I’ve been considering this for a long time but over recent weeks the ability to repair my own technology has become far more important to me. Only a few weeks back, I was unfortunate enough to splash a few drops of coffee onto the keyboard of our Macbook Pro. We cleaned it off & thought nothing more of it until later in the day, when the machine failed to switch on. This was such a stressful thing to happen. The Macbook is 4 years old but is still in great condition & used constantly. It doesn’t warrant an upgrade.
I was lucky enough to get everything done early today & by 4PM I was already updating my iPhone 6 to IOS 8.4. – 15 minutes later I was signed up to the 3 month trial of Apple Music & trialing this exciting service. Initially Beats 1 Radio was just a loop of ambient music called Ambient 1 – Music for airports by Brian Eno. We kept getting brief voice over of Zane Lowe chatting to other locations & engineers in the run up to a 5PM GMT launch. And then at 5PM Zane launched with a local Manchester Band named Spring King and the song City. Manchester went worldwide & opened Beats 1 Radio. Good work.
Like all tech folk I ate dinner early yesterday & sat down to watch the live stream of the WWDC 2015. This is a big day in the tech calendar & we often learn of new & exciting things coming out of the super secret Apple engineering labs. It wasn’t quite as good as 2013 when I was in San Francisco for the WWDC but I can’t complain.
The three big announcements this year where iOS 9, OSX El Capitan and Watch OS – With a little extra bit at the end for Apple Music & Beats 1 radio. All exciting things & a lot to get your head around.
Yesterday in Manchester I managed to get my hands on the brand new Apple Watch. I was as skeptical as most people when Tim Cook introduced these at the Apple Keynote in March 2015 but I must say I was very impressed. It was a bit of a scrum to get hands on with these watches in Manchester. A lot of people showing interest & Apple Employees where doing “fittings” which essentially means opening beautiful wooden drawers below the Apple Watch display & allowing you to try on the various editions.
1. The North Face e-tip lightweight gloves
2. 2000mAh Battery Bank
3. Mulberry Wallet
4. Oyster Card & Amsterdam OV-Chipkaart
5. Compact umbrella
6. Oakley (4+1)2 Polarized sunglasses
7. Notebook & Parker Jotter pen
8. Nixon – The Sentry watch
10. Huawei E160 3G dongle
11. Sandisk 16GB Flash Drive
12. Apple iPhone 6
13. Apple iPod classic 5th Generation U2 Special Edition Black/Red (30 GB)
14. Keys on Element Lanyard
15. Apple EarBuds
16. Retractable iPod cable
17. Micro USB short lead
18. Apple lighting cable & power adaptor
19. Spare GiffGaff sims
20. Integral SD card reader
This week a good friend of mine gave me a pair of Apple EarPods with Remote and Mic. He was sent a replacement iPhone 5S to replace a faulty unit and they sent it retail boxed with another set of EarPods so I was given the new pair. The ones I currently use are the ones that shipped with my iPhone 4. They are now pushing 4 years old & still in perfect working order. In fact since my first iPod in 2006 I’ve never had a set of Apple Headphones go faulty. They are great quality & pretty much indestructible (I still have that original pair from my iPod I bought in San Francisco back in 2006).
Just a quick post regarding memory issues and poor performance on iOS 8 when used on an older A5 chipset iPad 2. I upgraded to iOS 8.1.1 tonight and everything seems much improved. It’s nowhere near as quick as iOS 7.1.2 was, but it is snappier and less buggy. Also seems to have fixed the copy and paste issue I hacked a workaround for last week.
Safari loads faster and multi tasking is improved noticeably. Still having issues with gsm not working so I’m limited to wifi only but I’m glad to have a usable iPad 2 again.
I’m a big gadget lover but I need to balance my love of tech with my environmental conscience. I’ve got a massive issue with replacing items which are still perfectly usable items. It seems so wasteful to replace a phone or a tablet simply because a newer version has been released. The new models may have a slightly better spec but often they carry a huge price tag. To me, the gain is minimal but the outlay is maximum.
This standpoint is reflected in my current lineup of tech. My one & only phone is an iPhone 4. Not a 4S, a humble 4. It’s jailbroken & locked down to ios 7 as apple no longer allow it to be upgraded. With the jailbreak tweaks its perfectly fine speed wise, I actually prefer the smaller form factor and the battery life hasn’t really degraded from the day I bought it.
Like many people I’ve been struggling with the copy and paste bug in iOS 8.1. It’s so frustrating not being able to consistently copy and paste between apps. Often when pasting it would paste old content and would require many attempts to copy and paste successfully. Without a jailbreak available there was very little that could be done to rectify the issue.
I tried a factory reset and setting up as a completely new iPad. No joy. When you are an iOS family like ours, with many devices failing to work its a most frustrating issue to have. Then thankfully the pangu jailbreak for iOS 8 was released. I instantly jail broke and reinstated all my tweaks, making iOS generally more useable on my iPad 2. Then came the master stroke. I remember using a cydia tweak known as single use keyboard by Yanik Magnan. This tweak essentially wipes the clipboard once you have pasted your text. This is essentially meant for privacy, but I don’t tend to paste more than once. Because it wipes the clipboard once you have pasted, the next time you come to copy and paste the clipboard is empty and cannot replicate old data. This works very well for me and I hope it helps you.
I’ve had my iPad 2 since it was first released in the UK, thats a couple of years now and since the beginning I’ve been with O2 for my cellular data. this worked really well up until a couple of months ago. Firstly there was a bug with IOS/O2 carrier settings and it was constantly bugging me to update my carrier settings. This finally went away when upgrading to IOS 6.0.1 but since then my O2 data coverage has been shocking.
The ipad would constantly say it was searching for signal, even though my wife’s iPhone on the same network sat next to me had full signal. When I could get signal I was pretty much limited to GPRS. it seems that I’m not the only one with these issues, the O2 forums are awash with those complaining about this exact same issue. I tried downgrading to IOS 5 but still the same problem, which leads me to believe that it’s either a baseband issue (unlikely) or an issue again with O2 carrier settings. Due to the problems I had earlier in the year I would go with it being an O2 issue.
Just a quick post to say I started using Unrestrict premium to enable AirPlay on all apps and to allow streaming of audio & video from apps which normally only allow audio streaming. Many apps including tv catchup & live Streaming apps restrict AirPlay streaming to audio only but this will allow you to stream audio & video to your apple tv 2 or 3 via AirPlay.
The main reason I wanted to get this hack working is so I can stream sky sports f1 from my iPad to the apple tv via sky go. I can now do that allowing me to watch on the tv in the kitchen or bedroom as I don’t have multiroom.
Although AirPlay mirroring is slated for release in OSX mountain lion next month, I’ve always found air parrot to be a great way of AirPlay mirroring & want to share this review with you before Apple steal a lot of their custom.
Air parrot allows you to mirror what’s on your mac screen over the network to your apple TV. It will mirror in 1080p if you have the latest apple TV and it also mirrors the audio from your mac. Surprisingly it keeps everything in sync audio wise and is a great way of watching silverlight content such as SkyGo on your TV via apple TV.
I finally took the plunge and invested in an external battery pack for the iPhone 4. Being an iPhone owner since the 1st generation I’m well aware of the iPhones issues with battery life. I’ve managed to change my charging habits so that Everytime I’m sat at the iMac I dock the iPhone, Everytime I’m in the car I charge it via the 12v socket in the car via an adaptor, and whenever I travel I take the powercord with me and plug it into any plug I can find. I’m forever topping up.
We finally took the plunge & invested in an apple airport extreme. We have been having a lot of problems with our normally rock solid Cisco router and e crappy salem router supplied by Sky. The problem is while we are in between houses we are living in an apartment. It’s not ideal as we are used to living in a larger space. The key to where we no rally live is the lack of wifi interference & channel overlap. Before we moved out of our last house there where no wifi networks in range of our property, not one. Now we are in the apartment there are over 30 picked up with weak antennas such as the iPhone and over 50 if scanning with the MacBook pro or iMac. This interference causes havoc.