Oct 05

iPhone 6S

Once, on a flight between Perth and Melbourne, I was offered – and gladly accepted – an upgrade to first class. I hated every mile.Yes my seat was bigger and made of leather and I had a rather roomy table between me and the guy in the next seat. But relaxing was out of the question because I had been sat next to the alcoholic equivalent of a Bilge pump and so there was always a full glass of scotch inches from my elbow just daring me to knock it over. 

Of course I had plenty of leg room as well, until the person in front of me, not satisfied with the volleyball field she already had in front of her, pushed her seat back. 

I did try to move away from the human sink and Mrs elasto-legs by leaning against the wall in an attempt to sleep. However the planes design and seating plan had other ideas. By placing my seat half away between the wall – good- and the window -bad – meant that my head was forced to either balance on the sharp edge of the Windows portal or flop into the window and bash against the glass. 

It was during this four hour flight that I discovered that upgrades aren’t always a good thing.

Despite this attempt to somehow link my travel stories with my technology decisions I cannot say in all honesty that I have ever regretted an update. This largely due to the fact that I don’t often upgrade as my mantra has always been “keep it till it no longer does what you need it to do.”

However, the other day I upgraded to the iPhone 6S and despite the fact I loved my iPhone 6 I have to say the 6S is now the best phone ever made. 

So what is it about this phone that makes it better than its older brother?
Well not its looks for a start! This phone is the spitting image of the former, despite being a flies wing heavier you’d never be able to tell them apart in a line up. 

The first inkling that you’ve made the right decision to upgrade will come when you turn it on and start using it. 

The definite “oh I see” moment comes when you see just how fast the new A9 chip is when performing day to day tasks. It is difficult, without falling into cliché like “silky smooth “, “responsive” or “blazing” when trying to describe to you how satisfying this phone is to use. The best I do is to say it does everything you normally do but it feels like it’s thinking a microsecond or two ahead of you while you do it. 

Instead, let’s talk about the new hardware features. 
New hardware isn’t something I normally concern myself because it’s always the software that gets my wriggly in my seat but in the 6S I am forced to make an exception. 

The iPhone 6S sports a new kind of screen control called 3D Touch. Why exactly it’s called 3D is something of a mystery to me because unlike my previous experiences with all things 3D I haven’t needed to wear special glasses nor has it once tried to poke my eye out or make me feel sick. 
Instead what it does is breathe new life into the familiar icons to offer a pop out menu specific to that icon. 

For example, press and hold on the Phone icon and an attractive little menu offers you the chance to quickly call the previous 3-4 people. 

Or should you do the same thing to the Contacts icon you can quickly create a new contact or visit the last few recently used contacts. 
On release it was only the Apple supplied icons that had this function but developers are already starting to offer this function in free updates so the skies the limit. 
The camera seems to be important to a lot of people and it always seems to be the focus of upgrades. More megapixels, better flash, more robust video seem always to be the banner headlines of any new phone launch. 
This time around is no different with a better front facing camera for better selfies. (This generations most hated word followed closely by “toats” and the use of “like” instead of a comma) and a 12mp camera for the kind of serious shots used take while on safari. 

Although I fancy a selfie that included a Lion would also be judged as “serious” by your next of kin. 
In addition to the increased megapixels, the 6S also allows you to take what is now termed as a “live” photo. Now when I was a boy these were called videos but a live photo is a melding of these two disciplines to give you something akin to a newspaper article in Harry Potter. 
It’s cute and a novelty but to be honest I cannot make it work. If I ever do figure it out I am guessing it might be fun to see my photos like this on the big screen. 

The video camera can now do 4K video, you know, the type that GoPro cameras do. 
Now while I am not suggesting strapping the iPhone to your head while you go skiing down the Alps, strong and full video of your next holiday might be good thing, especially when viewed on your large screen telly. Like all things camera it’s not something that would make me upgrade but since it’s there, ok. 

I mentioned before about the speed of the phone and the phenomenal difference the A9 chip makes but this monster chip is no more evident the when you use Touch ID. 

For those not familiar with Touch ID, this is a technology introduced with the iPhone 5S and it basically turns the home button into a finger print scanner. 

In a few simple steps you can map all the fingers of your hands (although why you’d want to unlock your phone with your little finger is perhaps something best discussed with your therapist) allowing you to unlock your phone. 

It was, and still is, a great feature that allows access to your phone (and the purchase of apps) without using your password or passcode but in the past it had a lag that often made you wonder if it was going to work at all. Now with the 6S the unlocking your phone is so fast that an observer would be forgiven for thinking you didn’t have a lock at all. It seems like the very second your thumb is on the home button the phone opens. 

One feature that definitely falls well into the “don’t try this at home” basket is the unconfirmed suggestion that the new iPhone is actually water proof. 
I haven’t tried this myself and don’t recommend you do either but it looks like should disaster of the H2O variety strike you may very well be pleasantly surprised. 

So there you go, just a few reasons I was genuinely happy to break the habit of a life time and upgrade when I was still in love with my current iPhone. But no article on the 6S would be complete without mentioning Siri and her new “hey Siri ” feature. 
Since iOS 8 it has been possible to activate Siri with the command “hey Siri” but the 6S allows this to be done even when the phone is unplugged. 

One night I was sitting on the lounge with my wife and we were bathed in candle light and soaking in the romantic ambience. The phone was sitting on the kitchen bench and I confidently called out “hey Siri, play something romantic”. Dutifully she set about playing “You’ve got nothing I want you’ve got nothing I need by Cold Chisel.  

So it seems the new Siri has a sense of humour as well. 

Permanent link to this article: http://macservicesact.com.au/iphone-6s/

Sep 26

XcodeGhost malware hack on IOS

skull and cross bones on a phone

Has my iOS device (iPad, iPhone, iPod) been infected with Malware?

Probably not.

What happened?

Since the introduction of the App Store in 2008 there have been 4 (out of 1.4 million) applications found to have code that was considered to be malicious. That compares to 33% of applications discovered in the Android Market Place – you know, the one used by all your mates that have Samsung phones – since it opened its doors in 2008.

Last week it was discovered that some developers (mostly in China) have been writing apps using a pirated (and infected) copy of Xcode. The end result are some 4000+ applications in the AppStore that have this Malware built in.

Who is affected?

Anyone who has the infected app installed on their iOS Device. However this is mainly in China and the Asia market and there is very little to suspect you have any of these infected apps. Looking through the list I have only recognised WeChat, PDF Reader and Angry Birds 2 as apps that could have made it to these shores.

What are the risks?

The infected apps can steal passwords, monitor calls and send data offshore to, well, God Knows who.

What can you do?

Apple have already removed these apps from the store. Check your iOS Device against this list and delete any you find. Then update your phone to iOS 9.0.1 and this will kill anything inside that might be lurking.

Please remember, if you don’t have any of these apps installed on your iOS device (and there is a very good chance you won’t) there is nothing to worry about.

List of Infected Apps



Angry Birds 2





CamScanner Lite

CamScanner Pro

Card Safe

China Unicom Mobile Office


CITIC Bank move card space




Didi Chuxing

Eyes Wide



Freedom Battle



guaji_gangtai en

Guitar Master

High German map


Hot stock market

I called MT

I called MT 2

IFlyTek input







Jane book


Lazy weekend


Mara Mara

Marital bed

Medicine to force


Micro Channel

Microblogging camera







nice dev


OPlayer Lite


PDFReader Free


Pocket billing


Poor tour

Quick asked the doctor

Quick Save


Railway 12306



snapgrab copy

Stocks open class


Telephone attribution assistant

The driver drops

The Kitchen

Three new board




Watercress reading





WinZip Sector

WinZip Standard

Permanent link to this article: http://macservicesact.com.au/xcodeghost-malware-hack-on-ios/

Sep 26

iOS9 is here and waiting

ios9iOS9 has arrived and is waiting, patiently, to be introduced to your iPhone or iPad by way of the Settings App.

The first consideration is does your device support it and then of course its a question of should you?

iOS9 is suitable for any device that is currently running iOS8:

  • iPhone 4S
  • iPhone 5
  • iPhone 5C
  • iPhone 5S
  • iPhone  6
  • iPhone  6 Plus
  • iPad 2
  • iPad 3
  • iPad 4
  • iPad Air
  • iPad Mini
  • iPad Mini (Retina)
  • iPod Touch 5

On the question of should you… well that is really two fold. First, iOS9 is a leaner bird and so the promise is it will breathe new life and performance into your ageing device but there have been reports to the contrary? For my part, I installed it on my iPad Mini (which was getting very slow) and I think it is a little better. Besides, as with all updates, this one includes security improvements so no matter what I think it’s a good idea to update.

By the way, things got much better for my iPad Mini once I turned off Refresh Apps in the Background.

The other reason you’d install it or skip it would be does it do anything you’d be interested in. Well, lets find out and if you are convinced at the end I’d suggest plugging your device into the power and letting rip with the Setting App.


Much todo has been made of the new keyboard layout. Now, instead of the letters always being in UPPERCASE the keys change case accordingly. To be honest this has never bothered me up once I saw it I liked it and even though it can be turned off, I am leaving it.

ios9 keyboard in lowercase

The keyboard has received some extra love on the iPad with the introduction of quick tap icons for copy/paste, undo, camera access and more.

ios9 keyboard ipad


After only two years the Helvetica Neue font introduced with iOS7 has been ushered to the pages of history in favour of Apple’s new San Francisco font. This is hardly an earth shattering event and, if I hadn’t pointed it out, you probably would have have missed it entirely. As such it is certainly not a reason to apply the update but neither is it a reason to avoid it. Rather than being San Francisco I think it is Switzerland – neutral.

san francisco font


I have written a lot about Siri and I have been a big fan of hers since day one. That is why I was genuinely excited to read that iOS9 was going to introduce new abilities, functions and greater awareness for Siri.

For starters her look has changed. No longer are you presented with the thin minimalist line when she awakens but now a strip of overlapping rainbow colours that is oddly psychedelic. (or is it just me?)

siri sound wave siri iOS 9

And no, your phone isn’t broken, the familiar “dudo” sound has been removed. Now just hold down the home key and speak… no need to wait.

Siri has become content aware. What does this mean? I am glad you asked and allow me to answer in the form of some practical examples.

Let us imagine you receive an email from your significant other (or in my case; handler) asking you to check how much milk is in the fridge when you get home.

With the email open you can activate Siri and say “When I get home remind me to do this” Now, in the past, Siri wouldn’t have had any idea what “this” was. But now she knows it refers to the email you are looking at.

Or perhaps, you are at a dinner party and someone asks to see the photos you took in the UK three years ago. Rather than thumbing about looking through thousands of photos, you can now ask Siri “show me the photos from the UK last year”


Siri has also been updated to analyse your actions and attempt to pre-empt your wishes.

(and yes, in case you are wondering this can be turned off but since none of this information is shared with outsiders I am not sure why you’d want to)

So, for example, if Siri detects that every time you plug your headphones in you are going for a walk, she will start to suggest the fitness app. Also, if you read the news at the same time every morning, she may suggest the News app in the morning.

suggested apps in ios9


There are new functions in mail and some icon improvements as well. Now when you swipe there are icons to accompany the action making it just that little bit more friendly and obvious.

unread icon in apple mail delete, unread icon in apple mail

Also, if you receive an email with an appointment suggestion, Siri will be aware of this and politely offer to add it to your calendar.

event suggestion in mail


When Apple Music was released one of the things that changed was the removal of Homeshare. Previously you could access your home iTunes library on any iOS device and watch movies, TV or listen to music contained within. Happily this has been brought back in iOS, much to the delight of the Willins household. Other than this return to form, nothing much has changed in the Apple Music arena since its release a few months back.

While in Apple Music you can get access to your Shared Library by:

  1. Tap on My Music
  2. Tap on Artists


3. Scroll down until you you HomeSharing.

home share ios9



Adding a feature I bet you didn’t know you needed, it is now possible to save voicemails to the iPhone to keep forever. This works well if you are using visual voicemail and if you aren’t using this you really should try it.

The voicemail can be shared to your Voice memos app (for example) and played forever more and this might be important for all kinds of personal or legal reasons in the future.


share-voicemails-your-iphone-ios-9-2.w654 share-voicemails-your-iphone-ios-9-3.w654


If you have ever tried to use “free” wifi at a shopping centre you probably have already guessed that most of them are garbage. Yes, they are free. Yes, you don’t need a troublesome password but no they don’t actually connect you to the internet with anything faster than treacle pouring down a window on a cold day. The issue here is that your iDevice sees you are connected to a wifi network, ignores your 4G connection and struggles on regardless. The end result is a safari page of nothing!

With Wifi Assist turned on, the software will automatically detect that the feed is less than stellar and automatically ignore it and move to greener – 4G – pastures.

To find and activate go to Settings, Mobile and scroll aaaaaaall the way to the bottom.

wifi assist


Year after year, model after model Apple have set about getting the best battery life out of a device that needs to get thinner and lighter every year and spends most of its life lit up like a Christmas tree. Not an easy task.

We as consumers have often come up short being away from our phone chargers and watched in horror as the battery drains to nothing and we are powerless to stop it.

Now, with ios9 we can quickly turn on Power Save mode that automatically shuts down all kinds of settings to save the battery in one grand gesture. Doing this gets you about an extra hour and it can stay like this until you absolutely need to use the web or make a call or send a text.

To turn on, go to Settings and then Battery.

offer to turn on power save mode


Now with the new Notes app you can draw pictures, create checklists change the font and style of the note.

notes app in ios9

This might not seem like a big thing but it means that the Notes app just became 200% more useful overnight.

So these are just some of the reasons I upgraded to IOS9. If you are convinced, go to Settings, Software Update and follow the prompts.

Permanent link to this article: http://macservicesact.com.au/ios9-is-here-and-waiting/

Sep 18

El Capitan v Windows 10

conflict, fight

So what on earth am I doing writing an article about Windows 10?  Why, for pity sake, is this post on a website devoted to Apple and their halo-istic (is there is such a word) products?

Well the answer to this is two fold. Often we need to install Windows on either a boot camp partition or a virtual machine such as VMware in order to run applications not currently available for Apple. And on that score I can put you out of your misery immediately, the answer is yes it’s fine. It doesn’t stall, it isn’t slow and, at least in my testing, it doesn’t mangle your favourite Windows applications. In short, it is a bit like Geelong… nice place to visit but you wouldn’t want to live there.

My second reason for bothering to discuss Windows 10 lies squarely with your friends. I am especially concerned, as I am sure you are, about those friends already using Windows. Those friends who, not knowing any better, might think that they should upgrade to Windows 10 rather than move to a  Mac – despite your advice to contrary.

In this comparison I am going to focus specifically on what both Windows 10 and Mac OS X – in this instance El Capitan – offer out of the box, so no third party software will be allowed to muddy the interface waters.


General look and feel

There is no doubt that Windows 10 is a more complete interface than Windows 8 – which is a bit like saying that rabies is an improvement on The Black Death because in real terms all they have managed is to finish writing Windows 8 and call it Windows 10.

Gone are the schizophrenic journeys into Windows 7 and then back to Windows 8 depending on what you were doing, what preference you were trying to access or application you wanted to run. It was a lottery and all you can say in its defence is that it never allowed you to miss Windows 7 and those days when an operating system was consistent and user friendly – ish.

In Windows 10 one of the biggest selling points is that the Start menu is back, something they removed in Windows 8 and kept chained and gagged in the basement ever since – so hardly an innovation but welcomed nonetheless.

Screen Shot 2015-09-15 at 9.09.52 pm

However clicking on it no longer gets you a list of our favourite applications or quick access to settings, but rather a lurching billboard of tiles – reminiscent of the Metro interface from Windows 8 – plonks itself all over the screen like a flag (if I can mix my metaphors). While this new menu is simple to use and to configure to your liking it feels like all they have done is to salvage something from the afore mentioned Metro interface that was so much at the heart of Windows 8. However one click and the illusion is shattered and replaced with a mere list of icons.

Perhaps you feel I am being a tad pedantic and perhaps I am but if you are going to have a theme I think it should be adhered too beyond a few clicks.

As for El Capitan, well it remains committed to the Finder, the Dock and now LaunchPad to access applications and settings.

Screen Shot 2015-09-15 at 9.18.48 pm

This interface is familiar to anyone who has used a computer in the last 15 years or anyone who has used an iPad or an iPhone in the last 5 years. Its warm and its cozy. It is a comfy sweater to Windows 10’s straight jacket.


Email is central to us all and the El Capitan comes with a Mail application that is well suited to the casual user and has plenty in reserve for corporate servers like Exchange in the work place.

It is easy to use and has proven itself time and time and again to be robust and reliable. Easy access to formatting and built in stationary makes it the kind of built in application that makes you think long and hard about shelling out money for something else.

Screen Shot 2015-09-15 at 9.36.37 pm

Windows Mail on the other hand is clunky, almost menu less (good luck finding how to create a Smart Folder or a an off line folder) and dull. Any task beyond creating, receiving mail or printing seems to be something best left to another application.

Screen Shot 2015-09-15 at 9.41.35 pm


Web browsing is definitely Tonto to email’s Lone Range or perhaps it would be more accurate to say they are conjoined twins? Regardless, I think it is fair to say that browsing is something users do with breathtaking regularity.

Windows 10 has received a major boost in the browsing market with Microsoft Edge replacing the buggy and often scorned Internet Explorer. Straight away you can tell that during development someone  really loved this application because from the start it is obvious it was built to be used and be functional.

That is not to say it is without its oddities but more on that later.

As with all applications in Windows 10 it seems to launch – by default – in large screen mode taking every available pixel to flaunt its wares and while this is easily overcome it is tedious and unnecessary.

Screen Shot 2015-09-18 at 4.52.06 pm Screen Shot 2015-09-18 at 4.54.47 pm

But it must be acknowledged that all the essentials are there. A common address and search bar – at the top rather than Windows 8 that thought it funky to put it at the bottom of the screen and hide it half the time –  and bookmarks that are easy to create and manage. There are familiar forward and back arrows  – for those that believe swiping between pages is the work of the devil – but for some reason the Home button needs to be turned on in Settings.  Another tedious and unnecessary task.

I would go so far as to say that this browser, by and large, has everything that the average user of Safari would enjoy. However it falls down (or perhaps in this case just bumps into the furniture) in the design and function stakes. Lets take the Sharing function as an example and while we are at it the often over looked Reading List function as another.

While browsing you sometimes feel the irresistible urge to share the page with a friend either by email or sms. Or perhaps you want to post it for the world to see – again – on Twitter or Facebook. With Safari a simple click on the Sharing button gives you all of these options.

Screen Shot 2015-09-15 at 10.14.44 pm

Screen Shot 2015-09-15 at 10.15.11 pm

With Edge however you’d be forgiven for thinking that this function  – beyond sharing via email or Twitter – had been left out altogether. It’s only after a trip to the Store and waiting five minutes to download the Facebook plugin that you get the ability to share via Facebook, to say nothing of sharing via text or the various other means offered in El Capitan.

Talk about taking the wind out of your collaborative sails!  It reminds me of the days when you felt like watching a video only to be forced to sit there for 20 minutes waiting for it to rewind to the beginning.

My apologies to anyone younger than 25 who may be reading this and any distress that I may have caused.

Screen Shot 2015-09-15 at 10.20.20 pm

Once again a snack has been turned into a five course meal.

With an ever increasing sense that the designers at Apple sit down and talk to one another, the Reading List function is similarly functional and in the same location.

Screen Shot 2015-09-18 at 4.59.24 pm

However, it must be said that Edge does have an interesting twist on this idea in that it allows you to annotate the webpage before committing it to the Reading list. Just why you’d want to do this – I mean isn’t this just a place to hold websites that you want to read and then discard later – is beyond me.Screen Shot 2015-09-15 at 10.26.50 pm

Screen Shot 2015-09-15 at 10.26.10 pm

But even without annotation it is still a three click process to do what El Capitan does in one.

More tedium ensues.

Address Book

Both address books are clean and uncluttered which is a good thing.

Despite Apple Contacts looking sparse there is a fair bit of ability built in if you want it. Clicking on the persons address will you get the Maps application and directions. You can also send an email from the contact by clicking on their email address or a phone call by clicking on their phone number. The Windows 10 address book doesn’t have this range of function – and the Maps application is ghastly – but both address are likely the closest comparisons that can be made between the built in application suite.

Screen Shot 2015-09-15 at 10.40.26 pm

Screen Shot 2015-09-15 at 10.40.13 pm

Screen Shot 2015-09-16 at 12.20.49 AM

Screen Shot 2015-09-15 at 10.39.56 pm

So what else

Both El Capitan and Windows 10 allow you to easily split the screen between two applications simply by dragging the windows to the edge of the screen. Windows 10 has Cortana – their Siri alternative – built into the desktop OS – something El Capitan most certainly does not have.

Screen Shot 2015-09-18 at 5.11.12 pm (2)

With Cortana you can ask it – or is it “her” – to open applications, remind you of events or make calendar entries. She can also do searches that span not only the computer’s stored wealth of knowledge but the internet as well.

Screen Shot 2015-09-15 at 11.57.18 pm

El Capitan has similar functions in the new Spotlight but again this is strictly via the keyboard.

Screen Shot 2015-09-16 at 1.04.35 AM

Cortana is definitely cool but because it is not a phone – meaning the mic is not right up to your face –  it is going to suffer at the hands of office background noise.  Plus, and I don’t know if this is just version 1 jitters, but give her any task that falls outside the rudimentary and she just offers up a Bing Search page instead, almost with an apologetically shrug.  I cannot help wondering if you are going to be spending as much time and effort closing the browser as it would have taken to do it manually.

Windows 10 does come with Solitaire but when I tried to play it I was forced to launch and sign up to Xbox? For Solitaire! Seriously! I feel like the proverbial hammer has been introduced to a unfortunate proverbial fly. By the time I was permitted to play I wanted to play a card game no more than I wanted to nail my head to the sideboard.


El Capitan comes with Photos and with this you can easily manage, edit and share photos as well as create cards, books and calendars.

Screen Shot 2015-09-18 at 5.17.23 pm

Screen Shot 2015-09-18 at 5.22.49 pmWindows 10 has a Photos application but the menus are – and this is getting to be a broken record – illogical. The enhance feature, which is a form of edit, is separate from all the other editing features. However, once this oddity has been fathomed, its business as usual.

Screen Shot 2015-09-18 at 5.22.20 pmScreen Shot 2015-09-18 at 5.25.27 pm

So do I hate Windows 10?

Well you’d certainly be forgiven for thing so but no I don’t, honestly. It is a fine example of Windows but would I want myself or my friends to suffer its half baked features and frankly bewildering interface choices for anything more than a few minutes?

No, and neither should you.

Permanent link to this article: http://macservicesact.com.au/el-capitan-v-windows-10/

Sep 15

Everything that is new from Apple

serveimageSo there I was, 3am in the morning,  waiting for the latest Apple event to be streamed live into my lounge room. I was moulded into our couch wearing a dressing gown, slippers and, so as not to wake the saner members of the household, wireless headphones. I had a mug of coco in one hand, my Apple TV (soon to be replaced) remote in the other and a blanket over my knees. A more adorable and thoroughly un-Bond like sight is, I think, impossible to imagine.


When it was all over my coco was drained, my blanket was up around my chin, impossibly cheerful birds were starting to yell in the dawn – ensuring that going back to bed was out of the question – and I was left wondering 4 things.

  1. How am I going to wait a full week before I can upgrade my Apple Watch when I already feel like I might burst with anticipatory glee?
  2. How much will I get for my current Apple TV on eBay?
  3. Who do I know who wants a second hand iPhone 6 and;
  4. Who the hell is going to buy a 13 inch iPad?


There is no secret that from the start I felt that the Apple Watch was the best in its breed for all round function and form but, as with all things version 1, there was room for improvement. How was I, or anyone outside of Tim Cook’s office for that matter, to know that these improvements would be a matter of weeks away?

These updates had already been announced but this event went further to show us salivating Watch owners just what was possible and what was coming. New watch faces and new Apple bands sure, but it was the watches ever increasing autonomy – that is to say its independence from the phone – that really made us wiggle.

In addition, 3rd party developers now have more access to the watch and its hardware so great new and previously unimagined functions were now being crammed inside this little (in my case) 42mm shell. Night Stand mode, Time Travel and new watch faces that display time lapse scenes of famous cities or pictures from your own photo album, to name but a few.

One such demonstration had a doctor checking in on patients current vitals while doing rounds in the hospital or playing golf – as the stereo typical doctor is often accused.

If you think the Apple Watch is worthwhile now, you are going to be very happy indeed when it starts to morph into something even better with a simple software update.

Apple have also added gold to the Sports edition  – although there is no way you could pass it off as a real Gold watch (so buyers of the Apple Watch Edition needn’t feel slighted) – and they have partnered with Hermes to offer some really elegant bands and accompanying watch faces.

It was a promising product when it was released and it has started to deliver on that promise already with no additional outlay from me. This, and the fact that the activity monitor has motivated me to remove a layer of fat from around my kidneys, lying there like the blanket of death it was undoubtedly becoming, means it was- and continues to be with every update- the best damn $500 I ever spent.


Anyway, I have babbled about the Apple Watch enough, surely!? So now lets look at something that has over the years become the epicentre of my lounge room entertainment – The Apple TV. When this was first launched Steve Jobs called it a “hobby” and its always sort of, kind of, remained in that box ever since. But the updates and tweaks have continued to roll out and with every update there have been features added, interface enhancements and speed. This initially little white – now black – set top box has sat under our TV quietly making good use of a faster internet (well in some places at least) and services like Netflix and Stan keep giving us more choice. In a single evening we can watch a movie or TV episode, watch Youtube, listen to the radio, look at our Photos or stream our own music and all the while I am wondering why I am still bothering to pay for Foxtel?

The new Apple TV may look very similar but the whole focus has changed and so has the way you interact with it. For starters you can now use your voice to ask for movies, TV and other service. With Siri built in you can simply ask your TV to “find me the latest Action Films”. This request might see you offer everything from James Bond to Zardox but you can go further and say ”just the Bond films” and then “Just the ones starring Daniel Craig”

The other great thing is that once you have made your choice, for example, SkyFall, Apple TV will show you all the services that movie is available. So if it can be watched on Netflix, iTunes and Hulu, they will all be listed and you can choose which service to use.

I said earlier that the Apple TV was our entertainment hub of choice but now it can offer all kinds of other Apps from its very own App store. During the presentation I was shown a shopping app that someone buying clothes but in due course I can see Crust, Dominos and Pizza Hut putting apps up there so you can order your Friday night dinner as well.

But the App store has games as well so if the movie sucks you can always stop it and play Angry Birds on your 65 inch screen.

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Obviously a presentation of this size would be meaningless without the fully anticipated iPhone. Every second year Apple have announced an “S” version of the phone they released the year before. This S breed has always looked the same, always had a better camera and the expected performance enhancements. But these models have generally been overlooked by all but those who couldn’t afford to get one the year before, or those that froth at the mouth about such things as a new phone every year – regardless. I, I must confess, am not one of the latter but most assuredly one of the former. Generally a better camera or a faster processor does little to excite me, instead it is the software can do for me that has me all aflutter. This year, however, is different because this “S” model has plenty to scream about from. Things such as 3D touch, a better Siri, 4K video, better Touch ID and the ability to take photos that seem to come to life (see Harry Potter if you cannot imagine it) and, if our stuffy banks can ever get off their tweedy arses, Apple Pay, which, incidentally, would mean you could pay for your groceries with your Watch. But what the hey… lets stay in the 1980s shall we!?

3050945-inline-i-3-apples-big-plan-to-transform-your-photos-into-videosThe iPhone 6 is one of the best iPhones ever made. It’s a perfect size (don’t get me started on the 6 Plus or I fear I will jabber on for another few pages) and is a very pleasing thing to hold. To think that this perfect storm of metal and glass has now been given more hardware that allows even better software and features is very welcome news. The kind of news in fact that will have me on the line to my telco provider faster than…well if you’ll excuse me…there… ordered.


At these events an iPad upgrade has often been expected right along side the obligatory iPhone, and this event was no different. Well at least it was no different in so much as there was an update but it was very different when we actually saw what was updated.

The iPad Pro is, at 13 inches, the largest iPad ever made, it’s also the fastest iPad ever made and it has technology rammed into every mm of its surprisingly thin and light frame.

As an accessory you can purchase the new Smart Keyboard and the Apple Pencil, the first Apple Stylus. The thrust of the iPad Pro is definitely productivity with Microsoft themselves demonstrating how well Office works and Adobe creating a advertising campaign in a matter of minutes. I cannot see the iPad Pro being the tablet choice of students or mums or Dads – the current demographic that love their iPads – but for a business, a graphic artist or a school… I cannot think of why they wouldn’t go for this.

Earlier I mentioned the keyboard and I am sure thats not surprising but the stylus… that might shock a few. Steve was famous for claiming that the iPhone (or iPad) didn’t need a stylus because we were all born with 10 of them. But while that might have been true – and still is – the iPad Pro is focusing on people who want to draw very very fine lines and shades, things that a finger just cannot do… as the iPad has evolved so does its input devices. That said the finger is still the first choice for navigation but now, if a contour line on a map or the eyelash of a butterfly is required there is the Apple Pencil to get it done.

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So, where too from here? The new Phones go on sale on the 25th September but considering China’s insatiable appetite for the iPhone 6 and the enormous numbers of units ordered in anticipation they will be undoubtable be in short supply in Australia. So you’d better get your order in sharpish.

If you’ve ever thought a smart watch might help motivate you to exercise and perhaps streamline your communication habits, now is a good time to consider the watch.

The iPad Pro.. well I’d go in and play with one but remember even if its not for you, there are new iPad Mini 4s as well. And, who knows, the awesome new features in the iPad Pro could very well find themselves in the next generation of iPad Air?

Permanent link to this article: http://macservicesact.com.au/everything-that-is-new-from-apple/

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