iOS 12 for iPhone and iPad Update Available Today!

It’s just after noon Eastern time and I’m eagerly awaiting today’s expected release of Apple’s new operating system for the iPhone and iPad, iOS 12. This free update is chock full of goodies that not only gives you cool new features on your iDevices, but also dramatically improves the performance of all the iPhone and iPad models it runs on (nearly all of them). Yes, this is an update you are going to want to download as soon as you can. There is also a significant update for the Apple Watch today, WatchOS 5, which provides Walkie Talkie capabilities between two Apple Watch users, among many other enhancements.

While I’m waiting for Apple to release iOS 12 and WatchOS 5, I thought I would get up to speed on the new features by reading the most comprehensive review of iOS 12 written by Federico Viticci, which he released just this morning. Federico lives in Rome, Italy and is considered by industry watchers as the leading authority in iOS. Back in 2015 he abandoned his Mac to go all-in on the iPad. He and his colleague, John Voorhees, who hails from my native state of Michigan, publish my go-to podcast for all things Apple.

The blog is called MacStories and it is phenomenal! Chock full of information that keeps a geek like myself in the know, these guys offer the most comprehensive reviews and variety of material on Apple products and 3rd party products designed for them. They have a charism for explaining technical products and making sense of the complex. Their reviews have led me to so many amazing products and services that they are my go-to source to keep up with the latest and greatest apps.

I’m going to be spending hours with the new Shortcuts app in iOS 12 and Federico’s review will be a huge help in understanding how to use it. I also recommend that if you are interested in learning more about diving into Shortcuts you check out David Sparks’ (MacSparky) Workflow Field Guide. Workflow is the predecessor to Shortcuts purchased by Apple and enhanced to become the new Shortcuts app for iOS 12.

So, without any further adieu, I’m going to continue reading Federico’s review while I impatiently wait for Apple to release iOS 12. Check it out…it’s nothing short of amazing!

Apple Announces New iPhones and a New Apple Watch!

IPhone Xs, Xs Max and Xr
As expected, Apple announced three new iPhone models today. There are two new high-end models of the iPhone X, the Xs and the Xs Max. The Xs has the same screen as the current iPhone X, but the Max touts a HUGE 6.5″ screen contained in a phone that’s the same physical size as the iPhone 7 & 8 Plus models. This is possible because the screen goes all the way to the phone’s edges and the home button, as with the iPhone X, is eliminated and uses FaceID to unlock the phone.

Believe it or not, the biggest surprise for me was the lower price iPhone Xr. It starts at $749 and comes in various colors. It has all the same internal upgrades as the Xs models, but only a single lens camera versus the dual-lens found on the Xs and a different screen technology. Honestly, for the difference in price I don’t see either of these as a big deal. You lose the 2X optical zoom, but the camera has essentially all the other features and upgrades found in the Xs. And the screen is still going to look amazing. The iPhone Xr is a great phone…Apple is going to sell a LOT of these!

As for me, I don’t see enough upgraded features to trade in my iPhone X this year. I plan to wait for next year’s model, but if I were in the market for a new phone I believe I would choose the new Xr.


Apple Watch Series 4
What does have my full attention is the new Apple Watch. It has a larger, more vibrant screen that displays a lot more information that the current model. It also has ECG capability built in so you can perform a reliable electrocardiogram in just 30 seconds! Additionally the “fall detection” feature is very cool. It can detect a fall and easily send an SOS call to 911. Very cool.

Yes, I am going to be trading in my Series 2 Apple Watch for the new Series 4. I won’t go with the cellular option though, as I always have my iPhone in my pocket and can make and take calls on the watch through it’s connection to the phone. It’s an additional $100 for the cellular option, plus another $10/month at most of the carriers. Not worth it for me, but a nice feature for those who don’t want to take their phone with them to the gym, the pool or the beach. With the cellular option you can make phone calls and send/receive text messages without needing to have your iPhone with you.

Anyone want a good deal on a slightly used Apple Watch Model 2?


What Didn’t Apple Announce Today?
Many expected Apple to announce new iPads, Macs and AirPods. They didn’t. Many now believe that these will come in October at another event.


Learn More
There’s no shortage of articles with all the details, but here’s a good one for a fairly complete overview of what was (and was not) announced by Apple today:

https://venturebeat.com/2018/09/12/apple-announces-iphone-xr-an-iphone-x-with-liquid-retina-display/

And of course you MUST take a look at everything on Apple’s website:

New iPhones

New Apple Watch

Samsung debuts Galaxy Watch with improved battery and health features | VentureBeat

Yet another announcement from Samsung. I’m sure this will be a good watch choice for Android users and I admit that the styling is attractive. As for me, I’m staying with the iPhone and the Apple Watch. The Galaxy Watch is shipping on the 24th of this month. 

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Samsung is officially saying goodbye to the “Gear” smartwatch brand in favor of a new name — Galaxy Watch. And as it announced today at its Unpacked event in New York City, its latest wearable includes some noteworthy improvements to the two-year-old Gear S3 lineup…
— Read on venturebeat.com/2018/08/09/samsung-debuts-galaxy-watch-with-improved-battery-and-health-features/

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 announced with 6.4-inch screen and a huge battery – The Verge

For all you Android fans, this looks like a winner! You can pre-order it starting today.

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The new Samsung Galaxy Note 9 offers some of the best specs of any Android smartphone available today. Preorders start on August 10th, and it goes on sale on August 24th. — Read on www.theverge.com/circuitbreaker/2018/8/9/17658576/samsung-galaxy-note-9-specs-price-release-date-camera-screen-battery-2018