for clients to sign their estate planning documents.  I find it less intrusive than having a laptop for the same purposes.

Thanks for reading and thanks to Jeff for asking me to write.  I hope there was something helpful here.

- - - - -

Thanks again, Jay, for taking the time to share some of your favorite apps!  I had never heard of the Key Ring app, so I'll have to check that one out.

If any of you are willing to share your own experiences using an iPhone or iPad in your law practice with other iPhone J.D. readers, I'd love to hear from you.  And no, you don't have to be a litigator!  In case you missed any of them, here are stories that I previously shared from other attorneys:

Categories: iPhone Web Sites

In the news

iPhone J.D. - Fri, 08/03/2018 - 01:11

The market capitalization or "market cap" of a company is simply the share price multiplied by the number of shares outstanding, and is one method of indicating the public's opinion of the net worth of the company.  Yesterday, Apple became the first company to ever have a market cap of over a trillion dollars.  When the market closed, Apple's market cap was $1.002 trillion.  I thought that this comment from John Gruber of Daring Fireball was interesting:  "That '.002' looks insignificant but represents $2 billion — about what the entire company was worth in 1996."  It was obvious for a while now that this day was coming, so a number of news sites had articles ready to run when the milestone was crossed.  I'll recommend two of them that were particularly good:  an article by Jack Nicas in the New York Times, and an article by Brad Stone of Bloomberg.  There are lots of reasons that Apple achieved this success, but there is no question that the number one reason was the iPhone.  And now, the news of note from this past week:

  • Illinois attorney Warren Freiberg wrote an article for TechnoLawyer recommending apps that are useful for attorneys.  I myself use recommend almost all of the apps identified in that article.  Click here to download the article in PDF format.
  • I went back and forth about whether to link to this article because the premise is so shaky.  In an article for the ABA's GP Solo, legal consultant Seth Rowland asked his son Samuel Rowland, a college student, to try to figure out what mobile apps lawyers might want to use.  The older Rowland explained that he did this because he hasn't practiced law in two decades and his primary focus is PC software, not mobile apps.  Um, okay, but asking a journalism major to pick the best apps for lawyers seems about as valuable as asking me to pick out the best apps for dentists.  The only qualification offered for the younger Rowland was that he is "an avid cell phone user."  Of course, that also accurately describes most of the kids at my son's middle school.  As you might guess, the article fails to mention a ton of useful (and obvious) apps.  But I'm linking to it anyway because it also names some truly good apps, and any time you look at a list of apps there is always the chance that you will come across an app that speaks to you.  So if you dare, click here to read Legal Apps for the Lawyer on the Go.  (And while I disagree with the premise of this article, kudos to Sam for giving it the old college try and finding some of the good apps.)
  • Earlier this week, I reported on Apple's 2018 fiscal third quarter.  In an article for Macworld, Jason Snell offered four interesting takeaways from the results.  And in an article for Six Colors, Snell digs a little deeper into the results.
  • Bradley Chambers of 9to5Mac recommends some of the best iPhone weather apps.
  • Vanity Fair has an interesting excerpt from an upcoming memoir by Lisa Brennan-Jobs, daughter of Steve Jobs, call Small Fry.  They had an awkward relationship, to say the least, and I enjoyed this excerpt.
  • And finally, this short 15-second video advertising the iPad does a good job of showing why I love my almost-completely paperless law practice, which wouldn't be possible without my iPad.  It is called Paperless Paperwork:

Categories: iPhone Web Sites

MacTrack / iTrack -- go to Disney World to learn more about using your iPhone and iPad in your law practice

iPhone J.D. - Wed, 08/01/2018 - 23:56

One of the best ways to learn more about getting more out of an iPhone or iPad in your law practice is to hear directly from other attorneys with expertise in this area.  This is one of the reasons that I enjoy going to ABA TECHSHOW in Chicago every Spring.  Having said that, the last few TECHSHOW conferences have not focused on mobile technology as much as I would have liked.  For years, I have heard great things about the MacTrack Legal conference.  The conference has traditionally been focused on helping solo and small firm lawyers who use Macs, but this year — the 10th year of the conference — it will be called MacTrack / iTrack Legal, and most of the conference will focus on using iPhones and iPads.  If you are looking to attend a conference to learn more about using your iOS device, I cannot think of a better place to go.

The conference is September 27 to 29, 2018, at Disney's Yacht & Beach Club at Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL.  It is easy to get flights to Orlando from most anywhere, and it may be easier to justify the trip if your family can join you and attend the parks while you are at the conference.  The conference occurs during the Epcot Food & Wine Festival.  Attendees can take advantage of a discounted hotel rate not only during the conference, but also for three days before and after the conference.

While the venue alone makes this conference attractive, the real reasons for you to go are the speakers and the attendees.  In past years, the speaker list has been fantastic, and the folks who are already identified on the conference website this year are fantastic.  Not only do they know a ton about using an iOS device (and a Mac), but they are also friendly folks and great teachers.  Just to mention a few, I'm big fans of Florida attorney Katie Floyd (of MacPowerUsers), legal tech consultant Brett Burney, New Jersey estate planning attorney Victor Medina (who is planning the conference), Canadian attorney Bjorn "Barney" Christianson, and Pennsylvania attorney Evan Kline.  I've seen all of them teach sessions on using iOS devices, and in some cases I've even co-presented with them.  In addition to the speakers, numerous attorneys have told me that they attend this conference again and again because of the great folks who were attending, which makes sense because this is a smaller and more intimate conference — the opposite of a mega-conference like TECHSHOW.

I had hoped to be able to speak at this conference this year given the focus on iOS, but unfortunately my schedule doesn't permit it.  But if your schedule does, I encourage you to give this one a look.  I know that it will be an enjoyable and incredibly informative conference.

Here is a video in which Victor explains what makes this conference so special:

Here is a link to a PDF file with more information on the individual sessions.

Click here for more information on MacTrack / iTrack Legal.

Categories: iPhone Web Sites

Apple 2018 fiscal third quarter -- the iPhone and iPad angle

iPhone J.D. - Tue, 07/31/2018 - 22:48

Yesterday, Apple released the results for its 2018 fiscal third quarter (which ran from April 1, 2018 to June 30, 2018) 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).  During the fiscal third quarter, most potential Apple customers — which for the most part means iPhone customers — are waiting to see what new products Apple will introduce in the Fall.  Even so, Apple had their best fiscal third quarter ever, with quarterly revenue of $53.3 billion.  Apple CEO Tim Cook attributed the impressive revenues to three factors:  iPhone sales, service revenue such as the App Store and Apple Music, and wearable product sales such as the Apple Watch and AirPods.  If you want to get all of the nitty gritty details, you can download the audio from the announcement conference call from iTunes, or you can read a transcript of the call prepared by Seeking Alpha, or a transcript prepared by Jason Snell of Six Colors.  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 41.3 million iPhones, just slightly more than the 41 million iPhones sold in 2017's third fiscal quarter. The all-time record for iPhone sales in a fiscal Q3 was in 2015, when Apple sold 47.5 million iPhones.
  • While the increase in the number of iPhones sold versus 2017 Q3 was modest, the increase in revenue from iPhone sales was more impressive thanks to sales of the more expensive iPhone X.  iPhone revenue was $24.8 million in 2017 Q3, but it rose to $29.9 million in 2018 Q3, a 20% increase.
  • By my count, Apple has sold 1.421 billion iPhones since they first went on sale in 2007.
  • What kinds of iPhones are people buying?  For the second quarter in a row, the top-of-the-line iPhone X was the best-seller.  The critics who predicted that few folks would want to pay more for a more powerful iPhone were clearly wrong.

iPad

  • Apple sold just over 11.5 million iPads in the fiscal third quarter, around 100,000 more iPads than Apple sold a year ago. 
  • I don't know if Apple will ever return to the larger iPad sales numbers that the company saw many years ago, including a high of 19.5 million iPads in 2013 Q2.  Nevertheless this is now the fifth quarter in a row that the average number of iPads sold has increased, if you look at a four quarter average.
  • By my count, Apple has sold over 415 million iPads since they first went on sale in 2010.
  • Apple CFO Luca Maestri said that almost half of iPad purchases in the past quarter were by customers new to iPad.

Other

  • A relatively new area of revenue for Apple is app subscriptions, such as apps that are free to download but for which you pay a monthly or yearly subscription fee to access more advanced features.  Cook said that the App Store now includes almost 30,000 apps which offer subscriptions.
  • Because the App Store turned 10 years old last month, Cook spent some time noting its impressive numbers, and the App Store saw its largest ever quarterly revenue in 2018 Q3.  He did not disclose how much of that was spent on the game Fortnite.
  • Cook noted that this past quarter saw all-time highs for both the number of monthly active users of the Messages app and for the number of FaceTime calls made.  If my son is an accurate guidepost, then a lot of those text messages and FaceTime calls are the result of kids being on summer vacation.
  • In the first three quarters of fiscal 2018, there were over 100 billion Siri requests.
  • Here in New Orleans, the two major pharmacies are Walgreen's and CVS.  One of the reasons that I typically choose Walgreen's is that it works great with Apple Pay.  But Cook announced that this Fall, Apple Pay will start to be accepted at CVS (and 7-Eleven too).
  • Cook said that when iOS 12 comes out, the iPhone will be noticeably faster.  The camera on the iPhone will launch up to 70% faster, the keyboard will appear up to 50% faster, and apps will be able to launch up to twice as fast.
  • Cook discussed the impact of President Trump's recent trade war.  He said that tariffs are "a tax on the consumer and wind up resulting in lower economic growth."  Having said that, Cook said that none of Apple's products were directly affected by three recent tariffs, and that Apple was still evaluating another one.  Cook concluded by saying that he was "optimistic that the countries will get through this, and we are hoping that calm heads prevail."
  • Everyone knows that Apple is now developing TV shows and movies and that it will at some point have some service to announce.  Cook said that he wasn't yet ready to share the details, but that he "couldn't be more excited about what's going on there, and we've got great talent in the area that we've sourced from different places, and [we] feel really good about what we will eventually offer."
  • Over 50 million people are now using Apple Music, although an (undisclosed) number of those are in a free trial period.
Categories: iPhone Web Sites

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