Saturday, February 22, 2014

iPhone 5s & iPad Air

This last week I finally got around to upgrading my iPhone 4 and adding an iPad Air, both 16 GB models (smallest memory available - I don't use more than 8-10 GB on the iPhone 4 and old iPad I) when AT&T offered a good deal to the pay it over two year plan with only a slight increase in my monthly bill until the devices are paid off and the decrease to less than my current bill.

I had them transfer everything on the iPhone 4 to the 5s, so it was only a matter of updating it to IOS 7.0.6 (was 7.0.), updating the apps and waking through the settings for Siri, touch (fingerprint) mode and other stuff. That took two-plus hours at my speed but was straight forward.

I did notice the reports that the touch sensor doesn't always work, which I can affirm, that it usually takes 2-3 touches to get it to recognize my fingerprint, or type in the passcode after 3 tries. Something Apple needs to improve.

I activated Siri but I haven't used it yet. I'm not one who takes to their iPhone, and for the most part will mostly just play with it occasionally to see how it responds and what information it provides. I more an app person who likes to look up things.

As for the iPad Air, I kept the old iPad but had them disable the 3G, so it's just a wifi device now sitting next to the Mac where I can use it with applications on the Mac with the apps which works on the iPad, eg. Apple's Remote, along with apps for reading books and documents and working with maps.

In short, it's still useful, just dated. The new iPad Air was installed in iTunes as a new one with the backup (contacts, settings, etc. but no apps or files) from the old iPad. From there I built the iPad from scratch, including updating it to IOS 7.0.6.

This whole process took into the evening and a few hours the next day downloading the files, books and maps which only download from the Website, which I learned ate 67% of my monthly usage (Google books, topo maps, Nook books, etc.) to match the old iPad.

As I went through the process, there was one quirk which is really stupid on Apple's part to have gone 6 updates and not fix it, after the obviousness of it and the noise on the Apple forum about it. It's the wallpaper.

Those who already know this can't stop laughing. I spent several hours trying to get my background image to fit the screen. This wasn't a problem with either iPhone or the old iPad, but is with the iPad Air.

I finally find a temporary solution which said to make the image square (the orignal one above), but it still doesn't display the full image in either portrait or landscape, and clearly something Apple needs to address. Even the recommended app (Wallax) didn't work and made me wonder why people recommended it.

The second issue I had is the battery with the iPad Air. It was only about 70% when I opened it and on never lock the charger was not able to keep up with the work on it and it dropped to about 65% by the end of the day. It then took overnight to charge it.

The third issue with it is that it discharges faster than the old iPad so doesn't last as along, not even the Apple specs for it. I don't know if these batteries take time to get up to full charge and hold it longer or not, but so far it's not good for using for very long with being plugged in.

Otherwise, I have a lot more work now to test all the apps, but the initially walk through showed all but one works. The National Geographic (NG) National Parks (NPs) Map app wasn't updated for IOS 7, but works on the old iPad with IOS 5.

I updated the NG app with their newer NPs complete guide with inclusive map (for $1.99 for each NP - but only bought the one for Mt Rainier NP).  I then went to the Apple store today to buy cases for each one and the lightning to 30-pin connector for my monthly appointment (they have an older iPod music player) as I supply the music on the iPhone.

I'll keep you posted on the progress of the devices if anything happens. I have to say it's kinda nice to have both iPads, the old one working the Mac and the new doing the things the old one did.

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