Access the New Battery Health Setting in iOS

Battery healthApple added a new Battery Health feature to iOS 11.3, which was released yesterday. This gives you information about how good (or not) your iPhone’s battery is. This is in response to issues around iPhones being throttled if their batteries are old.

To access this setting, go to Settings > Battery > Battery Health. You’ll see the battery’s maximum capacity – the amount of power it can hold when fully charged – and its peak performance capability; this latter will be reduced if the battery is old.

This information shows up on my iPhone 8+, but not on my 10″ iPad Pro, or my iPad mini 4. My guess is that it only displays on those iPhones whose processors can be throttled if their battery is below nominal capacity. (iPhone 6 or later, and iPhone SE.) It would be useful, however, if it displayed on all iOS devices; I think users of old iPads might like to know what the maximum capacity of their batteries is, and potentially replace the battery when it gets low.

Learn All about iOS 11 wIth Take Control of iOS 11

TCoiOS11 1 1 coverApple’s iOS 11 is out today, and you’ll find tons of new and improved features for your iPhone or iPad. But it’s still a big job trying to find out what’s new and what’s changed, and how to do what you want quickly and easily.

Take a spin through the newest features of iOS 11 with Take Control of iOS 11 by TidBITS Managing Editor Josh Centers. Whether you use an iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch, you’ll find lots to explore in this book, from major changes to Control Center, to new Instant Markup features, to the Files app, which offers access to files stored in iCloud and on your device. Learn how iOS 11 is a game-changer for the iPad, with new multi-tasking capabilities that take it one step closer to being a peer to the Mac.

Other aspects of iOS that have seen changes in this new version are: the Lock Screen, Control Center, the Home Screen, Files, Siri, Keyboard, HomeKit, the App Store, the Camera, Maps, Messages, Photos, Notes, and Settings. As you dive into the details, Josh also shows you how to customize iOS 11 to fit your needs, helping you decide which settings and apps would be most useful to you.

If you need a refresher on everything that iOS can do, you’ll also find that in this book. Josh provides extensive guidance about the ins and outs of using iOS, including how to:

  • Manage the Lock Screen, Home Screen, and Control Center
  • Search with Spotlight
  • Switch between apps and use Handoff to transfer your work
  • Use Siri effectively
  • Master Keyboard tasks (typing, dictation, emojis, autofill)
  • Use Share Sheets
  • Make use of iCloud services
  • Optimize the App Store
  • Turn on Family Sharing
  • Make the most of special iPad features like drag and drop
  • Take photos and organize them
  • Manage Messages
  • Make calls and use FaceTime and Voicemail
  • Search in Safari
  • Use Maps, Find My iPhone, and Find My Friends
  • Organize your Wallet and use Apple Pay
  • Control your home with HomeKit and Siri
  • Learn about privacy settings
  • Manage data usage and battery life

Get Take Control of iOS 11 now!

Apple’s iPad Sales are Up, But…

Apple’s latest quarterly earnings show an increase in iPad sales. This follows the release of new iPad Pro models, which were widely praised in the tech press. However, it’s not these new iPads that have led to an increase in sales.

As Jason Snell highlights in his article on SixColors, year-over-year sales of the iPad have increased 15%. However, iPad revenue only increased 2%. In addition, the average selling price of the iPad decreased to $435. What this means is that, in spite of two new higher-priced iPad models, what has led to the increase in sales is Apple’s low-end model. In March of this year, Apple replaced the iPad Air 2 with a cheaper version starting at $329. Compare that to the starting price for the 10.5 inch iPad Pro which is twice as expensive at $649.

Yesterday’s numbers were interesting because they show that sales of the new, more expensive iPads are not necessarily stellar, but that Apple made a savvy decision by releasing a less expensive model. It’s likely that people with older iPads finally decided to upgrade at this more affordable price.

Apple does not have a history of competing by price. Their products are generally premium products at premium prices. There have been exceptions over the years, with low-and laptops, and cheaper versions of the iMac, and maintaining an older model in the product line as a teaser, but in general Apple’s prices generally do not compromise. But the company has seen that offering a low-price model of the iPad is extremely effective. It probably doesn’t bite into their high profit margin very much, and it keeps users in the Apple ecosystem. It’s worth noting that this iPad is not an older model, but an update to an older model with a new, faster processor; it’s not like when they still sell the iPhone 6 when the iPhone 7 is the current device.

Apple also saw this when they released the iPhone SE last year. The company was clearly unprepared for the success of this phone, which has proven popular both because of its low price and its diminutive size.

With two such low-priced successes, will Apple continue to offer some of its products at lower prices? It clearly makes sense for the bottom line.

Apple to discontinue iPad mini as device gets squeezed from both ends — BGR

First introduced in 2012, Apple’s iPad mini was a welcome alternative to the much larger, thicker, and heavier 9.7-inch iPad. There was no 5.5-inch iPhone Plus, so the iPad mini made a great choice for light reading and effortless web browsing, email, and gaming. The market doesn’t stand still, however, and we’re now looking at a redesigned iPad Pro to be launched this summer that should offer everything the current 9.7-inch iPad features, but in a smaller footprint with a larger 10.5-inch display.

On the other side, there’s the 5.5-inch iPhone 7 Plus, which is large enough to negate the need for a tablet for many users. The device you take everywhere, that’s always with you, that has the best camera, and that has everything else you need. The device that you already own. Therein lies the problem, and that’s why we have heard from a source close to Apple that the iPad mini is being phased out.

That’s a shame. I love my iPad mini. I use it to read ebooks in bed, because the larger iPad is much too heavy. The iPad mini is the paperback to the iPad Pro’s hardcover. It’s a bit bigger than a Kindle, but the typography is so much better…

It’s also used a lot in education with small children for whom the full-sized iPad is too large. And I’ve seen stores where people use it as a point-of-sale device.

I understand that it’s a niche device, but it would be a shame if they kill it off.

Source: Apple to discontinue iPad mini as device gets squeezed from both ends — BGR

iPad (2017) review: With a stripped-down iPad for $329, you may not need to go pro – Macworld

Amazon sells a Kids Edition of its Fire tablet, which is the exact same tablet they sell for adults, but in a kid-friendly case, with a year’s worth of the FreeTime Unlimited service for kids apps and content. Apple does not do this. But at $329 for 32GB of storage, the new iPad is pretty close. This is a great iPad at its most family-friendly price, and certainly a better buy for kids than the $599 iPad Pro.

I think this iPad is a very good deal. But… There’s one thing missing which, for me, would tip the balance. The 9.7″ iPad Pro has four speakers; two on the top, two on the bottom. If you’re watching videos, that means there are two speakers on each side. I often watch Netflix or Amazon Prime Video on my iPad Pro in bed, and the sound that comes out of that device is astonishingly good. It’s good enough that I don’t use headphones, which I always did with the previous iPad Air models.

So if you do watch videos on an iPad, I’d think twice about going for the cheaper model. If you’re happy to wear headphones, then it’ll be fine, but it’s much more comfortable to not wear headphones and use the four speakers in the iPad Pro.

Source: iPad (2017) review: With a stripped-down iPad for $329, you may not need to go pro | Macworld

How to Free up Storage on an iPhone or iPad

In a recent article, I told you how you can clean up your Mac, removing files you don’t need and freeing up space. While this is important on any computing device, it’s even more essential on an iPhone or iPad, where your storage is limited.

On your Mac, you may have an SSD with, say, 256 GB, or a hard drive with hundreds of gigabytes, or even terabytes of storage. On your mobile device, you have, at most, 256 GB, and most iOS devices have much less storage than that.

So, how do you make more storage on your iPhone or iPad? In this article, I’m going to show you some ways you can free up storage on your iOS device, so you have more room to add apps, music, and more. Let’s get started!

Read the rest of the article on The Mac Security Blog.

How to Mass Delete Photos on an iOS Device

I ran into a bit of a problem with my iPod touch. I had had iCloud Photo Library on at one point for testing, and, after turning it off, it seems that the iPod had downloaded my entire 5 GB photo library. On a 32 GB device – which really only holds 26 GB – this was becoming a bit of a problem.

You can delete photos from the Photos app; one at a time. That would take quite a while for the more than 1,200 photos I wanted to get rid of.

iOS is supposed to “optimize” the photo storage, deleting local copies of photos when space is needed. But since iCloud Photo Library was off, it wasn’t doing that.

There are lots of third-part apps that can delete your photos, but I wanted a simpler solution. I found it in Apple’s Image Capture, a utility that is part of macOS. (It’s located in your Applications folder.)

Connect your iOS device to your Mac, then launch Image Capture. You’ll see something like this:

Image capture

You can select a photo, right-click, and choose Delete IMAGENAME. But the Delete option was dimmed for me.

Now, if you look to the right of my iPod touch’s name, you’ll see that it’s got a cloud icon next to it. Image Capture was still seeing this device as having iCloud Photo Library on. In fact, when I went to the Settings, Photo Sharing was still on, even though iCloud Photo Library was turned off. So I toggled that setting off and returned to Image Capture.

So I selected all the photos, then right-clicked and chose Delete 1241 Items. In about a minute, all my photos were deleted.

Delete photos

Now, I could turn iCloud Photo Library back on if I want, and it won’t download all my photos, and they’ll still be accessible. But on this device, I don’t want the photos; I only use it for testing and for music. So I’ll leave it off in case I need my photo library later.

Farewell 16 GB iOS Devices; Almost

When Apple announced the iPhone 7 and Apple Watch Series 2 last week, they also removed the 16 GB tier of the iPhone. People have been complaining for years about 16 GB iOS devices; with the size of iOS, and a few apps and some music, there’s little room left on the device. At the same time, Apple bumped the storage of iPads; now all iPads start at 32 GB.

However, Apple still sells two iOS devices with 16 GB storage: the iPhone SE (it comes with 16 or 64 GB) and the iPod touch (available with 16, 32, 64, or 128 GB, the latter only available directly from Apple). It’s a shame that they didn’t update the iPhone SE; I think Apple still sees this as a sub-par device, even though millions of people have bought it because it’s the correct size for an iPhone. As for the iPod touch, I would argue that nearly everyone buying that device does so to listen to music, and it should start at 32 GB. But the iPod touch is a dying breed; we may never see another update to that device.

So there has been progress, with the majority of iOS devices now starting at 32 GB. Finally.

The iPad Pro and Smudges

I upgraded from an iPad Air 2 to a 9.7″ iPad Pro recently. I like the device, in particular because of the excellent speakers. I sometimes like watching videos in bed – streamed from Netflix, or Amazon Prime, or my Plex library – and the sound is good enough that I don’t need headphones.

I’ve noticed one annoyance with the iPad Pro however: the display shows smudges much more than previous iPads. I thought it was just me, but during yesterday’s episode of The Committed podcast, I mentioned this, and my co-host Ian Schray said that he has noticed the same thing. I need to keep a soft cloth handy to wipe the screen down often, especially if I am watching a video.

I took this picture after wiping my iPad Pro, then tapping my fingers on it a couple dozen times. It’s hard to get a good photo, so I had to put it in direct sunlight, which does amplify the smudges a bit, but much of what you see below is visible in normal light:

Ipad pro smudges

I think this is because of the new less reflective coating on the display. I am happy that it reflects less, but I find it very annoying that it smudges so much. To be honest, I would have been happy with the iPad Air 2 coating; smudges were less visible, and the reflectivity didn’t bother me.

What about you? If you have an iPad Pro, have you noticed the same thing?

Clear Out Some of Your iOS Device’s “Other” Storage

Lots of websites have been relaying a “simple trick to clear space on your iOS device.” The trick, it is claimed, involves renting a movie that’s too large to fit on your iOS device, which then tries to download the movie after clearing out some space. If it is successful, you then have to cancel the rental.

The logic behind this is that the iOS device attempts to clear as much unneeded space as possible in order to receive the movie. While this is successful for some people, it isn’t a panacea, and its effectiveness depends on a lot of factors.

Most iOS users are familiar with that amorphous “Other” storage that displays in iTunes. It’s never been clear what this “Other” storage contains. Apple claims it contains “Settings, Siri voices, system data, and cached files,” but anyone who has had sync issues, and has seen dozens of gigabytes of Other storage on their iOS device knows that this isn’t the whole story.

The best I’ve been able to tell over the years is that Other storage is all of what Apple says above (though I don’t know why they include Siri voices), plus orphaned files, and that these orphaned files are very common. If you use Apple Music, then Other also includes cached files that you’ve streamed (but not downloaded) using that service.

HamletSo, about that “trick.” You don’t need to use a rental; if you have already purchased any movies from the iTunes Store, then you can use those as well. Find the biggest movie in your Purchased list – mine is Kenneth Branagh’s Hamlet, at 8.66 GB – and try to download it.

You’re iOS device will hesitate for a bit, delete some files – caches and the like – then it may tell you that you don’t have enough room for the movie. After this, check your device’s storage, and you may see an improvement. I was able to shave off about 1 GB of my Other storage at different times. However, when I repeated the operation, I found that my Other storage increased by a few hundred MB.

Other1  Other2

So while this trick can save some space, deleting some caches, it’s not foolproof. If you have a lot of Other storage, then try this out; if not, don’t expect it to magically delete that inexplicable yellow band of storage you see in iTunes.